My name is Patricia Mittlestadt and I am 65 years young and on the kidney transplant waiting list. My dream is to receive a kidney before I go on dialysis, which is around the corner. I keep going from stage 4, to stage 5, then back to stage 4.

One of the hardest parts of this disease hit me in my early 40s. People with PKD can get brain aneurysms and unfortunately, I was one of them. I had great care— the big aneurysm was clipped and I was only left with a small one. About three months later, my husband noticed I was talking funny. The small aneurysms burst. We rushed to the hospital. This surgery left me with problems. I had to learn to walk and talk again, and I started having seizures.

After lots of therapy, I can talk and walk, still with some cognitive problems, but God is so good. I have a vagus nerve implant for seizures now and they’re under control.

My husband, Billy, has been such a strong support system. I know God’s plan for me is to get a transplant. I would love to travel again, but right now I’m trying to learn all I can about PKD and stay informed. I hope to get a living donor. I try to get everyone I can to become a donor. I tell them “don’t take your organs to heaven cause we need them here.”