Jody Blatman has felt the effects of PKD one way or another his entire life.
When he was 13 years old, he lost his father to the disease. His dad had received a transplant just a year before. His aunt lost her battle with PKD shortly after that.
Jody has PKD himself and lives with very low kidney function. One of his two brothers is also a PKD patient.
"When I was 32 I went on hemodialysis for about three and a half years prior to my transplant in 1999," he explains. "I've been pretty healthy, but I have very low kidney function … it's just about out of juice."
"A day rarely goes by that I don't think about PKD and its effects on my family," he says.
"I have two sons, the oldest of which we adopted because we were worried about passing on PKD. I worry about what their lives will be like if they lose their father early on to this disease. I also worry that my younger son may have PKD and inherit all the burdens that PKD patients have."
Being around for his family and working toward a world where no one has to suffer with PKD are chief among the reasons he gives generously to the PKD Foundation.
"I give to enhance research that will come up with treatments and ultimately a cure for the disease," Jody shares. "The PKD Foundation is the best place to give in support of research that focuses specifically on polycystic kidney disease."
For Jody, contributing to the PKD Foundation through the United Way achieves several goals at once.
"First, it allows me to acknowledge the important work of the United Way," he explains. "Second, I'm able to give to the PKD Foundation through payroll deductions which means I can give a bit each month and it's very convenient.
"Finally, it demonstrates my company spirit by supporting their overall United Way fundraising goals while meeting my personal needs for giving at the same time."
Jody continues to support research through gifts to the PKD Foundation because, as he says, "there's still so much work to do."
"PKD affects families generation after generation," he says. "There are treatments to be found and, ultimately, through better science, a cure for this debilitating disease."
To learn more about giving to the PKD Foundation through your employer, visit our Workplace Giving page.