My name is Haley McNamara and I’m a 28 year-old Southern California native currently working in the sports industry at Major League Soccer. I recently moved back to California after being in NYC for five years when my PKD took a downhill turn.

I was diagnosed with ADPKD before birth—doctors could see cysts forming on my kidneys in my mom’s ultrasound. It’s always been something I’ve dealt with. My whole adult life, I’ve been privately and anxiously awaiting the inevitability of dialysis and kidney failure. It was an extremely heavy burden through my college years as a student-athlete on the women’s diving team at UCLA, and as I’ve progressed through my professional career.

I’ve seen first-hand the toll, both mentally and physically, the disease takes on someone. Five years ago, I watched the same disease take the life of my best friend in the world, my mom, slowly and very painfully.

On December 11, 2020, the moment I had dreaded unfortunately became my new reality. I ended up in the emergency room in critical health and I’ve proceeded to go through hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis (PD) training. While PD is a stable option, it’s extremely isolating and distressing to go through on a daily basis.

As I await a potential live donor match and continue my outreach, I’m focusing my efforts on advocacy and awareness for PKD and other young adults living with kidney disease.