PKD started with my grandfather, who died from the disease at the age of 49. He and my grandmother had twelve children, of whom six had PKD. Three aunts died around the age of 50 without the availability of dialysis. A fourth aunt was on hemodialysis for about 20 years. A fifth aunt had two unsuccessful transplants and died around the age of 50. Since that time, kidney transplant technology has progressed dramatically.

My father, younger than most of the others, was on hemodialysis for eight years and had a successful transplant that lasted for 24 years. He was my mentor and showed me how to live a full, productive life with PKD.
About a year before kidney failure, I was proactive in getting on the transplant organ list and had a fistula inserted in my arm for the preparation of hemodialysis. In my mid-50s, I had kidney failure and began dialysis and had treatments for four and a half years until a kidney became available. Three years ago, I had a successful transplant. I continued to work full-time. Since I traveled for work, I continued to travel while on dialysis and had over 30 treatments at outside centers across the U.S. and Europe. One key action that I took was to follow a strict diet and liquid intake, which made a difference in how I felt. After the transplant, my energy level increased significantly, and today, I feel wonderful and live a full life.