Dwelyn Williams Oral History, 2022/09/16


Title (Dublin Core)

Dwelyn Williams Oral History, 2022/09/16

Description (Dublin Core)

Self Description: "Yes, my name is Dwelyn Williams. I am a dialysis technician for 22 years now here residing in Phoenix, Arizona. I came to Phoenix Arizona as a traveler due to COVID experience in April 2020."
Some of the things we discussed include:
Working as a dialysis technician for 22 years.
Mother having had End Stage Renal Disease; treating people being cared for like they were her.
Living in Orlando, Florida when COVID hit and teaching in Orange County Public Schools.
Being at a conference in March 2020 in Las Vegas, changing safety precautions, a colleague getting sick.
How being an essential healthcare worker changed experiences of lockdown.
Seeing PPE outside of healthcare facilities, more hand washing, working long hours.
Isolation as a loner.
Seeing the same people in the dialysis facility multiple times a week, feeling more like family.
Treatment delays and less consistent operations in the dialysis clinic due to COVID.
Healthcare professionals wearing a mask all day; eye contact and masking.
Teamwork to manage the caseload during the pandemic.
Not using the word “patient”, but rather referring to them as “people” and using their names.
Compassion and avoiding judgment, working for solutions.
Needing to go beyond health advocacy, taking initiative and accountability.
Learning about one’s own potential during the pandemic: becoming a graphic novelist and writing a story about mother’s experience of dialysis; working with a new organization, Kidney Trails.

Other cultural references: Certified Clinical Hemodialysis Technician, the film Contagion (2011), Sam and Lacy Trevino (, Marvel, DC, National Association of Nephrology Technicians/Technologist, Bob Marley, Artwork for my cover photo and all of my illustration are done by Tori Harris.

Recording Date (Dublin Core)

September 16, 2022

Creator (Dublin Core)

Kit Heintzman
Dwelyn Williams

Contributor (Dublin Core)

Kit Heintzman

Link (Bibliographic Ontology)

Controlled Vocabulary (Dublin Core)

English Healthcare
English Health & Wellness
English Home & Family Life
English Public Health & Hospitals

Curator's Tags (Omeka Classic)

essential worker
Sam Trevino

Contributor's Tags (a true folksonomy) (Friend of a Friend)


Collection (Dublin Core)

Black Voices
Essential Workers

Date Submitted (Dublin Core)


Date Modified (Dublin Core)


Date Created (Dublin Core)


Interviewer (Bibliographic Ontology)

Kit Heintzman

Interviewee (Bibliographic Ontology)

Dwelyn Williams

Location (Omeka Classic)

United States of America

Format (Dublin Core)


Language (Dublin Core)


abstract (Bibliographic Ontology)

Working as a dialysis technician for 22 years. Mother having had End Stage Renal Disease; treating people being cared for like they were her. Living in Orlando, Florida when COVID hit and teaching in Orange County Public Schools. Being at a conference in March 2020 in Las Vegas, changing safety precautions, a colleague getting sick. How being an essential healthcare worker changed experiences of lockdown. Seeing PPE outside of healthcare facilities, more hand washing, working long hours. Isolation as a loner. Seeing the same people in the dialysis facility multiple times a week, feeling more like family. Treatment delays and less consistent operations in the dialysis clinic due to COVID. Healthcare professionals wearing a mask all day; eye contact and masking. Burnout. Teamwork to manage the caseload during the pandemic. Not using the word “patient”, but rather referring to them as “people” and using their names. Compassion and avoiding judgment, working for solutions. Needing to go beyond health advocacy, taking initiative and accountability. Learning about one’s own potential during the pandemic: becoming a graphic novelist and writing a story about mother’s experience of dialysis; working with a new organization, Kidney Trails. Legacy.

Transcription (Omeka Classic)

Kit Heintzman 00:02
Hello, would you please state your name, the date, the time and your location?

Dwelyn Williams 00:06
Yes, my name is Dwelyn Williams. Today's date is September 16, 2022. Time now is 8:03. And I'm residing here at Phoenix, Arizona.

Kit Heintzman 00:19
And do you consent to having this interview recorded, digitally uploaded and publicly released under a Creative Commons license attribution noncommercial sharealike?

Dwelyn Williams 00:28
I consent.

