Hello friends and family,
I hope you are all staying safe and doing well. These are unprecedented times for everyone but I have been very blessed to have supportive friends and family. Many have asked how I have been holding up during this situation and I have been doing well. I recently recertified and started working again as an EMT so I will be working in the field for at least another 2 years. As announced last year, I was diagnosed with Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) in 2018 and I want to provide an update.
For those of you who don’t know, PKD is a genetic disease that causes cysts to grow uncontrollably inside my kidneys. In addition to the cysts, I have elevated blood pressure that is being controlled by medication and have had hematuria (blood in the urine). The cysts can either grow larger or more cysts could develop in my kidneys. Cysts can also appear in other organs besides the kidneys. The normal sizes of adult kidneys are about 1 lb each. The added fluid-filled cysts can make each kidney weigh up to 30 lbs. I’m going to have a nice round belly in my future. I am fortunate, currently; my kidneys are functioning in a normal range. I was lucky to have caught it early so I can make adjustments to live a healthy lifestyle.
Since last year I have completely changed my diet. I eat out significantly less. But when I do, I make sure I portion control. I have to limit my protein to 50 grams/ day. That includes all types of protein, such as, nuts, beans, tofu, and meat. I also need to refrain from potassium, salt, and phosphoric acids. All of which makes it difficult to find a healthy snack sometimes. Instead, I have been eating lots of vegetables and plenty of fruit, not that I didn’t already before. One problem with my current diet is that it is hard staying away from sweet drinks like Milk tea w/ boba. I always try to get the lowest sweetness level though! I must consistently drink water and stay hydrated to flush all the toxins out. With gyms closed and the air quality, I can’t say I have been exercising regularly. But I hear some gyms nearby are slowly reopening.
PKD eventually leads to end-stage renal disease (ESRD), which may include multiple kidney transplants and dialysis treatments. I am hoping that with a healthier lifestyle and supportive friends and family I can hold out on a kidney transplant and dialysis for as long as possible. There is currently no cure for PKD, but there is ongoing research and 100% of each donation to the PKD organization goes into it. On the bright side, there is hope as a new drug called Tolvaptan is said to slow to the growth of cysts. I remain hopeful and am looking towards the future.
The PKD community is strong! After I shared my post last year, many friends and family reached out to me, some of whom are from the PKD community! I was recommended a great nephrologist and was given hope by those who have been dealing with PKD. Because I know I may be on dialysis in the future, I have also been doing my research on Prop 23, which involves dialysis clinics. I’m more than happy to discuss my unique thoughts on the prop as not only someone who will potentially have to be on dialysis but also as an EMT.
This year, the PKD walk in Sacramento is a 10 Days, One Goal virtual walk and it ends on October 18th, 2020. Due to your generous donations, last year, Team PKD, You Kidney Me was the top fundraiser in Sacramento! I was speechless by the amount of support. I am fortunate to have such supportive friends and family. Thank you for your friendship and continued support throughout my journey with PKD!
All monetary donations go towards research to find a cure. If you would like to donate, please see the link below. However, your donations will be accepted after the event. I would also love to have your support through kind words, thoughts, prayers, encouragement, or even a reminder to hydrate. You can also join me and virtually walk!
The PKD Foundation posted my video “Why I Walk: Nicholas Yee” on their Facebook page.
Please check it out!
Thank you all for your continued support!
Stay safe and healthy,
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Sacramento Asian Sports Foundation