Sharing Life: Family celebrates life-saving kidney donations

Columbia Tribune | Caroline Dohack

Don Shrubshell/Tribune BUY THIS PHOTO From left, Craig Klein and his kidney donor, David Babel, and Robin Ward and her kidney recipient, Linda Cheatham, visit at the celebration of life party.

Members of Peggi Moore’s family share a lot.

She and her three siblings — Patty Klein, 62; Linda Cheatham, 67; and Craig Klein, 59 — as well as their mother, Annamae Evers, have polycystic kidney disease, or PKD, a genetic disorder characterized by the growth of cysts on the kidneys.

According to the PKD Foundation, cysts can be as tiny as pinheads or as large as grapefruits. So, some people can go their lives without knowing they have the disease, while others are greatly affected.

A healthy kidney is about the size of a clenched fist. With advanced PKD, a kidney can grow to the size of a football. As the kidneys grow larger, they lose function. Because the kidney’s job is to filter blood to remove waste and excess fluid, when their function is compromised, toxicity builds up. When this happens, the person with PKD has two treatment options: dialysis or kidney transplant.

Moore, her siblings and their mother all have had life-saving kidney transplants. Continue reading