Kit Heintzman 00:31
Thank you so much for being here with me today. Would you please start by introducing yourself to anyone who might find themselves listening to this?

Dwelyn Williams 00:38
Yes, my name is Dwelyn Williams. I am a dialysis technician for 22 years now here residing in Phoenix, Arizona. I came to Phoenix Arizona as a traveler due to COVID experience in April 2020.

Kit Heintzman 00:55
Would you share more about that?

Dwelyn Williams 00:58
Yes. So been in my career for 22 years. And I've traveled across the nation I reside in, I reside in 28 states. So I live in every time zone due to my career, digital benefits in my career, excuse me. In April 2020, I was residing in Orlando, Florida. And when the news struck up against us in the world as far as COVID-19, that's when my experience took a different turn in the dialysis world as far as isolation, social distancing, etc. I was teaching hemodialysis at the time as a part time career instructor at OCPS in Winter Park, which is a city of Orlando, Orlando, Florida. Due to the COVID-19. The immediately as everyone knows, majority of schools shut down, because, you know, this is something that was brought up on us like a vagabond. So therefore, my role as a part time instructor was very, very limited. Gratefully, that I still practice as a CCHT, which is a Certified Clinical Hemodialysis Technician, I was able to grant the opportunity to travel across the nation. And this is I ended up in Phoenix, Arizona, April 2020, and I've been ever since.

Kit Heintzman 02:26
Could you tell me a story about what your life has been like during the pandemic?

Dwelyn Williams 02:31
Oh, my goodness, you know, I will say, you know, when the pandemic started, the one thing I noticed as far as my life, there was less traffic on the road. There were a lot of a lot of restraints as far as where you can go. There were there was a curfew in Orlando, Florida area at the time. My life change was noticing individuals wearing masks wearing gloves. Individuals have been a little bit more cautious about who they talked to who they were around my life personally, due to me living alone, it really didn't change much. Due to the fact that in my career, we've always practice using PPE. So just just just just seeing which is PPE, which is personal protective equipment, just to see the outside of a healthcare facility. It raise not one eyebrow, but two, it kind of take you you know, it made everyone think of the movie certain moves that we may see. The one movie that stood out to me was contagion. That's one of my favorites. And I would say to anyone, if you want to know the experience of COVID-19, to me that came the closest and the most current, you know, it taught us a lot about washing our hands even more. I noticed we won't talk about the bathroom tissue. But do, I go to the store [inaudible] a bathroom tissue and sanitizer, just like everyone else did. You know, so by me being a traveler, and coming to the west coast, the Phoenix, Phoenix Arizona area, which I resided here before. Things didn't change too much, the only thing I can say it was just limited places to visit. You know, those of us who work in health care, we work, you know, countless hours. So we you know with us, we're just happy to get off work when it's done is to love as I would say that that that was pretty much all of my change due to I guess me being more of a loner and not really having a having any small children that reside with me or any significant other. So my life really pretty much didn't change to the extent of others.

Kit Heintzman 04:50
Did anything in the workplace change? Did you change anything about how you interacted with patients?

Most definitely. We know it They were in a renal facility. They were they were heavy, heavy precautions, with, you know, with vital signs, temperature, temperature spiking temperature temperatures being taken. Just in our patient lobbies, instead of patients sitting side by side, they had to practice the six the six feet of social distancing. More More face masks are being worn. It you know, as far as with those being interjected, those were things that caused a lot of delays as far as treatments and what I mean by that is as far as the normal consistent flow of how the operation was working. So therefore, there was there was, there was a time that need to be taken as far as to take care of precautions of individuals that that you know, when temperatures spiking and this was this is unknown to everyone. So this was all new to everyone. So those were the changes. And, you know, in healthcare, we use masks anyway, we just says 2020 We just use more, a whole lot more.

Kit Heintzman 06:07
What are some of the things you noticed in your colleagues reactions to the pandemic?

Dwelyn Williams 06:14
Notice, you know, some individuals, you know, with wearing the mask, I will say that was a big thing for everyone with the pain wearing for so long throughout the day, lack of breathing, experience with shortness of breath, feeling overworked. Even as far as pain, wearing behind the ears or wearing a mask for so long. Glass, as far as I know, for those of us who work glass, our glasses fog. I know, with me, my allergies, I think probably increased a little bit more due to the fabric and the mask as well as co workers as well. One thing I did notice the benefits of wearing the masks you focus more individuals, their eyes, that eye contact more. And you know, you can tell when someone's smiling or if someone you know, frowns or in deep thought so it raised it brought to me the eyes are the windows to the soul. So for to me and my coworkers. I think it brought us more closer together and be able to be more focused, I would say.

