About Polyscystic Kidney Disease

Polycystic Kidney Disease (also called PKD) is a chronic, genetic disease causing uncontrolled growth of cysts in the kidneys eventually leading to renal failure. There is no cure for PKD and very few options for treatment. Once a PKD patient has reached end stage renal function, their only current treatment options are to be on dialysis or to get a kidney transplant. 


PKD is genetic, which means it is passed down within families. Patients with Autosomal Dominant PKD have a 50% chance of passing the gene along to their children. Because of this, families with a PKD gene often have many effected relatives, which can make it difficult to find available living kidney donors related by blood. 


A typical kidney is the size of a human fist and weighs about a third of a pound. However, PKD kidneys can be much larger. As the cysts grow over many years, a PKD kidney becomes larger and larger until the cysts prevent the kidney from functioning. PKD kidneys can grow as large as a football and can weigh 30 pounds each. PKD unfortunately affects both kidneys. Having kidneys this big can cause a PKD patient a great deal of pain as their kidneys push on other organs and create pressure on the entire abdomen and chest. 

Please help us get the word out by sharing Kari’s story with your friends, family and community. Together we can raise awareness for kidney donation and hopefully find a match for Kari!

© 2018 by Kidney For Kari.

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