Talk about inspiring! 12WBTer Tracey is on her 12th Round, despite facing many challenges. Read her incredibly bold and brave story below.
Just after our first wedding anniversary my husband Geoff was diagnosed with Polycystic Kidney Disease, a genetic condition that slowly destroys kidney function. We prepared ourselves that one day we’d be looking at dialysis, or even a kidney transplant.
In 2012 all that changed when we were told that Geoff was in end-stage renal failure and had to start dialysis. He was very sick, with only 5% kidney function so the dialysis machine was the only thing keeping him alive. It was a horrible thing to watch him endure dialysis, so it was an easy decision for me to donate one of my kidneys. The question was: would I be a compatible donor? After many months of every test under the sun I was miraculously deemed a match –woo hoo! And very special, considering we were husband and wife!
Signing Up for 12WBT
I knew I was healthy, but I had been thinking about doing 12WBT to get myself super fit so I could give my gorgeous man a part of me. I bit the bullet and signed up for my first 12WBT Round in November 2012. I had 6 kilos to lose which doesn’t sound like much, but it was enough on my small frame to deem me overweight. As soon as I joined, I felt as though I was part of the 12WBT family and felt supported by Michelle and the crew. I loved the Mindset Lessons, the recipes and especially the Exercise Program.
Getting Supported By The 12WBT Family
To make a long story short, due to the insidious nature of renal failure, Geoff had to have a couple of major operations before we could even think about a transplant. These were very dark days. I almost lost Geoff during this time and that thought was just unbearable. We lived in the hospital for weeks on end and it was truly wonderful to be able to have a chat with others in the 12WBT Member Zone and hear what going on in the 12WBT family. I got great comfort in reading other 12WBTer’s journeys, and knowing I wasn’t alone. A few kind words here and there meant the absolute world to me and I sure did need to hear them!
I could cook all the yummy 12WBT food as the nutritional info on each recipe helped us follow Geoff’s special diet by knowing exactly what was in each dish. On Saturdays I would drop Geoff at dialysis, then smash out my Super Saturday Session at the gym for a few hours, then go home and have a huge cook up. It was great to have a weekend routine in what had become our crazy life.
A Very Special Day
Our transplant finally happened in May 2013 and it was the proudest day of my life, being able to give Geoff my kidney and keep my precious husband alive. We’ve always been joined at the hip, and now we’re joined by our kidneys! Geoff said he couldn’t top my 30th wedding anniversary present to him. Two years after our operations Geoff is alive and we have ‘our life back’. There’s not a day that passes that we aren’t extremely grateful.
The Power of 12WBT
12WBT has been there through this entire journey, and I honestly don’t know how I could have gone through what I did without that support. Even the ‘lost Round’ where we were recovering, I couldn’t exercise but I watched Mish’s Mindset Lessons, read the Member Zone comments and just kept in touch with my teammates. Throughout the Rounds 12WBT has been support and encouragement, hope when there seemed to be none, and above all something consistent when our lives were being turned upside down.
Today, we get up at 5am every morning and hit the gym, with Geoff getting my circuit ready so I can train with ease. I’ve just signed up for my 12th round back to back and I’m just as excited as the first time I joined. Every Round there’s something new to discover and learn.
12WBT got me fit enough to donate my kidney, and then with baby steps got me through each different exercise stage helping me fully recover and get my fitness back. I can’t thank Michelle enough – you and your entire 12WBT team ROCK!