Kit Heintzman 07:18
Do you remember when you first heard about COVID-19?

Dwelyn Williams 07:22
Yes, I do. Yes. I actually remember hearing about it. I remember I was in Las Vegas, March of 2020. And I remember seeing I was cutting through the casino. And I think it was Harrah's Casino if I'm not mistaken. No, it was the LINQ. And I remember seeing the Italian Army there for some reason, and just seen it on the news. You know, I was totally oblivious of it. It was kind of out of place. And mind you I lived in Las Vegas for seven years. But you know, these gentlemen, this kind of stood out. And I do remember a young lady from the state of Wyoming and I'm not sure it was sort of like Midwest. But I remember meeting her for the first time at the conference that we had in Las Vegas. And I didn't see her for like a day or two up until the last day on because we did like a lot of interaction. But word got out. Let's do people less, less handshaking, less hugging, less talking, you know, whispering there's less there's less of that. But this one young lady. I'll never forget she said to me. She said I don't know if it was something I ate. She said but I was nauseous the past two days I had a headache. So I was sweating. She was I had diarrhea. And she said I was on my menstrual. She said she says like something was fighting to get out of me. And remember, no one really knew about COVID-19 in the in the severe effects. I have reason to believe that it was real at that point in time. Due to her experience when I look back on it months later after the fact you know because I kid you not whenever this was sparked upon us. Some of us thought oh, it was just another strain of the flu. Is it, it'll pass. Not until one of my mentors which is she's she's she's she's a she's a registered nurse staff. She trained technician. Her name is Eric Walker and she said you know she said brother, she said no, this is serious. She said anytime the CDC put something that she is very serious. And that's whenever that's when I started stopped taking it lightly and that was after April that was in May. You got me experiencing what I saw in March with with little whispers about it and then up into April, they went in full effect and then you know May it just shot through the roof and above above the stars.

Kit Heintzman 09:50
Was there a lock down where you were?

Dwelyn Williams 09:53
Well, when I was in Orlando, Florida there was a curfew as far as workwise. There was never a lock down because I've work in health care, and you know health care doesn't stop. When I came to the Phoenix Arizona area, same rules apply, there were more hours being cut department stores or they weren't open. But I never experienced a lock down. I think mainly you was probably posted, you probably see those more hospital facilities. So I work outpatient, so if we never had a lock down, it was pretty much, you know, it was it was like the regular flow tracking for us and outpatient dialysis facility. We've always took precautions and health care and let alone in renal facilities as well. So no lockdown.

Kit Heintzman 10:39
How are you able to keep up with outpatient care like demands with the need?

Dwelyn Williams 10:45
Oh, man, definitely more teamwork, you definitely have to have of a lot more patients, patients for your patients. That makes sense. And what I've noticed with majority of managers, facility administrators, there were there were daily meetings daily through corporate via zoom, a, you know, we all have FaceTime, but we all got to really experience zoom, you know, and, you know, that's what helped with with the updates with the with the constant updates with the constant listen to the news. And just just just being open and being more aware and be more alert of your surroundings. So that's what changed. And like I said, before, you know, in a dialysis facility, we've always worked together anyway, you know, as far as you know, you know, I watch your back, you watch mine. So it was definitely, it definitely put a lot of people to the test, as far as the definition of the word team.

Kit Heintzman 11:47
What got you interested in doing this kind of work?

