Leading kidney charities launch social media campaign to raise awareness of polycystic kidney disease

Leading kidney charities call for international fist-bumps to combat most common inherited kidney disease

Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) International has joined forces with six European kidney charities to launch a social media campaign called Give PKD the Bump. This campaign unites patients, families and the public through the gesture of a fist-bump – representing the size of a healthy kidney and the symbol of the campaign. Friends, family and work colleagues are challenged to film, share, nominate and donate via social media using #BumpPKD.

Give PKD the Bump aims to raise awareness of PKD, and to generate funds for vital research and support services for people living with PKD – a progressive, incurable and life threatening inherited disease, which affects an estimated 12.5 million people worldwide. All proceeds from the Give PKD the Bump campaign will go towards improving the lives of those living with PKD. For example, research into biomarkers to develop a simple urine test to predict when PKD kidneys might fail or funding a Bio-resource Bank to contain cell, tissue and fluid samples of ADPKD and ARPKD for medical research.

PKD International spokesperson, Tess Harris said:

PKD is a devastating inherited disease, often described as a ticking time bomb, which has a profound and under-recognised impact on the lives of affected adults, children and families. I’m so proud to support the Give PKD the Bump challenge; something as simple as a fist bump signals not only solidarity but triumph too. With the help of the #BumpPKD, we hope to raise funds and awareness to create a world where everyone has healthy kidneys the size of their fist. The money we raise will help save lives. Together we can beat PKD.

PKD causes fluid filled sacs to develop throughout the kidneys, making them swell to up to four times their normal size (about the size of a rugby ball) and become up to 100 times heavier, causing patients a lifetime of pain, fatigue and kidney failure. Symptoms include high blood pressure, chronic stomach and back pain, kidney stones and blood in the urine. PKD may also affect the liver and some people are at increased risk of life-threatening brain aneurysms.

The most common type of PKD is autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) - caused by inheritance of a dominant PKD gene. Therefore, if someone has ADPKD, there’s a one in two chance of them passing it on to their children. ADPKD is the fourth cause of kidney failure worldwide with approximately half of people diagnosed requiring a kidney transplant or dialysis by the age of 54. The other type of PKD, autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease (ARPKD), is expressed if a person inherits the ARPKD gene from both parents. The diagnosis of ARPKD can come as shock for parents since neither parent has experienced the symptoms of PKD before.

How can people support the campaign?

  1. Through a social media challenge: Everyone and anyone can Give PKD the Bump, using just their smartphones and social media accounts. The aim of the challenge is simple: Grab a friend, film your fist bump, tag three other friends and pass it on using #BumpPKD
  2. Donate: Once a #BumpPKD video has been created, text BUMP22 to 70070 or visit BumpPKD.com to donate online. Donations will be invaluable in achieving our goal, from funding vital medical research to developing diagnostic tools for patients and helping provide the support that PKD patients and their families need.
  3. Wear a pin: Our exclusive ‘fist-shaped’ Give PKD the Bump pin can be purchased online for a small donation at BumpPKD.com. Wear it to show support for patients and commitment to funding research that will lead to a cure.
  4. Go the extra mile: In addition to the social media challenge, people can support PKD patients by taking part in a nearby event, such as running for PKD or by holding a cake sale. More information and downloadable posters can be found at BumpPKD.com

Fist bump videos will be collected and celebrated online at: BumpPKD.com.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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