Hi! My name is Kimberly Crabtree, daughter-in-law of Bob Crabtree. I was sixteen when my husband-to-be told me that he had polycystic kidney disease, and that he very well could die around the age of fifty due to kidney failure or complications thereof, and he worried about placing the inevitable financial and emotional burden on me. I didn’t even have to think about my next words- “Doesn’t matter to me, I want to be around you for as long as you’re here.”
I’m twenty-nine now, and Ryan and I have been married for almost nine years. Those words I spoke back then still hold true today. I am thankful for any time I can spend with him. The questions that my sixteen year old self never thought to ask are starting to bloom in my mind. What happens if our children are born with PKD? Is there any way to prevent that from happening? Will our insurance be enough to cover us when Ryan goes on dialysis?
When I told my OBGYN that my husband had PKD, and that we would like to prevent it from transferring to any children we would have, she recommended that I look into gene therapy. We haven’t looked into it as of yet, but I’ll keep you up to date. I also spoke with my mother-in-law about having children knowing PKD runs in the family. She says that it has been the most wonderful experience having children of her own, despite having to potentially pass down a bad gene to have them. Maybe someday I will have children of my own, and I hope that when I do advances in medical technology can help prevent us from passing PKD along to the next generation.
I am very lucky to have a supportive extended family that helps me answer these questions and more, but I realize that there are those who don’t have the support of family or friends who have gone through the same situation, and that is where Theroadbacktolife.com shines. Two years ago I was invited to contribute to the website, and became an associate director shortly thereafter. Being around those who have been through and are going through what my husband will have to endure someday has helped us both out, and I hope it can help you out too!