On Saturday, September 12, Jason Baldwin, Avila University's Director of Student Life, put on his walking shoes, drove to Theis Park and joined hundreds in the Walk for PKD.
The Avila Dance and Cheer teams performed at this year's walk and got everyone pumped up! Some of Avila faculty,staff and students joined Jason and his family at the walk, including Avila student Jillian Fitzgearlds.
Jillian was diagnosed with PKD at the age of 17. Her dad's side of the family has been infected with PKD for generations, including her father. PKD is a disease that stops kidney function and requires a transplant sooner or later in life. Her father has already been through a transplant, and she has seen the troubles it causes not only physically but also emotionally.
Jason's team, "The SageShine Strollers," raised over $7,700 and placed on top for the team that raised the most money. This was his second year fighting for a cure, and he has a good reason to walk; his daughter Sage, who is only 22 months old, has PKD (Polycystic Kidney Disease). Sage loves to swim, try on shoes and play with big brother Silas. Sage’s PKD status has stayed pretty stable this year. She’s still on meds for high blood pressure, but there’s been no change in her kidney function and she’s developing well. However, there are cysts on her kidneys that will eventually grow and cause her kidneys to fail. She’ll most likely need a kidney transplant before she is 10 years old.
"The people at Avila are so supportive, and I’m so thankful to be a part of such a caring community," Jason stated.
Jason has until October 12, 2009 to raise more money for the PKD foundation. Click here if you are interested in donating.
To see the story on Sage, click here.
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.