I am Nica Lorber, almost everyone on my Dad’s side of my family has PKD. My grandma and aunt died from it. My dad, other aunt, and cousin have all had transplants. At 47, my PKD hasn’t progressed too bad, but I know a transplant may be something to consider in my future.

I learned recently, when I got heat exhaustion from mountain biking, that PKD can affect my body’s ability to cool off after exercise. I asked my doctor the difference between heat exhaustion and over-exertion. He said they’re similar in that you’re body can’t cool off. I realized I had been having mild versions of this for years. With this new information, I’m more careful not to overdo it when I exercise, and to avoid exercising when it’s hot out. Otherwise, I try to meet my doctor’s recommendation of drinking a gallon and a half of water a day. But I often fail to meet that target.

Overall, PKD hasn’t affected me too much yet. I do feel like it’s starting to make my stomach stick out a little, which can be uncomfortable. I’ve noticed if I gain even a tiny amount of weight, my clothes can feel uncomfortable. I’ve tried to address that by staying fit and eating as healthy as possible. I’m thankful I’ve had a slower progression of the disease than my other family members. But I also hope a cure is found in my lifetime.