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    I have had several emails in the past few days that have noticed I have not posted so I decided it was time to share with everybody what is going on in my life.

    There are a few of you who know that I am in “end stage kidney failure”. I have an inherited disease called POLYSYSTIC KIDNEY DISEASE. In my research I have discovered it came from my father’s side probably through the SPENCER family. To compound the problem I am also diabetic with severe arthritis and an anerysm on the right side of the brain.

    Just after Christmas I visited a dialysis clinic where I will be doing dialysis three times a week. They were very nice and I interviewed with a dialysis nurse who told me what I can expect from here on out. The first step is surgery to place what is called a fistula into my left arm. This is the port they use for the dialysis.

    Many have ask about a transplant. I don’t know if that is an option for me as I have been told I am a poor risk with the anerysm ,however, both of my daughters have tested negetive for the gene and have offered me a kidney if canpatible. I guess we wait and see what God has in store for me.

    Over the next few months I will probably be in and out of the forum. I do need to stay busy and could use all your prayers. I set a goal many years ago to find the parents of my Meredith Collins and I have not given up yet. I want to thank Linda for keeping this forum going. I have made many friends here. I want to thank Bill for all his help and so many others for their input in the forum. I am not going away , just slowing down.

    Brenda 🙂


    Hello Brenda,

    Just wanted you to know I am praying for you and your health…..and I appreciate all of the helpful research you have done on the Collins’s.

    God certainly gave you a wonderful talent and you are using it well!!!

    I hope and pray that your goal will be met and you will have to set yourself another goal to work on for the next 30 years!!!!

    Thanks for updating us about your health, so our thoughts and prayers for you can be more specific.

    Take care and my prayers are sent your way.

    Your cousin,



    Hello Brenda, Ihave a friend that was not in the best of health and I missed sharing this w/ him, he had many things in common with you.

    To be short, there is a plant called uva ursi or ursa, bear berry commonly called ‘kinikinik” it is a very well documented kidney medication containing (arbutin) element that flush’s out the bad from your kidneys, a well documented herb check it out I know it helps, stay healthy and with us us, always a friend Tom


    Brenda, I am adding you to my daily prayers. I wish you comfort, peace and clarity in your struggle.




    Dear Brenda,

    You are in my prayers.


    Deborah (coheelady)



    You are in my thoughts and prayers too.



    Brenda, we love you. You will always be here.


    Dear Family,

    Thank all of you for your prayers and continued support. It means a lot to me to know that you are just a keyboard away.

    I went in for my weekly blood work and iron shots this morning. It was sooooo cold outside I just wanted to crawl back into bed but that wasn’t an option.

    Tom I am going to check into the herb you told me about. My doctor won’t let me take anything without approval by him. He is from India and is very careing.

    Nancy, I have been doing genealogy since I was 17 years old. I enjoy it and if truth be known it has been my salvation. God knowes if I hadn’t had it when my husband passed away I don’t think I would be here. I have found several medical problems connected with the Collins line. Arthritis and Diabetis are in every generation. My hands looks just like my fathers and my grandfathers with huge nodes and twisted fingers. My grandparents had 11 children and 9 of them were diabetic. The PKD is found in my Spencer line which connects with the Collins. I can only hope that some of what I have learned has helped in some way.


    What was that story about how you got into all this? It was something about your mother passing away and not being able to find a box of family records she’d promised you, and then a year to the day after she’d died the box suddenly appeared in the mail.


    My mother was orphaned when she was 2 days old and didn’t find out this until she was a teenager. She was raised by a childless couple, the Godfrey’s (from the line of Thomas & Susannah Stephenson Godfrey), Wyoming Co. Va/WV.

    When mother found out she was adopted she started asking questions and searching for her natural family. It was through my mother that I became interested in family history.

    In 1987 my mother and stepfather came to Massachusetts for what would become their last visit. Daddy worked for the Burlington Northern( Old Northern Pacific) Railroad and he was allowed to travel with his wife for a fraction of the cost. They stayed two weeks with me then my cousin, who lived up here, drove them to West Virginia where they stayed another two weeks before heading back to Tacoma, Washington.

    Mother passed away in March of 1988 and without her my interest in family history faded. I packed all my information, notebooks, and letters into a box and put them away.

    January 1989 the UPS truck pulled up in front of my house and the driver handed me a box. He said it looked like it had been around the world. As I stood there and looked at that box tears started flowing down my face as I reconized the handwritting of my mother. The post date was three weeks before her death and inside was two notebooks, a diary of expensives her occured when she was pregrant with me, pictures, negitives, and old letters from many people she communicated with.

    Did mother know she was close to death when she mailed this box? Why did it take so long to get to me? I had so many questions. I went to my closet and took down my box of information and I have never stopped searching.

    About 5 years ago a lady seen my website and emailed me that she thought we were cousins. She lives in New Mexico but her people came from West Virginia and Ohio. Carol sent me a large envelope with the entire Perry Family line with surnames of Allman, Lyons, Fisher, Stansbury, Goff, Griggs, Ferrell, Weatherholt, Marks, Mace, and Patterson. I wish mother had been here to share this with but I have to believe that somehow she had a part in my finding the way.

    Mother never discouraged me from searching for my heritage. She always told me that in her day that elders were very close mouthed about a lot of things and not to get discouraged when people wouldn’t openly talk. She was right.


    Tom says…..there is a plant called uva ursi or ursa, bear berry commonly called ‘kinikinik” it is a very well documented kidney medication containing (arbutin) element that flush’s out the bad from your kidneys,

    Tom I did a search for “kinikinik” and it came up to be a form of Tobacco. Is this what you are speaking of above? When you said “flush out the bad from your kidney’s” I thought it was an herb that you drank. The search was interesting. I pulled up a site on the Chipawa Indians of northern Michigan who uses the kinikinik in ceromonies.


    Hey Brenda yes it’s the same herb, it is added to tobacco and other herbs to make a smoking mixture often called “KInikinik”.

    I think that every herb has atleast 4 maybe 7 uses for food, medicine etc, it’s the one that you found.

    The chemical in it is Arbutin, in the plant/ natural form; it is made into a green tea, you could add mint, raspberry leaves, etc, makes it taste better, usually fairly bland..

    All the Very Best , your friend Tom

    vance hawkins

    Brenda, you are in my prayers — I think i have a knack for sticking my foot in my mouth, maybe saying somehting and later thinking about it, and realize maybe I offended someone. I just mean to be honest and truthful. It is important to me not to do this yet sometimes I do anyhow.

    My mother passed away last year and my dad 11 years ago. Mom was 87 and dad 77 — and I am not as young myself as I used to be and my body is starting to feel it! But I can still jog 10 km (6.6 mi) miles . . . if I stop every once in a while and walk a little ways . . . 🙂 I wanna keep that up as long as I can.

    I wanna thank you for all your help to me and others also. I may have never said it so I will now — I have a lotta respect for you. You have earned it 100 times over.



    Hello Folks, I am back……been in the hospital since the 3rd quarter of the Patroits game on Sunday. Didn’t get to see our guys win 🙁 . Oh well it was great to hear the score and know they will be in the super bowl game.


    Bill Childs

    Hey, Brenda,

    You didn’t miss a lot after the middle of the 3rd quarter !

    You’uns just out-played we’uns.

    Take care,



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