When Josephine DaCosta of Suffern went for a routine physical examination three years ago, she had never even heard of polycystic kidney disease, or PKD. When the doctor told her she had it, she and her husband Darien immersed themselves in researching the disease.
They learned there isn't a cure yet but it is treatable, and when DaCosta learned she needed a kidney transplant, she was fortunate enough to have her sister donate one. This year, the husband and wife team took their involvement even further, volunteering to co-coordinate the annual Hudson Valley walk for PKD.
"A transplant is a treatment, not a cure," DaCosta told the crowd gathered for the Hudson Valley Chapter's 8th Annual Walk for PKD at Bedford Hills Memorial Park on Saturday morning. More people have this condition than cystic fybrosis, muscular dystrophy, Down syndrome and sickle cell anemia, combined. An estimated 600,000 Americans -- including 1,900 in Westchester County alone -- make up the more than 12.5 million who suffer from it worldwide."
People came from not only the Hudson Valley region, but from New Jersey and Boston as well, and after a brief ribbon cutting, the walkers left the park and headed north along Route 117 on a 2.5-mile route that ended in the park.
This year's goal was to raise $65,000 from the event and by the start of the walk, DaCosta said they were about two-thirds of the way there but that there were always a large number of walk-ins who were not accounted for in that figure.
Anyone wishing to donate or find out more infomation can visit www.pkdcure.org.