Voices of PKD: Mandy Wakely
On December 10, 2008 my daughter Juniper Isabelle Wakely was born. Twenty minutes later, she died in my arms from autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease (ARPKD). Even with all the planning I’d done in preparation for my first child, I had not planned for that. I’d never heard of ARPKD before that day, and those five little letters blindsided me and completely changed the course of my life. Despite being so sick, Juniper was the most beautiful little creature I’d ever seen. Her death is the most painful thing I’ve ever been through, but her life was the most precious gift I was ever given.
As her mother, I have the privilege and the responsibility of telling Juniper’s story and living to let her shine through me. One way I do this is by doing as many random acts of kindness in her honor as I can. A random act of kindness is a small thing, but so powerful and sweet, just like Juniper. I can’t think of a better way to honor my girl than that. ARPKD may have taken my daughter from the world, but my daughter still makes the world a sweeter place, in her own way.
If you’d like to spread a little kindness in honor of Juniper Wakely, please visit Sweet Juniper’s Facebook page and request your own Sweet Juniper cards to hand out when you do your random acts of kindness.