Dwelyn Williams 11:51
Oh, my goodness, my, my mother suffered from ESRD, which is stage renal disease back in the mid 90s. And those of us who know who've been his career, I've been doing this for 22 years. So half my life, I'm 45 years old, years old now. When when whenever we would take my mother to her treatments, we were totally clueless about what dialysis was, they gotta think about back in the 90s dialysis, nobody really much didn't know too much about it. And now it's considered, quote unquote, a fad. You know, it's like, who doesn't know about dialysis now, you know, opposed to back in early 90s. So what sparked my interest was, I was curious for one, it not only affected her, but it affected our whole family. You know, being able to see your, you know, your mother, father, siblings, etc, children, etc, to see them suffering, and not being able to do nothing thing about it that were terrible. Anyway, I got to the career based on curiosity, of why my mother felt the way she did. And it can happen to me, you can have anybody in our family individuals that we knew, we know. And we knew children, you know, kids, grandkids, etc. So curiosity got, you know, it definitely killed the cat with me getting more involved. I took it upon myself to move to Charlotte, North Carolina, is where I started my career now. And, you know, I guess I'm really telling my age, so 45, but you know, back then, you couldn't go indeed, or monster, you had to go to the unemployment office in North Carolina and get a referral. And, you know, it's kind of like going to the library, you know, kids now they don't know how it was go to the library or picking up a phone or let's not talk about the pay phones and video and VCRs and tape recorder that Oh, so you know, so with all that being said, things have over the decades. And it's not until I remember telling my mother that I entered the field. And she told me one thing she said, one thing I want you to know is that you know, the individuals that you take care of, and I don't like to say patients, the people that we that I helped take care of just the you know, they have lives, too, they have lives. And she's, I want you to think of me, whenever you look at each and every one of your patients, she said think of me and how you want me to be treated, how you want to be treated. And she's the be yourself. She said because individuals who you provide care for. They can see you better than you can see yourself and they're going to know if you serve a purpose with passion, and if you want to be there you want to show up and show out. So I would say overall, one word curiosity got the best of me.

Kit Heintzman 14:43
I'd love to hear more about why you don't use the word patient.

Dwelyn Williams 14:51
Oh, let me tell you so I remember attending NKF conference in Boston, Massachusetts about four or five years ago. I was talking to one of a friend of mine name is Sam Trevino. He's very, very well known in the renal world. Sam and Lacey Trevino, which is his wife, Sam Trevino receive a transplant from his wife. And we were sitting in Boston, Massachusetts in the lounge and he said, you know, we just got to talk and and he said, Dwelyn, you know, you know, I wish he said with a calm voice his Dwelyn you know, I don't like to say patients, he said were people. And when he said it to me, I've always kind of felt that and the one thing I will say about the culture in a dialysis facility we're like family we see each other three times a week on a constant consistent basis. So in some some of the individuals that I provide care, I help provide care for some of them, are to the point are of age of being old as my mother, they could be a brother, sister, even some that are younger than my age, etc. So this is this isn't just their life here in dialysis. Yes, we know we help provide care, we help them but you know, saying, saying patient to me personally, I feel like it's a little belittling only because of what I see on a daily basis. Now, individuals I when I tell them that they like it like [inaudible] no one has ever gotten offended by saying patient because they know that they here we here to provide a service. But when Sam Trevino said it to me, I just started addressing the individual that we provide care for, which I've always, I've always addressed them with their name, but instead of me saying, the patient I take care of I say, the individual that I work with, because we do work together. And I can't do the job without the individual that we provide care for, which is known as our patients. So basically, the reason why I like to say that I always catch myself saying it.

Kit Heintzman 17:11
What are some of the things that you may have noticed about the people you're working with what's changing for them?

Dwelyn Williams 17:20
More stressed out more due to like heavy workload constant hours. And this is a change that I think we all adjust to getting adjusted to adjusted to notice more burnout notice more individuals that I you know, I work in a hospital system here as well. And I asked this question to one of the nurses and she said Dwelyn the hardest thing was seeing the death. She said that's it I know that this was it was beyond real. It was surreal experiencing individuals close to you, that sort of from COVID-19 all passed I myself know individuals who caught COVID-19 Coronavirus, COVID-19. And they they passed on majority, you know, you know, they got through it. So, I will say how ages affected everyone emotionally, physically, mentally, with a sudden change. It was a it was a big change. It was it was you know, it was a game changer. But this was not a game.

Kit Heintzman 18:36
Curious 2020 had so much going on. That wasn't just the pandemic. And then the same could be said for 2021. And 2022 also has a lot. I'm wondering other than COVID-19 What have been some of the other social and political issues on your mind?

