Valen Keefer, double transplant recipient, epilepsy, polycystic kidney disease, and scoliosis, patient recently said, “COVID-19 has given everyone the opportunity to walk in the shoes of a patient like me.” And, for most of us, we’ve found that we don’t like the way those “shoes” fit. We are all counting the days until we are able to get a COVID-19 vaccine and can slip back into our most comfortable “sneakers” and resume our lives. That hope buoys us and allows us to endure the daily challenges of wearing a mask, social distancing, staying at home, and other hardships. But what if there was no hope?
Valen, who remains an amazingly positive, outgoing, and effervescent woman, articulates beautifully that the reason she is able to live a happy, productive and fulfilling life is because of her dedicated medical team and the lifesaving medications she is reliant upon. She realizes that those medications didn’t appear magically but were the product of committed researchers and biopharmaceutical companies who invested their time and resources into research and development.