PKD Foundation Receives $9.3 Million Donation from the Trust of Alfred Busiel, Former Owner of Lady Esther Cosmetics

This Generous Donation is an Important Step in Reaching a $70 Million Campaign Goal over the Next Five Years 

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The PKD Foundation is pleased to announce the generous gift of a donation in the amount of $9.3 million from the trust of Alfred Busiel, former owner of the cosmetic company, Lady Esther. 

Based in Kansas City, Mo., the PKD Foundation is the only organization in the United States solely dedicated to funding critical research and finding a cure for polycystic kidney disease (PKD). 

Exactly 100 Percent of Busiel’s Donation to Support PKD Research 

This significant commitment from Busiel allows the PKD Foundation to support its Future Focus Campaign, a campaign with a five-year goal to raise $70 million to increase the Foundation’s commitment to PKD research by 300 percent. 

Exactly 100 percent of Busiel’s gift is designated to research and directly supports the PKD Foundation’s vision to end PKD. 

“We are very fortunate to receive this generous donation from Mr. Busiel. This is a critical milestone in helping us achieve our Future Focus Campaign goal. Now, the Foundation only needs to raise approximately $5 million more to reach our total goal,” Andy Betts, President and CEO of the PKD Foundation said. “With generous gifts such as Mr. Busiel’s, we can spend a significant amount of our resources on doing what’s most important – focusing on new research, which is vital to making progressive strides in treatment research and to support finding a cure – our ultimate goal.” 

About Alfred Busiel 

Alfred Busiel, who had PKD, and his sister, Syma Cohen, launched Lady Esther, a successful cosmetic manufacturing company in 1913. It became America’s top selling brand of cosmetics in the United States, and in 1949, Cohen sold her half of the share in the company to her brother Busiel. 

With the original funds from the company, Busiel established the James Buchanan Brady Foundation of the New York Hospital and established a trust to support PKD research. Following Busiel’s death from PKD in 1951, Lady Esther eventually was sold. 

The PKD Foundation applied for the established trust in July 2019, and today, the donation has been placed in a restricted endowment with the yearly interest being used specifically for research with a goal of finding a cure. 

Now is the Time to Move Forward in the PKD Foundation’s Mission 

Since 1982, the PKD Foundation has taken great strides in propelling research while helping patients and families learn more about PKD and about managing the disease. In fact, over the last 30 years, the Foundation has invested more than $50 million in basic and clinical research, making the PKD Foundation the largest private funder of PKD research. 

Yet according to Betts, “Now is not the time to rest on our past achievements. Now is the time to move forward in our mission. With the support of donations to our Future Focus Campaign, we look forward to seeing promising results in research.” 

To support the PKD Foundations Future Focus Campaign, visit 

About the PKD Foundation 

The PKD Foundation has been dedicated since its founding in 1982 to supporting and improving the lives of patients impacted by polycystic kidney disease. These efforts are accomplished through promoting research to find treatments and a cure, as well as providing education, advocacy, and awareness on a national level. The Foundation provides direct services to local communities nationwide and is the largest private funder of PKD research. 

Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) is a chronic, genetic disease, characterized by uncontrolled growth of cysts in the kidneys and other organs that can lead to kidney failure. As of today, there is no known cure and only one known treatment to slow the decline of the disease. 

The PKD Foundation is the only organization in the United States solely dedicated to finding treatments and a cure for PKD. Our mission: We give hope. We fund research, advocate for patients and build a community for all affected by polycystic kidney disease (PKD). Our vision: #endPKD 

PDF of press release

For more information:

Cadie Connors
Parris Communications
(816) 352-8504

For news and media requests, contact us!

Phone: (800) 753-2873