Laverne Duvall

Laverne, center, with her family when she was crowned Miss Budweiser in 1956.

PKD is a disease that often devastates many members in one family. It’s not unusual for several siblings to battle PKD together. This was the case with the Duvall sisters. In 1965, Mary Ann Duvall wrote a heartfelt letter to her sister Laverne letting her know she was diagnosed with PKD. Mary Ann asked Laverne and their other sister, Ruth, to also get tested. The results revealed that all three sisters had inherited the genetic condition from their father, who passed away from PKD.

Laverne passed away on May 4, 2013, and left behind wonderful memories of a woman not held back by her disease. Laverne worked for Anheuser-Busch her entire career, even serving as Miss Budweiser in 1956. She was a lifelong learner and traveler who was able to travel the world before her PKD made it impossible. She loved to sing, participating in the Anheuser-Busch chorus and St. Louis German singing society, the Liederkranz Club.

Laverne was determined to change the legacy of future generations of Duvalls, as well as countless others suffering from PKD. This was made clear by her bequest of nearly $1.7 million to the PKD Foundation, the largest estate gift the Foundation has ever received. Because of her generous gift, the PKD Foundation can continue to work toward treatments and a cure for the disease that significantly impacted Laverne’s family.