A few days ago I wrote about PKD, the most prevalent but least recognized genetic disease. At the time, I didn't know that there will be a fund-raising walk this weekend in the Chicago area.

The Chicago Walk for PKD is planned for Sunday,
Sept. 27 at Busse Woods Forest Preserve, Grove 6 in Elk Grove Village, Ill.
Registration begins at 9 a.m. with the Walk kicking off at 10 a.m.

Below is a press release that gives you the details. I encourage everyone to attend or make a contribution to stem this as-yet incurable, unpreventable and life-threatening disease. Here is the press release, which gives you more information about the disease and describes some personal stories.


Marine's Mom Walks and Raises Money to End

Life-Threatening, Genetic Kidney Disease

Join Justine
Plachy as she takes part in the Chicago Walk for PKD:
Sunday, Sept. 27 at Busse Woods Forest Preserve, Grove 6


(Chicago) Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2009 - Justine
Plachy is one of 600,000 Americans and 12.5 million worldwide -
including more than 5,670 in Chicago alone - affected by polycystic
kidney disease (PKD).

PKD is one of the world's most common, life-threatening genetic diseases,
often causing kidney failure and death. Although Justine, a PKD patient, has
lost several family members to the disease, she refuses to let PKD consume her
life. Like her son, Joshua, who is serving the United States in the Marine
Corps., Justine serves her cause as a member of the 2009 Walk Committee. Her
goal is for PKD to be as well known as those little pink ribbons.


That's why she's fighting back and encouraging
her Chicago area to join her by registering and raising money for the Walk for
PKD, the PKD Foundation's signature fundraising event taking place this
fall in 60 cities across the country.


The Chicago Walk for PKD is planned for Sunday,
Sept. 27 at Busse Woods Forest Preserve, Grove 6 in Elk Grove Village, Ill.
Registration begins at 9 a.m. with the Walk kicking off at 10 a.m.


Like Justine, you can walk - and fundraise -
too. Registration and fundraising for the Chicago Walk for PKD are now open at
Proceeds from the Walk for PKD will help fund vital PKD research, education,
advocacy and awareness, all aimed at finding a treatment and cure for PKD.

PKD causes cysts to grow on the kidneys, eventually leading
to kidney failure. Parents with the disease have a 50 percent chance of passing
it on to each of their children. Currently, dialysis and transplantation are
the only treatments. There is no cure for PKD.


Additional Chicago-area patients are available for media
interviews, including:


Samantha Vancil (Loves Park, Ill.)

At age 16, Samantha was diagnosed with PKD, which she
inherited from her father.  She is now 24 and involved with a research study
at the Mayo Clinic. Samantha has decided not to have children for fear of
passing on the disease.


Kevin Woolums (Round Lake Beach, Ill.)

Kevin, 42 is a PKD patient. He is one of only four kids who
inherited the disease from his mother, who has cysts on her kidneys and liver.
Kevin was diagnosed with PKD at the age of 25 and has recently learned he has
cysts on his liver.  Kevin plans on participating in the Walk for PKD in
Chicago with his future wife.  


Michael Shipley Sr. (Bartlett, Ill.)

Michael, 52, received a kidney transplant from his wife on
July 12, 2005. There are many people in Michael's family who have been
diagnosed with PKD, including his son.  Michael knows PKD affects more
than just the patients. This point was driven home to him at the annual walk in
2006, where he met a man who was walking by himself in the memory of his wife,
who died from the disease years ago.


Lindsay Porter (Chicago)

Lindsay and her sister inherited the disease from their
mother, who was killed by a brain aneurysm related to PKD 21 years ago at the
young age of 48. Now, Lindsay needs to get both her kidneys removed due to
their enormous size. She hopes to find a donor soon so she can return to her
busy life as a part-time actress, architectural tour guide, director of a
prison theater program and mother of a very active 2-year-old. Lindsay hopes
her sister's kidney function remains stable until medical science can help
those with kidney failure.


Learn more and sign up to Walk for PKD at or by
calling 1-800-PKD-CURE.




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