Cubs Fan with PKD Goes to Wrigley Field in Search of Kidney Donor

When Christine Todd learned that her kidneys were failing, she was frightened and concerned. Todd has polycystic kidney disease (PKD), an inherited condition characterized by cysts that develop in the kidneys. Right now, Todd is searching for a living kidney donor. She’s been on the transplant list for years, but hasn’t had luck. So she’s become more relentless in her search. This brought her and her family to bring this mission to Wrigley Field.

According to NBC Chicago, Todd and her family have always been huge fans of the Chicago Cubs. So why not try and leverage that love with a goal of finding a donor? When the Atlanta Braves came into town, Todd, her friends, and her family tee’d up (literally—they created specialty t-shirts!) and headed to the stadium. 

Along with a banner, the stadium also played videos of Todd’s appeal for a donor. While she hasn’t yet found one, getting the word out is crucial. If you are interested in potentially being a living donor, you can contact Todd at [email protected] or 815-630-6805. 

What is Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD)?

When cysts form in the kidneys, they cause inflammation, damage, and loss of function. As the kidneys become larger, they’re unable to properly filter waste out of the blood. While PKD causes kidney cysts, it can also lead to the formation of cysts in other organs like the liver. PKD has two main forms: autosomal dominant and autosomal recessive. Typically, PKHD1 mutations cause the autosomal recessive form, while PKD1 or PKD2 mutations cause the autosomal dominant form. Symptoms and age of manifestation vary based on subtype, but potential symptoms can include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Hematuria (blood in the urine)
  • Recurrent urinary tract infections
  • Headaches
  • Kidney stones
  • Heart valve abnormalities
  • Increased risk of aneurysms 
  • Chronic pain
  • Diverticulosis
  • Pain in the sides and back
  • Abdominal fullness
  • Kidney failure

Early diagnosis and treatment is crucial to PKD. Treatment, which includes lifestyle changes, pain medications, antibiotics, surgery, and dialysis, is most effective when started in early stages.

Jessica Lynn

Jessica Lynn

Jessica Lynn has an educational background in writing and marketing. She firmly believes in the power of writing in amplifying voices, and looks forward to doing so for the rare disease community.

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