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Over twenty years ago I moved to Tampa for college as time goes by things change family, work and fitness goal and activities. In 2007 befriended a group at the South Tampa Lifestyles now LA Fitness in Hyde Park. I joined a morning Bootcamp group that challenged me at every class as I got to know the group I found out they were training for a Chicago Marathon, running 26.2 miles was never in my personal vocabulary however the group encouraged me to run and train with them. I started running just a mile or so to running a 5K, 10K, 15K and eventually a half marathon.
The same year I did my first half marathon, my friends Rich Odea Brad Minus and Scott Bragan encouraged me to get in the lottery for the Chicago Marathon they too were running in. They were running with group called PKD (Polycystic Kidney Disease) at the time like most people I did not know what PKD stood for or what impact it had on those who have the disease nor did I realize PKD is the forth cause of Kidney failure.
I was successful in winning a spot for the Chicago Marathon and had the opportunity to run with the PKD Chicago Team. I was also educated more about the disease due to one of my close friends Scott Bragan’s wife Erica has this disease which is passed through genetics, and does not skip a generation and that there is 50% chance that the parent with PKD will pass this disease to their children Scott and Erica have two children Madison and Spencer.
In May 2015 I found out that a longtime Tampa friend of mine Tony Canizares is donating one of his kidneys to USF college friend and former roommate of his who has PKD ,currently Tony’s friend is experiencing renal failure and will undergo a transplant surgery with Tony this July 2015. Tony selfishly is undergoing this transplant so his friend can live.
On November 1, 2015 I have the chance to run on the PKD New York City Marathon Team. Together we will raise funds to help find a cure for the disease as well as build awareness for the disease and the need for more qualified donors like my friend Tony Canizares. Erica can use a kidney from donor that has O- or O+ blood type. Each of the PDK Team Members have committed to raising funds as well as spreading the word about PKD and a need to find a cure and for facilities that can help treat those that are suffering from PKD. Please consider donating to myself Kevin O'Brien and the NYC PKD Team by visiting www.t2pkd.org. Any type of donation will be greatly appreciated. Thank you for reading my bio and please consider donating to Team Tampa PKD.