Volunteers host fundraiser walk for kidney disease - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Volunteers host fundraiser walk for kidney disease

By Bob Hallmark - bio | email

LONGVIEW,TX (KLTV)- Today in Longview hundreds gathered to raise awareness for an as yet incurable disease. Its a little known illness, that has scientists searching for a cure. Poly-cystic kidney disease or p-k-d affects more than 13-hundred east Texans. Ryan Stephens is a happy 21 year old, a lucky fiancee , and a longtime fighter of Poly-cystic kidney disease.

"I didn't really know what it was at first and I didn't really understand it. I grew up I always had a lot of digestive issues and a lot of symptoms before I was 10 years old so being diagnosed with pkd answered a lot of questions as to why I was so sick as a kid," he says.

Hundreds came out for the p-k-d walk at Letourneau university to support funding and research for the disease.

"Its kind of crazy that people don't know what pkd is because 12-million people around the world have it," Ryan says.

Ryan's father Rick Stephens, who also has pkd, didn't know it until he checked his birth fathers history.

"On my birth fathers side I found pkd was a rampant disease all of the siblings in that family had it," says rick.

Doctors offered treatment, but no cure.

"There are multiple treatments and there are lots of drugs that are being tested right now," says Ryan.

Ryan's says right now you simply have to live with it.

"He lives life to the fullest and that's what I love about him, he's the most joyful person I know," says Ryan's fiancee, Amanda Anderson.

Ryan has one hope through events like these.

"Hopefully we'll knock it out before I have kids and they have to inherit this disease," he says.

More than two hundred people participated in the p-k-d walk this morning. Ryan and Amanda plan to get married in January.

Copyright 2010 KLTV. All rights reserved.

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