WALTON COUNTY Fla. (WMBB) – Your driver’s license might show whether or not you chose to be an organ donor but a local woman is urging you not to wait and consider donating a kidney now.
Maria Burke’s plea is an urgent one.
“My kidney function went from 75% to 15% in about a year,” she said after getting diagnosed with Polycystic Kidney Disease or PKG.
Burke found out she had PKG in 2007, that was a year after her father passed away from this same genetic disease.
“I’ve been doing pretty good until about a year ago when they realized I had the genetic mutation of it,” Burke said.
Burke said with constant lower back pain and fatigue, her regular doctor sent her to a kidney specialist or nephrologist.
“They had to monitor my blood pressure, change my medication as far as that goes, and that’s when we kind of started to figure out something is not, something is going on,” she said.
Burke found out that, like her sister, she also has the genetic mutation PKG.
“I got transferred to UBA in Birmingham last year, about a year ago, and did all the testing up there and it was determined I need a kidney transplant,” she said. “So I am actually seeking a living donor and I have three donors already that it’s gone through that’s not a match. So I’m not running out of time but it’s something that we are trying to figure something out.”
She said once doctors find her a match and she gets a kidney transplant, she hopes to get back to normal and build her energy back up so she can start running again.
“Well it is a genetic curse that they call it and it’s a genetic disease and it’s a 50/50 chance that my children have it,” Burke said.
She said there is a donor form online for those who have an interest in helping much living with PKG, it is through UBA in Birmingham.
Burke said since there is a 50% chance her children have this disease, she will test them when they get older. Although she is hopeful as the years go by, more research has been done on Polycystic Kidney Disease.