My story begins 1 year after I graduated high school. I found out I had kidney failure. I had to put my future on hold. My dream was to go to New York and dance on Broadway. My dad was able to give me one of his kidneys and the transplant lasted 10 years.

In the year 2000, I found out my transplant had finally failed. I've been on dialysis, now, for 3 years. No, I never made it to Broadway, I never went to college and experienced that.

The inspiration is through losing hold of my dream, through the sickness, operations, pain, loss of other friends on dialysis, I have been strong. I've always had a smile on my face and I treasure each day God gives me.

I am 33, now and I start college in the fall as a full time student! Wish me luck.

Shelley Jacoby