I was diagnosed with ADPKD at 15 years old following a snowmobiling accident that caused me to rupture a cyst. I am currently 31 years old, working as a firefighter/EMT and going to nursing school while working hard to raise my 10-year-old son. My family has an extensive history of PKD with my mom, aunt, and grandmother, who all have received transplants. Also, my brother and I are affected by the disease. As a younger person, the prospect of PKD depressed me. I felt helpless and flawed.
As I’ve grown older, I have become dedicated not only to not allowing my condition to dictate my life and what I can and cannot do but also to help others who may be suffering as well. PKD has helped foster my compassion for others and the human condition.