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Tuesday December 29, 2015 Edition
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VUHS Teens Set Goal To Raise $6,000 For Polycystic Kidney Disease

Tuesday December 29, 2015

As the year winds down the goals for 2016 are being set around the county and the VUHS National Honor Society members have a busy year ahead. The group is determined to help support research for local people battling Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) and have set up numerous fundraisers to reach their goal.
    First and foremost the teens want to increase awareness of the struggles for people facing this disease and the lack of funding and community understanding. Polycystic Kidney Disease is an inherited disorder that has been diagnosed in 600,000 Americans which causes many cysts to grow in the kidneys and while the cysts are noncancerous they damage the kidneys and can lead to kidney failure. The cysts are different sizes and grow as they accumulate fluid and in addition to the kidneys which in some people require a transplant, the cysts are also found in the liver and other parts of the body. Complications of this disease include high blood pressure. While the disease can vary greatly in each person at present it is not curable. New research is working on possible cures but it is costly and not many Americans even know about the disease or how it impacts families.
    “We are raising money for PKD research to honor a NHS member and her family,” shared NHS president Nathan Rowell. “We are performing numerous fundraisers as well as accepting sponsors and donations to go toward PKD research. We are really hoping to raise both funding and awareness.” The group plans on a media campaign in and outside of Addison County and hopes to draw sponsors for their participation in the Polar Bear Challenge Obstacle Race taking place on Saturday, February 6th in Benson, Vermont.
    Rowell and his fellows NHS members are hoping that community members might consider making a donation or if there is a small job that the group could do for donation toward the cause, please contact Rowell at or the faculty adviser at . “When my mother had breast cancer many members of our community helped my family stay strong by bringing us warm meals and smiles. That kind of community needs to be sustained and focused to help those dealing with PKD.” Research is often slow but the recent discovery of a new gene editing technique is just one of many different areas where research is slowly beginning to unravel the mysteries of the genes that bring PDK into the lives of so many Vermonters and Americans.
    So check your list of projects and see if you have a project that could be handled by willing hands or maybe consider making a donation to help the teens reach their goal. But most importantly please get on the web and read up on this disease that impacts so many but often goes unnoticed.

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