Gratitude: A celebratory benefit for the PKD Foundation

The KlingbeilsThe Klingbeils

Philanthropists of the year Honoree

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Sally and James

For Sally and James Klingbeil, helping the PKD Foundation has been a longtime family passion. In recognition of the great impact of their contributions, Sally and James will be presented with the Philanthropists Award at the 2017 Gratitude: A Celebratory Benefit on April 22, in San Francisco, California. They hope this will encourage others to support the Foundation as they have for so many years. “Being honored with this award is a way to enhance PKD’s cause.”

Sally’s mother passed from complications of PKD when Sally was 16, and each of her three deceased siblings suffered from the disease as well. Sally was diagnosed with PKD in 1983, though she considers herself fortunate that she did not have symptoms for most of her life. A kidney from an altruistic living donor in 2008, before she needed dialysis, renewed her drive to help. “Supporting the PKD Foundation became a major focus for our family. This is particularly important for James and me as two of our four children have PKD.” And even several years after her transplant, PKD-related heart issues still affect Sally. “My PKD story did not end with my transplant.”

When James learned about the disease that ran through Sally’s family, he became determined to make a difference. A successful businessperson, James served on the Foundation’s Board from 2000 to 2010. “With Sally and our children having PKD, we needed to do all we could to find treatments. There have been tremendous strides in research. I feel Sally and I have been a part of supporting that.”

Reflecting on his time on the Board, James says that “We were focused on widening the circle of people who could donate, by trying to reach people impacted by PKD and encouraging them to financially support the Foundation. An important part of this was encouraging people to be public about having PKD. Often people do not want to share their stories openly, but awareness is so important for us to be able to raise funds. ”

Sally and James believe that helping raise awareness and giving time is as important as giving money. Their daughter Anne Ryan, who also has PKD, has been a PKD Foundation Board member since 2012.

James knows their support is making a difference, “There are promising treatments on the horizon, and I feel very good about the clinical studies taking place.” They both believe that “It doesn’t get any more personal than your family. If you want to make a difference for future generations, donating to the Foundation should be a priority. We encourage people with PKD in their family to stretch as far as they can and make the Foundation their number one charity.”