Dwelyn Williams 18:55
Oh, you know, you know, when this pandemic hit, it was it was I always say it's 50/50 I say that because it was bad and it was good. It was bad due to the due to the sudden changes of individuals losing their jobs, losing their career losing their businesses, individuals getting divorces, breakups, family loss, etc. which took a total everybody the other 50 It was good because I think a lot of individuals and even myself included, realize their potential for the more entrepreneurial entrepreneurship solopreneurship and you know, we at kidney trails we based on life lessons, and I hate to say it came at a perfect time for me to realize my potential as a graphic novel, graphic novelist and to be a part of the kidney trails if everybody has noticed that there were more, everybody wasn't was an entrepreneur, and everybody realized their potential. And they succeeded. A lot of people really realized there were things that they could do that they know that couldn't they thought that couldn't be done. So I guess, I guess I guess what the saying goes, you never know how strong you are. Whenever that's all that you're able to do. That's all you got.

Kit Heintzman 20:28
I'd love to hear more about you doing artwork with graphic novels, during the pandemic and how that came about to you.

Dwelyn Williams 20:38
Oh, yes. Oh, God, I love that. Yeah. You know, I've always, you know, growing up, I always wanted to be an animator or cartoonist. And, um, and I do have drawing skills. Because, you know, my siblings, they also are, you know, very artistic as well. I kind of like, I kind of got away from that. But it always has been a slip back in my mind, who doesn't love a good comic book or a Marvel or DC movie? I've always been facinated on the animation. Even my personality is pretty much anime and animated. If you can see my face now, you probably will say that. Yeah, I concur. You know. But you know, I like to tell you something. When I was in Orlando, Florida 2017. I remember it was either Tuesday, Thursday or Saturday. I never forget this. I remember one of the little individuals that I helped provide care for. I saw him drawing in his chair. I didn't see him drawing I saw him just kind of doodling a little bit. And I was so amazed with this gentleman, his name is Tori Harris. I was so amazed by him, because when I saw on his poster board, I didn't even take my break. I think I sit and talk with him my whole break. And this gentleman, he's from the Bronx, New York, but he's in Orlando, Florida. And he said to me, I said man do you draw? And he was like, yeah, just nonchalantly, he's like yeah. And I said, no, that you draw that, that I see before me, he was like, yeah, and he, he was like a comic strip. It wasn't colored as black and white. It was like a perfect comic strip, like someone took a picture. He reached in his bag and say, Yeah, I have my own comic book. And I was like, No way I'm thinking, you know, he's paying, you know, charging $20, $30, whatever. I didn't know, only $5. And what I did was he had a website, so I bought the comic book off of his website, you know, because I couldn't give him money on the floor. Because you know, that those one of the boundaries. of you know that patient care, you know, can't do that. I wanted to, but I didn't. And I had him make the flyer, by me running for, I was, at the time I was running for an NAHT, which is the National Association of Heathcare Technicians, I' was running for president, he actually drew me a flyer of me standing beside machine, I still got that picture too. And it was so amazing, because there were individuals that knew me and didn't know he said that that looked like me. So therefore I knew he was talented, so fast forward, him and I've always kept in touch with social media and Instagram, or you know, or Facebook, you know, after I left Orlando. And I say, hey man, I would like you to draw for me. And he is actually my illustrator now, and he is still on dialysis. So our Illustrator for the kidney trails, he is on dialysis. I think that right there, inspirational, you know, by itself will let renal patient know that that's a thing that they can do. And also, with his graphic novel, Anthony Reed reached out to me two years ago, and said you're gonna have to, he said, Dwelyn, he said, I want you to run a blog for me. I'll let you do that. Because, you know, people might know I'm pretty well known on social media. As far as LinkedIn, I would saying. And I said, what about? He's like I want you to write about a patient's first dialisis. I said, I can't write about that, I'm not on dialysis. He said, well, let me ask you, how long you've been doing, how long have you been a technician? And at the time, it was, what, 20 years? Two decades? So you mean to tell me two decades you have not experienced someones first dialisis? So Anthony Reed he was saying [inaudible] perspective. I was like, Oh, right. I said let me think about it didn't take long I said, you know, that I can just write this one story. So this is something that is endless and timeless. I said, because every renal patient has a different story. He says you're getting it. And I said how do you feel about turning this into a comic book form. He's a Yeah, Anthony Reed loves comics. He's a DC. He's more of a DC fan. I'm more of a Marvel fan, you know. So he says to me, let's not call it a comic book. It holds more stature and credentials, more status, we use a graphic novel. And I don't know if you can see but my the picture that I have up that's the picture of the graphic novel and that's our model. Make your story what we've been and make your story viable one word at a time. And I've got nothing great, great support and comments about the cover photo, because it paint a picture of a renal patient sad, you see a gentleman, which is me handing her, you know, the tissue to wipe her tears, you see the dye line. And so those are things that people can relate. So the graphic novel, this, the star character is my mother, AW. And my mother is deceased. She died in 2003, at age 56. So what I did with this graphic novel was, I took myself back in time, to whenever she was living I brought her to the present of where I'm at in my career, based on me, wishing that I was able to supply her with the knowledge while she was going through dialisis in the 90s. So I kind of went through a little time warp, you know, it's kind of like, Hey, Ma, I want to tell you what to expect. And just hoping that anyone who reads this novel, and read my story will be able to cope with that, and their family be able to understand how they feel. So I have not met one renal patient dialisis patient that can really say to me or their family, what they are going through. So I want you to ask yourself a question, Kit, you know? If someone were to say Hey, what do you do for a living? Or how was your day at work, honey, etc, whatever you like. You don't have a clue. Or you say I don't talk about it. Whether it was a stressful day. If it was a good day, you still have a hard time explaining it. But if we all could paint a picture of how our day is on a daily basis. Oh, man, you know, it's more given than anything. So that's what got me and inspired me up to the day to want to print more graphic novels for not only just renal patients, but for everyone in the whole world to see it. And that's what we try to supply the kidney trails.

