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Dustin Miller (He / Him)

State: Wisconsin

Chronic Conditions: Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis, Chronic Kidney Disease, Colitis, Sinusitis, Diabetes Mellitus

My name is Dustin, and I have FSGS - Chronic Kidney disease, Diabetes Mellitus and chronic sinusitis, to name a few. Through many years of struggling with my chronic diseases (I was first diagnosed with FSGS in 2004), I frequently questioned what I could do in my life to make the most of my medical conditions. I felt that while chronic disease had more or less ruled a large majority of my life, there had to be something I could do to use my experiences to make a lasting impact.

I have been in love with writing all my life, especially creative fiction. As a young kid, I would sit at the kitchen table with my Grandma as I dictated exciting adventures that she would write in staple-bound paper books. I loved imagining superheroes fighting off bad guys and fulfilling extraordinary destinies.

Nowadays, while I still write fiction, I also write about other types of heroes. These are the people that spend their lives fighting to give people like me a voice. Chronic disease advocates do amazing work in a variety of ways. They talk to legislature to change our laws to improve medical costs. They raise awareness through podcasts, social media and articles so that others can learn of the struggles we face. Others organize fund raisers to pay for research into new treatments.

I decided that I, too, wanted to be one of those heroes. That is when it clicked for me. I decided to put my love of writing and my excitement for helping others with chronic diseases. I started writing journals, posting articles on social media and talking to others in the chronic disease community.