Linda Ketter and Dreaming Big
“I want to do as much as I can, while I can, because you don’t know when tomorrow’s gone,” says Linda Ketter, a Satellite Healthcare Orange patient living with dialysis.
Linda is someone with a lot of passion for life. When she started hemodialysis treatments early this year, she informed staff she had already booked a cruise to Alaska with her book club. “I’ve always been very independent.” Linda explains. “I dream big. I have a bucket list of places I want to go.”
As Linda’s cruise approached, she got clearance from her nephrologist and booked dialysis treatments during her stopover in Juno, Alaska, and at the port in Seattle. "It was a great trip with friends," Linda shares. "I visited with some of my favorite authors on board. I ate well. The Maître D was so helpful, they made whatever you wanted, like vegetable pasta with garlic butter." On land, "I got to play with Husky puppies in Caribou Crossing, Yukon. We went crabbing in Ketchikan, and took a train through the Yukon Skagway White Pass."
A week before Linda departed for Alaska, she was contacted by the American Kidney Fund because she volunteers as an AKF Advocate. Without hesitation, Linda agreed to fly to Washington DC to meet with Congresswoman Katie Porter. There she shared her experience as a patient on dialysis, and specifically, about her challenge with maintaining adequate insurance coverage to cover medications and bills. “I had very little sleep. Due to a flight delay, we slept in the Atlanta airport. But, in the end, the meeting was very positive with Representative Porter.”
Linda embraces personal challenges. She left a successful career in management, in a software development company. She lost complete vision in her left eye and wears a prosthetic eye. Linda travels to dialysis using OCTA Access transport 22 miles from home to Orange, as she wishes to remain under the care of her nephrologist. “I don't mind the ride, or the time it takes. I live on audio books." Linda admits with excitement "I've already booked next year’s trip near Dallas for the Book Bonanza. So many of the authors I know and admire will be there."
Linda's "Can Do" spirit makes big dreams possible. Another dream of Linda’s is a transplant. She is on the wait list for kidney pancreas transplant with St. Vincent Hospital in Los Angeles. Meanwhile, she makes the most of her time – working out at the gym three times a week, walking her dogs to the park, enjoying time with family and friends and preparing for her book club meetings.
This article was written by Cheryl Hasegawa, LCSW who services people living with dialysis at Satellite Healthcare Orange.