Kit Heintzman 27:04
Curious, what does the word health mean to you?

Dwelyn Williams 27:07
Oh, the word health means humble means to cherish it means possible chance to mean hope. It means awareness. It means being grateful, sincere, compassionate, empathetic, sympathetic. It's overall grand. Because when you say we're health people say, Are you in good health? I was only [inaudible]. And that's why I say that.

Kit Heintzman 27:51
What do you think we would need to do as a society to make that version of health that you just described attainable for everyone?

Dwelyn Williams 28:03
Go beyond advocacy. With advocacy, you know, and I'm all about advocacy. I think we need to go beyond advocacy. Because advocacy to me is you just in one room talking to everyone who already knows about what we're talking about, if that makes sense. So I live by this role model. If you're the smartest person in the room, you're in the wrong room. So we need to step outside of advocacy. We need to step outside of advocacy for one. And that's where we will that's where I'm modeling explore the unknown territory. And which I agree with that so much. And I fully understand when Anthony Reed said that he said, you know, Dwelyn, what's the purpose of someone who needs a transplant to talk to other people about them need a transplant, if theyre not going to go beyond that. And try to reach out to individuals who can help them other than just say, hey, I need transplant. Yeah, me too, et cetera, et cetera, they hit a brick wall. So as a society, we need we, I feel that we need to, we need to go beyond advocacy. Advocacy is good. You know, I support advocacy, but I go beyond advocacy. More initiative, being more accountable for our actions, being able to agree to disagree with each other, despite our race, religion, political reasoning, etc. That's the major hump that that we have to get over there is still an uphill battle. You know, to say the least, you know, the world. I think I'm a firm believer in Bob Marley. I said there's both good in the world and there is bad because it was so bad you and I will not be on this call right now. So this is possible [inaudible]. Advocacy, go further than advocacy and raise more awareness.

Kit Heintzman 29:58
What does the word safety mean to you?

Dwelyn Williams 30:01
Safety, it means security, security at all costs, security 360, security all around. That's what safety means to me, it means being secure. And when you think security that can be physical or mental, it can be secure, just know that you can feel safe. But yeah, I will say security overall.

Kit Heintzman 30:23
Thinking about the sort of narrow definition of physical safety under COVID, what are some of the things that you've been doing to keep yourself feeling safer?

Dwelyn Williams 30:34
More and more hand washing, more and more, wiping down anywhere, that should be touched, as far as they say, you know, doorknobs, handles, chairs, bathrooms, kitchens, build a more cautious and be a little more clean definite hand washing, because, you know, that's the first part of contact, you know, universal precautions, hand washing, you know, that we learned that we learned that, you know, in healthcare, we learned that all around even kid in school, they know that you know, hand washing, constant hand washing, because those are the main means of transferring transmit anything, any and everything.

Kit Heintzman 31:21
How are you feeling about the immediate future?

