March 27, 2015
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March 17, 2015
Saintsation Kriste was a guest speaker at the Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) Foundation's Leadership Conference in Kansas City, Mo., from Feb. 20-22. There were more than 100 people in attendance; two representatives from each state and some representatives from Canada. Attendees were chapter coordinators and leaders across the country with goals of updating each other on ongoing kidney research and continuing to raise awareness of PKD.
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Voices of PKD
Five years ago, at age 13, I was diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease (PKD) after a series of visits to the emergency room with severe abdominal pain and vomiting. PKD, which causes cysts to grow on the kidneys, eventually leads to kidney failure and can cause a kidney to weigh up to 30 pounds. I am the youngest person in my family to be diagnosed. PKD is a genetic disease and parents with PKD have a 50 percent chance of passing the disease to each of their children. My mother, grandfather and great grandfather all have PKD.
Not only did I find out I had a genetic disease with no treatment or cure, I also had to learn it was a disease that despite affecting thousands in the U.S. and millions world wide had many unknowns and inconsistencies. While as a young teenager all I wanted to do was ignore this imperfection I realized that because I was diagnosed at such a young age, I had the opportunity to help. Unwilling to accept the feeling of powerlessness when facing PKD my mom and I turned to The PKD Foundation, an organization solely dedicated to finding treatments and a cure for PKD, to get involved in a brighter future for the disease.