What Is Polycystic Kidney Disease?
Education and Advocacy This is a question I hear quite often, even though polycystic kidney disease (PKD) is one of the most common, life-threatening genetic diseases affecting upwards of one in 500 people on a global level.
This is a question I hear quite often, even though polycystic kidney disease (PKD) is one of the most common, life-threatening genetic diseases affecting upwards of one in 500 people on a global level. PKD is a group of genetic diseases that cause fluid-filled cysts to develop on internal organs, primarily affecting the kidneys.
Over time, these cysts grow and multiply, causing the affected organs to increase sometimes dramatically in size. A healthy kidney is roughly the size of a human fist, whereas PKD kidneys can grow to be the size of a football or larger and weigh as much as 38 pounds each. Currently there is no cure for this disease.
"It is through the strengthening of awareness and education on a national level that we will continue to move closer to discovering a cure for polycystic kidney disease."
Finding a cure
The PKD Foundation of Canada is the only national organization solely dedicated to promoting research to find a cure for PKD, while improving the treatment and care of those it affects. Our mission is to promote programs of research, advocacy, education, support and awareness in order to discover treatments and a cure for this often devastating disease. Our volunteer-driven chapters across the country offer education, support and hope for patients and their loved ones, while providing an opportunity for those afflicted by PKD to have their voices heard in their local community and on a national level.
National PKD Awareness Day
This year, September 4th was once again recognized by Health Canada as National PKD Awareness Day. With conversations surrounding this disease rarely occurring outside of the PKD community, having this special day acknowledged across Canada is invaluable in helping to shed light on what it is like to live with this disease every day, and how people can join the fight to end PKD.
It is through the strengthening of awareness and education on a national level that we will continue to move closer to discovering a cure for polycystic kidney disease. Until that day comes, the PKD Foundation of Canada will serve as a united voice for the PKD patients and their loved ones.
It’s important for people to know there is not just one single way to raise awareness of PKD. They can spread the word in whatever way or format works best for them. Sharing their story with someone, wearing an ‘END PKD’ t-shirt, changing their social media profile picture, tweeting their favourite celebrity or local politician are all great ways to generate attention and initiative conversations.
With the first treatment for PKD recently approved by Health Canada, patients and their families have been given a sense of hope never experienced before. There is hope that both current patients and future generations will no longer suffer the full effects of PKD. This decision by Health Canada is a definitive milestone for the PKD community and one that will pave the way for future treatment options and an eventual cure.