Sharon’s nephew, Daniel, and his children, as he awaits a transplant.

My husband’s family has a long history of PKD. My husband, age 72 now, is one of the fortunate ones and received a kidney transplant over 23 years ago from a non-related accident victim from another state. He has never had a rejection episode and we feel so blessed. Our son just received a kidney transplant three years ago from a step-nephew who matched him 100 percent. This disease is so prevalent in our family, our daughter and two grandchildren have also been diagnosed. Fortunately thus far they have not encountered problems, and only God knows what will happen down the line.

We feel so blessed, yet we are sad because we have two nephews who have been on the list for a kidney transplant for the past five years and both have been on dialysis during that time. They are still young. Both have families and work everyday despite their illness. Both of my husband’s brothers also received kidney transplants. One passed away due to another problem but his transplant never failed. His older brother has had two transplants. The first one failed after about 15 years, and his diabetes made things even more serious. God was with him and he received another transplant about one year after the loss of the first one. He was on dialysis that year as he waited.

We really are blessed in our own family that neither my husband nor my son had to wait a long time on a kidney and received their transplants within months of needing to go on dialysis. They never had to endure that, and for that we are thankful.

My husband’s father, uncle, and also his maternal grandmother had PKD before transplants were really available and they all suffered so much, never having gone on dialysis either. My husband has two cousins who also received kidney transplants. We just pray that more people understand the illness, how it can devastate families, and how very much donors are needed.

I wanted to share our family story and pray that others who are affected and waiting on transplants can soon receive them. We pray every day for a cure. It is such a devastating and disabling illness.