Posted by: Jamie Stamm | August 7, 2008

Come walk with me

I’ve written before about my family’s battle with polycystic kidney disease. This genetic disorder has affected several generations on my mom’s side, including my grandmother, my mom and myself.

A normal kidney is the size of a human fist and weighs about a third of a pound. However, with the presence of PKD, cysts develop in both kidneys. When many cysts develop, the kidneys can grow to be the size of a football or larger and weigh as much as 38 pounds each. There may be just a few cysts or many, and the cysts may range in size from a pinhead to the size of a grapefruit. (Source: The PKD Foundation)

There is currently no treatment or cure for PKD, but you can help change that by supporting this year’s Walk for PKD, which will raise funds for research and education. A local walk will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, September 21, on the Centennial Campus of North Carolina State University in Raleigh.

My family and friends have walked together as Team Cease and Decyst (my dad came up with the catchy name) since the 2005 Walk for PKD, which was held shortly after we learned that my mom would need a kidney transplant. We were blessed that my dad was a match and was loving and courageous enough to donate one of his kidneys to my mom, who had her transplant in the spring of 2006. (You can read my dad’s story on the PKD Foundation Web site at http://www.pkdcure.org/PKDLatestNews/tabid/60/newsID/8/Default.aspx. It always makes me cry.) Today, I am happy to report that both my mom and dad are doing very well.

Each year, I take part in the Walk for PKD in honor of my mom and dad, in memory of my grandmother and other family members who lost their battles with PKD and in hope that a cure will be found before this disease has a chance to affect my children.

To learn more about polycystic kidney disease, visit the PKD Foundation Web site at http://www.pkdcure.org. To join my team, or make a donation to Walk for PKD, visit my personal site at http://walk.pkdcure.org/goto/jamiestamm. My family and I would be grateful for your support.

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