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Wisconsin native pens new book about personal journey with kidney disease

When Mary Baliker was first diagnosed with kidney disease, she was just a nine-year-old girl living in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin. She had no idea that diagnosis would be the beginning of a life-long battle. Now, decades later, she shares her experience in her new book Maria Never Gives Up, in hopes that it will help other families and children dealing with kidney disease and the prospect of getting a transplant.

“I think for me just feeling isolated, not feeling like I fit in with others was hard, I didn't have the energy I didn't feel well,” says Baliker on some of the early challenges of her diagnosis.

However, through all of the tribulations that Baliker’s fight with kidney disease presented, she expresses that it helped shape who she is today — someone who doesn't give up.

This proclivity for perseverance is why Baliker decided to write Maria Never Gives Up. She hopes the book can inspire hope and strength in others and help them through their own struggles.

“Showing that you can get through something very difficult and have a healthy normal life…I crafted that to kind of help other children not feel alone, to show them that there’s other people that have gone through some pretty traumatic things and are here to talk about it,” says Baliker.

Maria Never Gives Up, is available online and through some children’s hospitals, including American Family Children’s Hospital in Madison.

Joy is a WUWM host and producer for Lake Effect.
Beck Andrew Salgado was a producer with Lake Effect.
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