East Texans' Walk For A Cause- P.K.D. - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

9/30/06-Longview

East Texans' Walk For A Cause- P.K.D.

  A group of East Texans are organizing a charity walk to raise money to research a rare disease that effects 1400 East Texans each year.

More than 600,000 people are diagnosed with  P.K.D., or polycystic kidney disease, each year in the United States.

    "At this time there is no cure or treatment; we're headed for either dialysis or transplantation," said P.K.D. patient Madalene Miller of Nacogdoches.

    It's a genetic disease where cysts form on the kidney, causing extreme pain and the kidneys to swell to enormous size.

     "The kidney size is about four to five times the normal size and you can feel them all the way down to the groin level depending on the direction of expanding," said Dr. Shobha Shakamuri, a Longview kidney disease specialist.

   Teresa Andrus of Longview has lost seven members of their family to the disease.

    "My mother and 6 other of her siblings had P.K.D. All of them are gone now," said Andrus.  

      Both women said although there's a national foundation, federal funding is still desperately needed.

    "When you talk about 1 in 500 people having this, that means there are 1400 people in East Texas with the disease. But very few of them probably know they have it. We get $42/per person in research funds, other diseases get in the thousands," Miller said.

     The P.K.D. walk is tomorrow morning at 9:00 the Letourneau University Clock Tower in Longview. Registration begins at 8:00am. Anyone interested in participating in the walk is asked to call 903-759-3141. Bob Hallmark/bhallmark@kltv.com .

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