Rare condition Chatham senior granted life-changing kidney transplant opportunity

Riley Hurst Brubaker, a senior at Chatham University, is preparing to graduate and undergo a kidney transplant. Brubaker was born with a cloacal anomaly, a rare condition that caused damage to her kidneys. Throughout her life, she has managed her condition by inserting a catheter into a hole in her abdomen and undergoing an enema routine every other day. Despite the challenges, Brubaker never viewed her medical routines as disabling. However, as she learned about the disability rights movement during college, she began to consider her condition as a disability. The prospect of managing even more medical routines after her kidney transplant left her feeling overwhelmed. Brubaker’s college experience has been marked by anger, grief, and a coexistence of joy and frustration. She has found support from friends and resources at Chatham University, and she emphasizes the importance of learning about the challenges faced by individuals with chronic illnesses and disabilities.

Brubaker’s experiences highlight the physical and emotional challenges faced by individuals with chronic illnesses while pursuing higher education. The article sheds light on the impact of supportive care from family and the process of navigating medical routines. It also addresses the importance of understanding and supporting individuals with chronic illnesses and disabilities within educational institutions. Brubaker’s story serves as a reminder of the resilience and strength demonstrated by individuals who face health-related obstacles in their pursuit of education.

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