The Kidney Foundation of Canada

Families share experiences with PKD

Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) is a genetic condition which impacts the kidneys through cysts which damage and eventually destroy kidney function. Once diagnosed with PKD, there are several things that can be done to try and slow down the disease and delay renal failure. Once someone’s kidneys fail, dialysis or transplant are the only treatments.

Because PKD is genetic, it can have a devastating effect on families. Multiple family members may be diagnosed, undergoing treatment or seeking transplant. They also deal with the delicate issue of screening: When should they get tested? Should they find out if their child is genetically predisposed to having PKD? Parents with the most common form of PKD have a 50 percent chance of passing the disease on to each of their children.

The Kidney Foundation of Canada has developed a series of videos about family experiences with PKD so people can gain a deeper understanding of this condition and its impacts. We invite you to meet them:

Meet the Kerr family

The Kerr family lives in Hamilton, Ontario. Craig was diagnosed with PKD about 20 years ago. His kidneys are covered with cysts and failing. Three of his four siblings have PKD. Along with family members, he explains why it is important to talk about the disease.

Because it’s not something you can see, it’s very easy to brush off and not realize that someone is so sick.”
– Caitlin Kerr, Craig’s daughter.

Meet the Kidston family

The Kidston family lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Paul Kidston’s father was diagnosed with PKD when Paul was a child. Paul, his sister Sandra and his nephew Ryan talk about how things have changed for patients in the past 50 years, and they share their hope.

PKD did not just affect my father, it affected our whole family.”
– Paul Kidston

Meet Louise Laviolette (video available in French only)

Louise Laviolette and her spouse live in Quebec. Louise first heard about PKD when her father was diagnosed. She talks about how the disease affected her life until she got a transplantation, and she outlines the importance of organ donation.

“It’s important to talk about it and to get ready so that when it happens, we’ll have the support we need and we’ll know where to go.” – Louise Laviolette

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