Monday, April 3, 2017


Saturday, April 1, 2017


Cover Designed by Five J’s Designed
Photo Credits: jeffy1139 (CanStock Photo)
                        PlusONE Robyn Mackenzie(Bigstock)
104 pps.
Publication Date: 2016
Websites to purchase: (Signed Copy) ($18.95 on Prime)
ISBN-13: 978-1539998204
ISBN-10: 1539998207

“At this point, I was overwhelmed. I didn’t have the words to label the feelings as overwhelmed, I just knew I was sick and tired of being sick and tired.  I felt like I was drowning and nobody around me understood.  Physically, I was overloaded with fluids.  Mentally, I was drowning in thoughts over depression and struggling to cope.  Spiritually I was struggling to stay hopeful as I had only been sick for a couple of years, but knowing that I would still end up on dialysis and need a kidney transplant was overwhelming to live with every day…just knowing what was potentially ahead of me and how sick I was at the time. Emotionally, I was drained and that’s when I decided this wasn’t going to be a life I wanted to live.  I was definitely drowning in every aspect of my life.  I felt like nobody around me even cared.  It was like they wanted me to just keep pushing without even acknowledging what I was going through.  I truly believe they were in denial.  I was too, because I forced myself to carry on all of this weight until I broke.”  (pps. 29-30).

I’ve read a number of kidney books written by individuals who hoped to profit from them. They follow a pattern, a devastating diagnosis, a life sentence to
dialysis, a redeeming transplant, a conclusion where life is resumed, which includes abandoning all things related to kidney failure as if they are ashamed of the experience.  These books are predictable, uninformative, and boring.  Shame ridden tomes, best left on a dusty basement shelf and quickly forgotten.
The Gift of Disappointment” is not such a formula book.  This book is a delightful lesson of turning an exceptionally bad break for an extremely young woman into a delightful coming out party for a mature teacher and exceptional kidney advocate.  Ms. Sampson takes us by the hand, as if to say, “I’ve been there.  I’ve overcome incurable kidney disease.  I can teach you how to do it, too.  I promise for the rest of my life, I will always advocate for you.  You are not alone.  You have nothing to fear.”  This young writer is someone who has ‘been there, done that.’ As a kidney patient myself with End Stage Renal Disease, there are portions of this book that only the experienced recognize as statements that ring true. Uncensored, unsanitized, and beautifully unblemished with deep unflinching descriptions, the passages here are almost painfully true descriptions of the internal thought of one who deals with the diagnosis, drastic life change, abandonment, the hopelessness of dialysis, replaced by the optimism of a transplant.
What makes this book different is that Leilah overcomes impossible negatives with her bedrock Christian faith and relentless optimism that permeates the entire book.  Leilah does not collect her transplant and head for home.  She stays with us, she teaches us, she advocates for us. Leilah has dedicated her life to helping her fellow kidney patients. It is this sense of overcoming, selfless giving, intense fighting for her fellow kidney patients, that makes this book unique and special. 
“I believe in life you will encounter roadblocks that seem very detrimental, but when you look back on them they were redirecting you toward a different path…But now that I look back on it, I can clearly see that my passion for people has always been there, but my path was simply redirected.  I was thrown into this community at 19, but I knew I had the power and perseverance to make a difference. The same dedication I would’ve put towards being the best nurse, I will use to put towards being an even better advocate.” (p. 102).

If you are not a member of the kidney community, this is still a special book. Anyone can enjoy this rock-solid underdog overcoming great odds to achieve success theme in this book.  If you have kidney disease, or a family member, friend, neighbor, that guy at work or just someone you know is afflicted, this book is the instructional manual on how to deal with the disappointment that always comes with ESRD.  Buy this book.  It is one of kind!