Why I Walk

I fondly remember being in my early 20s and sitting on my living room floor calling one person after another from a contact list the PKD Foundation gave me. I was calling PKD families in south central Pennsylvania, introducing myself and letting them know I was starting a local PKD Foundation Chapter and Walk for PKD.

The Walk for PKD is the Foundation’s largest annual fundraising and awareness event. I had the privilege of organizing three fundraising Walks in Pennsylvania and I am proud of what our Chapter accomplished.

During those years, we raised more than $100,000. The support and love felt at our Walks was therapeutic and motivating for all. PKD affected all of us deeply, and we were doing our part to help our family, our community and future generations. I was a very dedicated and passionate Walk and Chapter Coordinator. After moving to California, I missed my Pennsylvania PKD family and still do, but it has been a joy to extend my PKD family and become involved in the Sacramento PKD Chapter and Walk.

      Walk for PKD in Sacramento

In honor of the 2015 fall Walk for PKD season kicking off this weekend, I want to share the reasons why I walk for PKD:

  • I walk for my family and the family members I have lost.
  • I walk for future generations.
  • I walk to raise awareness and funds.
  • I walk for the hope of treatments and a cure.
  • I walk for a healthier tomorrow.
  • I walk to share my story and provide inspiration.
  • I walk for the young children who suffer from ARPKD.
  • I walk for the families of PKD patients and their caregivers.
  • I walk for those who have PKD and have yet to be diagnosed.
  • I walk for all of the lives touched by this devastating disease.
  • I walk to make a difference.

Walk for PKD in Sacramento 2

I encourage you to join the 2015 Walk for PKD, experience the feeling of being a part of something so powerful and be the difference.

Why do you walk for PKD? Share in the comments below.

Walk for PKD in PA More than 50 Walk events are occurring across the country this fall. Visit walkforpkd.org to register and start a team today. Watch and share the the Foundation’s Walk for PKD PSA with family, friends and colleagues.




  1. Pepper Stubblefield

    Is there a PKD In Oklahoma.

  2. Maureen Gardner

    Thanks Valen! Western NY walk happening Sat. Sept. 19th!

    • Valen Keefer

      Awesome! Have fun!!! 🙂

  3. Julia Adams

    That’s really impressive that you put in the time and effort to make that happen in PA and you raised a lot of money for the cause! Thank you!! I’m sorry PA lost you to CA but we sure do appreciate you in Sacramento!!! Delighted to be teaming up with you on the “PKD Will Not Beat Me” team!! Looking forward to our walk in Sac. in just 10 days…it will be an inspiring day gathered together with our PKD family sharing our challenges and our hopes.

    • Valen Keefer

      Thank you so much! 🙂
      So excited to be on a team with you and your beautiful family!
      Also, I’m so happy you are the Chapter Coordinator for Sacramento. You are just perfect for the role and we are all so lucky. Can’t wait for our Corks for a Cure! <3 Lots to look forward to. xo

  4. Nicole

    Why do I walk?

    For my Great-Grandmother, my Aunts, my Uncles, my Cousins and my Dad who are no longer here to walk with us. Now, I walk beside my Cousins and my Sister who have PKD. I walk to put an end to this disease that has taken too many too soon. I want to #ENDPKD!

    • Nicole

      We will be walking in Chicago this Sunday.

    • Valen Keefer

      Beautifully said and I share the same sentiments. I hope you have a great day at the Chicago walk with your family and friends.

  5. Rick Nelson

    All the reasons you list here are GREAT reasons!! My running days are in my past but my mountain bike racing is very active SO……I bike for my Dad and my brother and everyone else affected by PKD!!

    Rick “mountainbikeagainstPKD” Nelson

    • Valen Keefer

      Fantastic Rick! Thank you SO much! Great job on your recent bike DIY event! 🙂



  1. 2020 Walk for PKD: Recap | PKD Foundation Blog - […] PKD brought 400 teams and 2,500 participation together across the country. You shared your “Why I Walk” stories, took…
  2. 2021 Walk for PKD: Your Questions Answered | PKD Foundation Blog - […] create a team and ask friends and family to join it. Share your story and a photo on your…

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