Mother who lost two sons to ARPKD takes on mission to help other affected families

Marquila Turner at the 2018 Austin Walk for PKD, walking in memory of her sons

In honor of October being Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Month, we want to recognize families who have lost loved ones to PKD. We recently reached out to Marquila Turner, a member of the North Texas Chapter, to hear her story and honor the lives of her sons:

On Dec. 30, 2009, I lost my first son to ARPKD. During my pregnancy, I had no idea I was a carrier and was never tested. My sonograms showed he had enlarged kidneys, an enlarged heart, and that his lungs were not fully developed. After I gave birth, he lived for an hour. During my six week check up I was told this wouldn’t happen again, so I was scared to have kids. I now have a 9-year-old daughter and she’s fine.

Marquila’s sons, Cameron and Eric Jr.

Eight years after losing my first son, I decided to try again and this time I had a high-risk doctor. Everything went well until I was 26 weeks along and my sonogram showed my second son had low amniotic fluid and kidneys so enlarged, we couldn’t check his lungs’ development. I was tested and my son’s diagnosis came back as Autosomal Recessive Polycystic Kidney Disease (ARPKD). The doctor explained to me what ARPKD was but I was still confused because I had never heard of it. I went home and started researching so I could learn more.

At 33 weeks, another sonogram showed that my baby boy’s kidneys and stomach had gotten larger and I started panicking and getting scared. Just four weeks later, at 37 weeks, I gave birth to my prince Cameron and he lived for 11 hours. During those 11 hours I got to read him a book, bathe him, feed him, talk and play with him and much more. After, I fell into depression and was scared to even get pregnant again.

Marquila and her daughter

Without the support of my family, friends and co-workers, I don’t know where I would be. I’m also grateful for the support I’ve found with the PKD Foundation. I walked at this year’s Austin Walk For PKD on April 14 and got to engage with people and family members of people with PKD. I learned a lot from them. I will walk again at this year’s North Texas Walk For PKD on Oct. 27 as a member of the Chapter.

I want to help others mothers and families who have been affected by this disease. It would mean a lot to me because when losing a loved one, being supported and having comfort from someone who understands what you are going through is very helpful. There were no words or advice I wanted to hear when I lost my sons. I simply wanted someone to be by my side every day, to have a shoulder to lean on and let me cry it out and have someone to show pictures of my sons. I want other mothers and families to know that they are not going through this alone.

What’s your PKD story? Share with our community on the Voices of PKD page.


  1. Dwight Odland

    Marquila, thank you so much for sharing your story. You are a very strong woman. Your post, as painful as I’m sure it was to write, will help an untold number of parents out there. I’m so sorry for your losses.

  2. Linda in AZ

    You are such a blessing to others to share your story. I have ADPKD and admire you for reaching out, especially to those who have been on the same journey. What an honor to carry on your sons’ memories.

  3. Alexia Arriaza

    YOU are a very brave women. Thank you for sharing your story with us. I have a 5 YO who was born with ARPKD and received a Kidney Tx at thirteen months. We had so many ups and downs since the day of his birth. I did not know I was a carrier until I had my son at 36 weeks. I am afraid to have another baby….. I hope God continues to give you the strength and courage that you wear everyday. God Bless You and your family!

  4. Elena Ventresca

    Dear Marquila:

    You are a very strong person and mother. God bless you!

  5. Chelle Knight

    I am so sorry for losses. Your babies were beautiful. I have passed PKD on to my oldest daughter, 29 and her last MRI shows that her kidneys are enlarged. I am waiting on my kidney transplant now. But my native kidneys were so enlarged I had them removed in 2017 to make room for a new kidney. I totally support you, I walked this year in Duluth Georgia. I like to spread awareness that we need more living donors and educated people on how technology has made the process of kidney donation so simply that donors are only in the hospital for 2 days and can return to work in less than 2 weeks. We are also spreading the word on the Paired Kidney Exchange. You do not have to have the same blood type as the recipient, just be willing to join the Paired Kidney Exchange on their behalf and even though you kidney doesn’t go directly to the recipient you choose they will get a kidney and donor kidney will help another person get a kidney. The miracle there is saving two lives instead of one. Please continue to pray and keep your head up. God will always provide. He is a God of making miracles and dreams come true. Trust in the Lord. God Bless you.


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