Daniel Gallego, President of EKPF and dialysis patient since 1995
For many people, there is no better feeling than experiencing the world through travel. Not only do you discover other ways of understanding life, face daily challenges, engage and live, you also learn a lot about yourself.
Through my travels, I have been able to get to know other cultures and enjoy unique, authentic experiences. Through travel, I have met many different people, many of whom are still very important to me; all of this while discovering other cuisines, forms of art, architecture and interesting places.
Over the years, I have learned that my disease does not define me. The only time I feel like a kidney patient is during haemodialysis sessions. When I finish my treatment, I am just like everyone else… someone with dreams, hobbies and aspirations. I aim to live a fulfilling life, as any healthy person would. I try to be active, both physically and mentally, to be on the move and go places.
More than anything, I value my independence and being able to realise my dreams, like travel, and discovering other cultures.
It’s true that people like me depend on a machine to survive, but this machine is available all over the world.
At EKPF (European Kidney Patients’ Federation), we promote and encourage the mobility of people with kidney disease across the globe, even those who are dependent on haemodialysis. Holiday dialysis programmes, such as d.HOLIDAY, allow kidney patients free movement to travel. The goal is to reach the horizon, which is full of new experiences.
Personally, I believe the experiences gained through travel, are much more valuable than possessions. Travelling has taught me to enjoy every moment and to always search for new goals. Despite living with kidney failure, I always try to find the best new destinations at every possible occasion: whether it be a few days of rest, an adventure or a big city tour. All such moments allow you to disconnect and take a break from an exhausting routine, and to remind you that life can offer many wonderful opportunities.