On Sunday, October 28 at 9:30 a.m., Polycystic Kidney Disease patients and supporters will gather at Mission Creek Park for the annual Walk for PKD. Beginning in 2000 as a grassroots effort to fundraise for a disease without a cure, this now national event has raised more than $15 million for one of the most common life-threatening genetic conditions worldwide. In over 60 cities across the U.S., people will be walking this fall to pursue the dream of combating a major hereditary headache. In San Francisco, Mark Glaser and family invite you to join them in this fight against PKD.
In 2001, PBS Media Shift‘s Executive Editor Mark Glaser was unexpectedly diagnosed with PKD. Mark’s only encounter with the disorder prior to his diagnosis was when he had been asked to write an article on PKD victim Erma Bombeck for People’s Magazine. Having been in contact with the PKD Foundation to write the piece, Mark was asked to join their board because of his public position, but declined the responsibility due to time constraints. That the cause would be of personal relevance to his life was something he never would have imagined.
Mark’s diagnosis led him to research his family’s health history, were he learned that his mother and other relatives were carriers of the disease. He also discovered that children of PKD patients, such as himself and his son Julian, have a 50% chance of acquiring the condition. Affecting approximately 12.5 million people around the globe, PKD is a hereditary disease that causes the enlargement of both kidneys due to the growth of fluid-filled cysts. Whereas a healthy kidney typically weighs 1/4 pound, a polycystic kidney can weigh up to 20-30 pounds. Symptoms include kidney failure, high blood pressure, back and side pain, headaches, blood in urine and kidney stones. Further development of the disease can also lead to complications with the liver, pancreas, heart and brain.
While to date there is no cure for PKD, patients can take a few measures to avoid facing fatal results. For Mark, this meant having to undergo a kidney transplant this past June. Although a lonely and intimidating process for some, Mark was lucky to have the support of relatives, his 10-year old son Julian, co-workers and friends. As for his fiancée, Renée, she joined the journey in a slightly different way. Her contribution? Her kidney.
Now, after months of recovery, Mark and Renée are adjusting back to their daily pre-surgery routines. In addition to thinking about planning their postponed wedding, they’ve begun to prepare for the annual San Francisco Walk for PKD. The event, which takes place every fall in over 60 American cities, raises funds toward finding a PKD cure and hopes to increase awareness about a prevalent disease that seems to have slipped under the radar.
On Sunday, October 28 at 9:30 a.m. at Mission Creek Park, join Mark, Renée, Julian and the PKD community in a two mile walk along the bay. With just two weeks to go, the San Francisco PKD chapter has raised $23,097 out of the $60,000 they aim to secure for the cause. For more information about donation and participation possibilities, check out San Francisco Walk for PKD website and get involved!
WHEN: Sunday, October 28, 2012 at 9:30 a.m.
Mission Creek Park
290 Channel Street
San Francisco CA
REGISTRATION: Participation is free, but donations are strongly encouraged and can be made online!