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Local PKD chapter reaches fundraising goal
Even though official numbers are not in yet, organizers are calling the 2012 Southlake Walk for PKD a record-breaking event.
"It was a great event, and I heard so many positive compliments saying it was the best ever," said Carolyn Morris, organizer for the event and Southlake City Council member. "The turnout was excellent, and I believe we had the most people we've ever had. We also achieved our fundraising goal."
The Walk for PKD took place Saturday in the Southlake Town Square. The event included a 5K run, a children's walk and a one-mile walk. The children's walk was held in memory of Jace Glenn, a child who died from Autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease (ARPKD).
Former Rangers pitcher Kenny Hill and former Southlake Carroll quarterback Kenny Hill Jr. led off the 5K run. Morris said in addition, the event had many "excellent volunteers."
ARPKD is a genetic disorder that causes fluid-filled cysts to grow in the kidneys. The cysts replace a lot of the mass of the kidneys, reducing kidney function and leading to failure. Autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease is one type of PKD. While it is rare, it is often fatal. Autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) affects adults. There is no cure for PKD. Dialysis and kidney transplants are the only treatments.
Saturday's event raised more than $70,000. The money will go to the PKD Foundation, which is involved with research, education, advocacy, support and awareness of PKD. The foundation's goal is to discover and deliver treatments and a cure for PKD.
In addition to the 5K run and walks, the event also included a balloon release held in Glenn's and Kenzley Anne Graves' honor.
Graves lived for 30 minutes before she died from ARPKD. Graves' parents, Cal and Lindsey organized a 53-member team that raised more than $3,000 for the event.
"I want to fight for other children with ARPKD. I didn't know while I was in the hospital that people were fighting for me, but now I want to do the same for them," Lindsey said.
Along with the balloon release, there was also a memory board made for each child.
"The balloon release was a beautiful and touching event," Morris said. "We were also able to raise awareness because of the great exposure we got before the event."
Morris said she has already begun thinking about next year's event.
"You have to start thinking about it as soon as the current event is over," Morris said. "I want to thank everyone who came out. Also, people should look for a bigger, better event next year," Morris said.
Since 2004, the Southlake Walk for PKD has raised about $800,000 for research.
"This year, we picked up new people who didn't know about the disease, and people who have it and didn't know about us," Morris said. "I feel like we're a source of hope because the PKD Foundation is the only foundation in the world that is totally dedicated to this disease."
Morris first became aware of the disease in 1963, when her 25-year-old husband was diagnosed with PKD. They were told dialysis was not an option. The next year her mother-in-law was also diagnosed with PKD. She died at 52-years-old. Morris learned that her husband's genetic heritage revealed PKD in every generation.
The Morris' had their only child, a daughter, near the time of the PKD diagnosis. Morris' husband later died from the disease at 47-years-old. When her daughter was a senior in high school, she was diagnosed with PKD. In July 2006, her daughter received a transplant from a living non-related donor. The transplant was not a cure, but it is allowing her daughter to live a fairly normal life.
Morris said on Monday Bistro BBQ will give 10 percent of its dinner proceeds to the PKD Foundation and Oct. 8 Wildwood Grill will give 10 percent of its dinner proceeds to the foundation.
For information visit www.pkd.cure.org.
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