Dwelyn Williams 31:25
I feel good I think with this pandemic, it opened a lot of eyes, it opened a lot of individuals third eye as well, as a very competent confidence, I feel I feel more and more secure. Still, you know, you know, bringing more awareness as I stopped, but I feel more and more secure.

Kit Heintzman 31:47
What are some of your hopes for a longer term future?

Dwelyn Williams 31:51
Some my hopes are, you know, overall with me to go further my career with the kidney trails. And as far as my career as a health care, you go to health care provider. You know, watching my children get older and grow more, my grandkids as well. Overall, I'm working on my legacy to leave behind, you know, one of the legacies are, we're talking right now, this is a part of my legs, my legs to get to share my story, be a part of the kidney trails being let let everyone know that you can accomplish something through hard times, that's what happened to me, I'll be honest with you, I probably never would have, you know, became a graphic novelist, if it wasn't for the pandemic. That's why I always say I'm 50/50 on it, I don't get political with the pandemic, you know, as far as saying, Oh, I think this was a hoax, I think it was put into the atmosphere, yada, etcetera, because that's something that we could talk about all day, every day. So that's, that's, that's, that's my plan, working more on my legacy, improving my awareness, being more accountable for myself. You know, be more empathetic with individuals that provide care for I try to practice that daily, be more compassionate. Don't be quick to judge the three sides of every story his, hers, and the truth. And just learn to, you know, not to chastise, but let's try to pick the situation, let's try to, you know, get more of a kind of common ground. Agree, to disagree. And instead of saying we have a problem, let's start saying, let's find a solution. Because, you know, problems gone be here when we dead and gone.

Kit Heintzman 33:36
In times of stress over the last couple of years, who's been supportive of you? Who have you been able to turn to?

Dwelyn Williams 33:49
I will say my brothers and my sister, even my kids even my grandkids, so some of my friends that I consider mentors. So I have great, I have a great support group, but also I look into myself as well, you know, it's talk with yourself, that's what the home is. So that was my main support, you know, family, friends, close friends, mentors, even some co workers as well.

Kit Heintzman 34:17
And what are some of the things you do to take care of yourself?

Dwelyn Williams 34:21
Oh, you know, I've started you know, watching more about what I eat, getting more rest, which is more important. I don't exercise like I know I should but you know, I do a lot of stretching. I do a lot of stretching and I go for a walk for a mile or two every day before I go to bed.

Kit Heintzman 34:48
I'd like you to imagine speaking to a historian in the future, someone far enough away that they have no lived experience about this moment. What would you tell them cannot be for forgotten about this period of time and COVID-19?

Dwelyn Williams 35:06
What cannot be, what cannot be forgotten this period of time I will say everyone you meet in your life has a last day with you, we just, we just don't know what it is. Cherish the moment that you have with the individual that you love. Definitely, definitely control more of eating habits. Develop a more routine. As far as taking care of yourself with you know, I would say exercise be a little bit more clean, I would say. You know, I love that questions, you said there because now I'm thinking about what I tell my grandkids because the children had to experience wearing a mask to the kids thought they thought was fun, you know, and if they were asked, you know how I feel about it. At this point in time, you know, looking back, I would say, you know, it was it was scary. It was it was afraid, being afraid of the unknown. So I would tell a historian, explore the unknown territory. And that's what we are based on when the kids are they explore the unknown territory, step outside the box. Step outside the circle within the box. Definitely explore the unknown.

Kit Heintzman 36:36
I want to thank you so much for spending this time with me today. I know you have to run. So I just want to open some space at this point. If there's anything you'd like to share that my questions haven't made room for, please take some space and share it.

Dwelyn Williams 36:49
Oh, yeah, well you know I'd like to say that. It was actually is actually refreshing to to speak in all so I will say that it was therapeutic. You know, one thing I've learned is sometimes when individuals are speaking or talking, they just want someone to listen. And, you know, this is you and I first time meeting so therefore you're non bias and vice versa. So therefore, a lot of times, you know, we talk to someone that's non bias or that you don't know. You don't feel as though you're being judged. I would say it's like it's like a clean slate. So I will say that, you know, that's the that's the most rewarding things today, you know, being able to speak with you and it's a privilege and honor for you to have me on here. I really appreciate that.

Kit Heintzman 37:39
I appreciate you.

Dwelyn Williams 37:41
Thank you so much.

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