Today (September 3) is Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) Awareness Day, a day devoted to raising awareness of the life-threatening inherited disorder. In PKD, clusters of cysts develop inside your body, primarily within your kidneys. The cysts are noncancerous, but the round sacs contain a water-like fluid. As they accumulate more fluid, they can become extremely large.
In the vast majority of cases, the cysts overwhelm the kidneys and lead to kidney failure. There is no treatment. There is no cure.
Even though the genetic condition afflicts thousands in the United States and millions more worldwide, most people have never heard of PKD, much less know its effects. Obviously, #PKDAwarenessDay seeks to change all that.
Indeed, you may know someone who has PKD and not be aware; the disease isn't something its sufferers tend to bring up in friendly conversation. Did you know:
• PKD is the fourth leading cause of kidney failure;
• Parents have a 50-50 chance passing PKD to each of their children (unlike many genetic conditions, it does not skip a generation);
• Polycystic kidneys can grow as large as footballs and weigh up to 30 pounds each;
• PKD affects all races, genders, nationalities and geographic locations equally.
#PKDAwarenessDay is the precursor to the fundraising "Walk for PKD 2015" events staged throughout the country in September. In the markets I know best, the Detroit Walk for PKD takes place Saturday, Sept. 12 at Boulan Park in Troy; the Chicago Walk for PKD happens Sunday, Sept. 20 at Busse Woods Grove 6 in Elk Grove Village.
For more information on participating in the Walk for PKD nearest you, to make a donation, or for all other things Polycystic Kidney, reach out to the Foundation at pkdcure.org.
I wouldn't want a football growing inside of me, would you? We've got to stop this crazy thing.
Here is the PKD Foundation 2015 information video, "Do You Know PKD:"