This Walk for PKD season, we saw the return of an event spearheaded by a volunteer who is passionate about connecting with his PKD community. We recently reached out to Parker Burns of the Salt Lake City Chapter to hear more about the relaunch of his local Walk:
On October 7, 2017, Salt Lake City had its first Walk for PKD in over 7 years. As the Walk Coordinator for the Salt Lake City Chapter, I did not realize the magnitude of the event I had taken on. The advice Beth Leven provided me a few months ago was fantastic, but proved to be much more difficult to put into practice. I found myself taking on too much responsibility, but once I started to delegate tasks, things ran much smoother.
I was amazed at the level of outreach from the local community. I had strangers reaching out to me to find out how they could help, and even had a woman show up, uninvited, to lend a helping hand during the setup for the Walk. Local businesses donated their time and services, often times without me even asking for it. I was blown away by the level of support I received from my community.
Beth’s advice to organize everything and make lists was incredibly helpful, especially in the days leading up to the event. We had lists for supplies, snacks, registrants, shirts, set-up and clean-up. When the time came to put on the Walk, all we had to do was put the pieces together. Everyone had their responsibilities, and knew the game plan.
One moment that stood out to me during the Walk was the sense of community that began to develop. Entire families came together to support their friends and loved ones. I even had the pleasure of meeting a little girl with ARPKD and her family during the event. Just over a year ago, the only other person I had met with PKD was my mother, yet on October 7, I found myself surrounded by people who understand this disease. The money that was raised for PKD research is our way of fighting for a cure, but the connections we made at the Walk for PKD is our way of finding community and support.