John Vallarelli

I was diagnosed in 1993. Initially hospitalized for diverticulitis, I had a CAT scan and the next morning, seven doctors showed up to my room and told me I have PKD. Was I shocked? No; surprised, yes. My mom had it, too, and was doing ok.

Several weeks later, as my wife is pregnant with our daughter, her ultrasounds saw a larger than normal kidney. I knew right then it was that gene. After our daughter’s birth, we took blood from her, my mom and me and genetic testing proved what we already suspected.

Today I have 55% function with no issues. There are challenges, yes, but nothing is insurmountable. Our daughter Rachel, I hope and pray that treatments will be found in her lifetime. For my wife, she has the burden of having both of us affected, she is the tough one!