I am writing to ask for your help in raising money for a great cause. On November 2, I’ll be running the 2014 New York Marathon to support and raise money for the Polycistic Kidney Disease (PKD) Foundation. PKD is the most common of all life-threatening genetic diseases, and affects more people than Down syndrome, cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy, hemophilia, and sickle cell anemia combined — yet there is no treatment and no cure. PKD causes cysts to grow on the kidneys. Over time, these cysts multiply and grow, often leading to kidney failure.
My cousin’s son Luke was diagnosed at birth with a relatively rare form of the disease, autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease (ARPKD). ARPKD affects 1 in 20,000 babies and can lead to death within the first month. Luke was born on September 1, 2000 and doctors predicted that he would likely die within a few hours — or a few days at most. Despite the initial diagnosis, Luke survived, but not without a number of medical crises. He spent his first two months of life in the ICU and has had scar tissue in his trachea, hernias, high blood pressure, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and complete dehydration. More than 60 percent of PKD patients experience kidney failure and are forced to rely on dialysis or a transplant to live. Approximately one-third of children with Luke’s form of PKD need dialysis or a transplant by their 10th birthday. Luke received a kidney transplant from his father over five years ago and I’m happy to report that he’s doing great. He’s the life of the party in the picture below.
For those of you concerned that donating to my race efforts will be a bad investment (i.e. the “There is no chance David will finish” crowd), here is some additional context. I ran a marathon in 2010 and it did not go well. During one of my last training runs pulled my hamstring. I tried to run the race anyway but it wasn’t my day. I had to walk most of the last 9 miles and finished about 12 seconds ahead of the street sweepers designed to drag the stragglers off of the course. It was awful. As my wife likes to remind me, she beat me soundly when she ran her last marathon, as did Oprah. OPRAH! While secondary to the charitable benefit, the Oprah factor is a big driver here. She’s a thorn in my side that will be motivating me to run faster for 26.2 miles.
Training is going well so far. I just finished my first double-digit training run and have not yet (knocking on wood) had any major aches or pains. Slow and steady is the name of my game. I’m aiming to provide a good DPMR (Dollar Per Minute Running) return to those who donate. In all seriousness, this is a great cause and I am glad to have the opportunity to raise money and awareness for the disease and to help find a cure. Every little bit helps!
Thanks in advance.