Age 47 - Chicago, Illinois
Illinois Patient has Grown Stronger in the Face of Life-threatening Diseases
Over the course of her life, Marshia Miller has faced a series of life-threatening diseases. When she was 14 years old she was diagnosed with Lupus, an autoimmune disease that attacks the body’s cells and tissue. At 34, she was diagnosed with kidney failure, and started dialysis treatment soon thereafter. Most recently, at age 44, she was diagnosed with lymphoma. Through it all, Marshia has kept a positive outlook on life, and says that her struggle with these conditions has made her a stronger person.
Marshia has been on dialysis for 13 years, and receives in-center hemodialysis at Fresenius Medical Care Oak Park Dialysis Center in Oak Park, Illinois.
To stay in shape, Marshia goes to a fitness center twice a week, spending two hours on the exercise machines, and also participates in water aerobics classes. Her sister often joins her at the gym so they can support and motivate each other. Since Marshia started this exercise routine about 10 years ago, she has lost more than 200 pounds, which has also helped improve her dialysis results.
“Exercise makes me feel better about myself, and it will keep me living longer and healthier,” Marshia says. “It also makes my heart stronger, and gives me better posture, stronger legs and better circulation.”
One of Marshia’s career goals is to open a shelter for homeless families, and she has already started working on this ambitious project. When she is at the clinic, Marshia supports other patients with her reassuring, positive nature, and always tries to make new patients feel welcome.
“If you’re on dialysis, you can’t just sit around and mope,” she says. “You can always exercise on your non-dialysis days if you are feeling tired.”