Published on August 9, 2022 | The 2022 Walk for PKD is nearly here! As we countdown the days until our first Walk events, we’re highlighting another member of our community who makes these events possible. Helping lead the Sacramento Walk for PKD, is Walk Ambassador Larianne Austin.
What brought you to the PKD Foundation?
Larianne: PKD has affected my family five generations. My grandmother spent almost 17 years on dialysis. My dad and two uncles have received life-saving kidney transplants. I have PKD, as does my daughter, sister, niece, and cousin.
Of all the volunteer options at the PKDF, what made you become a Walk Ambassador?
Larianne: Since 2008, I’ve volunteered and participated as a team captain for the Sacramento Walk for PKD. I enjoy event planning, so when the previous Walk Ambassador stepped down I decided to step up.
What’s your favorite part about being a Walk Ambassador?
Larianne: Walk Day for sure! I love seeing families come together to share stories, offer encouragement, and raise awareness, all with a common goal…to end PKD!
What should people attending the Walk for the first time know about the event?
Larianne: That it’s an event for all—patients, caregivers, family, and friends, joining efforts to raise awareness and money to find a cure for PKD.
Do you have a favorite Walk memory?
Larianne: A few years ago, a woman walked up to the registration area in tears. Her teenage son had just been diagnosed with PKD and she thought it was a death sentence. I introduced her to our Community Ambassador, Julia Adams, who’s daughter received a kidney transplant at age 22. After talking with Julia, she walked away feeling hopeful and encouraged. The following year, the family showed up with a team of close to 100 people. One of the many times I’ve witnessed the power of community and connection at the Walk.
What advice do you have for those who want to become a volunteer?
Larianne: Don’t be afraid to jump in! The PKD Foundation provides all the tools (and amazing support) to make the job easier. And remember, volunteers don’t have the time, they have the heart! 💜
Interested in becoming a Walk for PKD Ambassador? Email our team to see if there are volunteer openings in your area. You can also checkout this other Walk Ambassador spotlight to learn more. And while not everyone has the time to become a volunteer, we hope you’ll just us at your local Walk! Register today at walkforpkd.org. As you fundraise and grow your Walk team, we’re here to support you every step of the way.