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Shared struggle with kidney disease bonds Charlotte graduates
ECPI students support and inspire each other
 
Published Thursday, July 18, 2019 5:38 pm
by Ashley Mahoney | The Charlotte Post

PHOTO | ASHLEY MAHONEY
ECPI Charlotte students Rebecca Martin, left, and Demyria Wilson have bonded with shared struggles with kidney disease.

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Kidney disease has not stopped Demyria Wilson and Rebecca Martin.


Wilson and Martin, who are medical assistant students at ECPI University’s Charlotte campus, have balanced an accelerated education program as well as treatments. Wilson, who enrolled at North Carolina Central University in 2007, left school due to dialysis. Six years later, she received a kidney transplant and enrolled at ECPI four months later.


Wilson  and Martin became acquainted while receiving treatment, but did not become close until they attended ECPI together.


“We actually were at the same center for dialysis,” Wilson said. “I had been on peritoneal dialysis, which is a home dialysis, and for six months, my doctor sent me back to the center due to some GI issues. We didn’t know each other, but I had seen her in passing. That July when I began here at ECPI we were in the same class. I’m like, ‘I know your face, but I don’t know where I know you from.’ We started talking about being on dialysis and about our doctors and what center we were at, and we were like, ‘oh, that’s my doctor, that’s my nurse, I’m at that center.’ We began to build a relationship then.”


Wilson received the phone call that a transplant was ready for her in their third week of class.


“My classmates, as well as of course, Rebecca, were so excited for me,” Wilson said. “They checked on me constantly. I shared with Rebecca continually that her time is coming. Just like it came for me, it can come for her.”


Martin, who was diagnosed with kidney disease in 2015, began dialysis in 2017, the same year her mother Deanna Privette and mother-in-law Sylvia Martin died. She still awaits a  transplant.


“Just the thought of it, knowing that it’s going to be a new life,” Martin said. “[Wilson] gives me hope every day to know that it’s going to get better, because it hasn’t been an easy road. A lot of people don’t realize the toll that kidney disease takes on your body. A lot of days I come to school and I don’t feel good, but I still come, because I know that my mom is looking down on me, and I have people here that believe that I can do it. I just get up and I come. It’s amazing just to have [Wilson] as an inspiration, because my mom is gone, so now I have someone to look up to. If she went through it and she got through to the other side, then I can too. I’ve just gotta keep pushing. I’ve gotta keep fighting.”


Martin was placed on the Duke Medical Center transplant list this year.


“Fingers crossed that I’ll receive my transplant the end of this year,” she said.


Like Wilson, Martin, who earned a degree in criminal justice at Fayetteville State University, felt called to help others in the medical field. Medical assisting allows them to do that.


“We aren’t set to one specific area,” Martin said. “We do administrative, clinical, as well as laboratory. We get trained in a lot of different things, just the backbone of the office, basically.”


Said Wilson: “We’re the go to in the office to keep everything running smoothly—be there one-on-one with the patients.”


Wilson and Martin, who graduate July 21 at Belk Theater at 2:30 p.m., “have shown real grit, a real drive to reach their goals, regardless of what’s going on in their personal situations, even to the point where it’s the cause,” said Charlotte Campus Director of Academic Affairs Laura Glading. “A lot of times, you look at students who have either struggled with differences, but some will rise like a phoenix out of difficulty, and blossom into something that is like a sword of iron, burning bright to show for other students. What I love about these two is they help other students see what they can accomplish when they have struggles as well. We had them both speak to our day and our night students to talk about what their challenges help them achieve. They are an inspiration to all of us.”

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This is awesome!
Posted on July 22, 2019
 

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