Jason Baldwin, director of student life at Avila University, usually wears a smile and tells jokes but his mood turns serious when speaking about Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD). Recently, Baldwin has helped raise money and awareness for this disease that affects his family daily.
“My one year old daughter, Sage, has PKD,” Baldwin said. “She has cysts on her kidneys that will eventually cause her kidneys to fail and she will need a kidney transplant before she is 10 years old.”
To support the search for a cure, Baldwin family, friends and Avila personnel participated in the PKD Walk to raise money for research and education. Baldwin’s team, the Sage-Shine Strollers, were the second highest fundraising team in Kansas City. The team shattered their goal of $7,500, raising $11,425.
“I am so inspired by the amazing amount of support I have received from family, friends, co-workers, students, community businesses and complete strangers,” Baldwin said. “It is encouraging to see money being raised to help fund research to find a cure for my baby girl. I am thrilled that we beat our fundraising goal.”
Along with participating in the PKD Walk, the Baldwins are also speaking out about PKD. The Baldwin family recently participated in a video that is being shown on the PKD Foundation Web site at www.pkdcure.org.
“It is empowering to be able to help the PKD Foundation raise funds for research into finding a cure for this chronic disease,” Baldwin said. “I hope it will provide support, encouragement and hope to families dealing with this life threatening disease. It gives me hope.”
Although Sage has PKD, she is still a very happy one-year-old girl who Baldwin admits has her daddy wrapped around her finger.
“She loves to snuggle, blow kisses, listen to music, play with toys and laugh with her older brother, Silas,” Baldwin said. “She is a bundle of joy and I am so proud to have her as my daughter.”
For more information on PKD and to watch the Baldwin’s video, visit www.pkdcure.org.
Avila University is a private, co-educational, values-based liberal arts institution founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, offering undergraduate, graduate, and adult degree programs. Avila University is located at 119th and Wornall Rd in southwest suburban Kansas City, Mo.