My PKD and health challenges have led me down paths I would have never imagined: both good and bad. As difficult as it is to say and accept, I feel as though my health has control of the path that I am on. For instance, January of this year, I was enjoying my job, my life and good health. All was well. Then on February 1st, three of my vertebrae herniated. In a split second, I was taken off of that smooth path and placed on a quite bumpy one. As frustrating as this is, I try my best to focus on what I can control and what I am able to do. This is important to do while battling any obstacle in life, especially for those of us living with PKD.
The other day I was talking with my mom and tried to imagine where I would be in life and what I would be doing if it weren’t for PKD. During the conversation, I realized that the core of my being would be the same. My mom agreed and said, “You were such a happy, spunky, grateful child.” This disease does not define me. It has not changed who I am. It is just one of the paths I walk in life.
In 17 days, I will be comforted and reminded that I am not alone in this battle at the annual Sacramento Chapter Walk for PKD. The Walks are like a family reunion where kindred spirits surround you. You see old friends and make new ones. I will have the honor of speaking during the Sacramento Walk for PKD kick-off ceremony. It will be very emotional to look out at the crowd knowing everyone there is touched by PKD in some way. They are walking because they have PKD, know someone who does, loves someone who does and everyone is united to help END PKD for all of us suffering from this disease.
On September 22nd, in Sacramento CA, I will be walking in hopes to get one step closer to ending PKD for my family, your family and future generations. I hope my grandmother and aunt, who passed away from PKD, will be proud and smiling down on me. I will walk in hopes to educate, empower and encourage.
The Walk for PKD season kicks off this Saturday, September 7th. There will be more than 50 Walks occurring in cities across the nation. I hope you will join your local walk and “Unite to Fight PKD.” The annual Walk for PKD is the signature fundraising and public awareness event for the PKD Foundation and is the largest gathering of PKD patients, family, friends and supporters; nearly 10,000 strong.
The lives of PKD patients will improve with every dollar raised during the Walk for PKD season; with each grant funded; and with all the research that will be conducted by our volunteer efforts. It is said that every journey begins with the smallest step; as you take each step on your individual path with PKD, please know that you are not alone.
To register and for more information on the Walk for PKD, please visit www.walkforpkd.org
Why do you Walk for PKD?