A teacher by profession, Anna Biaka is a stage 5 End-Stage Renal Disease patient and recipient of the 2014 Iya Foundation Financial Assistance Award. During a visit to the United States, Anna was diagnosed with Kidney Failure.
She had been suffering from High Blood Pressure, which even though managed, her kidneys still failed as a result of the HBP damaging them. This was very hard on her and she was in denial, unable to believe the fact that she would have to depend on dialysis or a transplant to stay alive. Even harder was the fact that she would have to remain in the United States to start treatment, leaving behind her job and family in Buea Cameroon, where she worked as a teacher.
This was a huge and drastic move for Anna, who would now be living in a strange land, sick and unable to work. The financial burden were overwhelming for her. Although Anna has some health coverage, she was unable to meet other expenses due to her lack of a steady income.
Reaching out to the Iya Foundation, she was awarded financial assistance to help elevate the financial burden that came as a result of her kidney failure. Anna is very thankful to the Iya Foundation for having selected her as one of the recipients.
‘I was very happy, elated, and appreciative of all the efforts put by TIF in making this happen. I wish to thank you all for this award and hope to be connected to your foundation by joining the advocacy to help raise awareness about kidney disease. I count myself blessed to have been chosen for this award. I hope to work with you for the support of kidney disease patients’; says Anna who plans to use the award to help with purchasing her medications with ease, paying her bus fare to and from the dialysis center, and in affording the types of foods she needs to be eating in coping with dialysis.
Anna congratulates the Iya Foundation for the giant step it is taking to increase awareness of kidney disease, reaching out to patients, giving them hope, improving lives, and letting them know that is not the end of their lives but a beginning of a new life style.
Anna plans to visit her home country of Cameroon in the near future and to reach out to other kidney patients battling kidney disease by giving them hope to live a healthy life, as well as educate them on being compliant with treatment.
Anna’s advice to other dialysis patients is that ‘diagnosis of kidney disease is not the end of one’s life but the beginning of a new life style – manageable with proper treatment, awareness, and education on the disease to empower and be better able to combat the disease. She further advises them to be compliant with treatment, eat moderately and healthily, and to drink less fluids to avoid retention and over load which could lead to heart problems.
The Iya Foundation is glad this assistance will be of significant help to Anna’s her day to day struggle in living with ESRD.