This is the Waibel family. Their lives have been changed forever by PKD when their son Colton was born almost 5 years ago. The Waibel's were expecting their second healthy child, and that all changed when Colton was born and diagnosed with ARPKD. Colton lived for 6 days. One in 20,000 babies are affected by ARPKD, the recessive form of PKD. Over thirty percent of newborns do not survive. ARPKD occurs in babies when both parents are the carriers of PKD. The Waibel's longed to have another child, but were concerned with the risk of every time they became pregnant they had a 25% chance of having another child with ARPKD. Even though the chances were somewhat high, they decided to go against the odds and try for more children. They did suffer another loss when ARPKD was confirmed in their third pregnancy. Despite their odds, In May of 2013, they were blessed with a beautiful healthy girl, Kaylin, who does not have ARPKD.
Just a few month's after Colton's passing, The Waibel's decided to start raising money for the PKD foundation to not only honor their son's life but to celebrate it as well. Once they started they never looked back. They have held events from Silent Auction fundraisers, to selling hoagies, to selling lottery tickets, to hosting walks and a golf tournaments. Even though Colton is not physically here with them, his life still lives on in the hearts of his parents. Just because Colton is not here, doesn't mean they are not his parents. They are still his parents, just in a different way. They may not be able to host birthday parties and watch him meet his milestones in life, they host fundraisers instead. Colton's legacy indeed lives on through the love of his parents. PKD took a big part of their life away when when Colton died, and it is now The Waibel's mission to help put an end to PKD through fundraising, so no other families have to go through what they went through.
It is important that the Waibel's continue to fundraise, as a way to remember him and let others know how much he touched their life, to keep his memory alive. To date they have raised over $45,000 for the PKD foundation. The Waibel's hope that through their fundraising efforts that one day they will see an end to PKD, that one day there will be a cure, so no one will ever have to suffer from this disease again. They hope that through their efforts, that their living children, will never have to be affected by PKD ever in their lifetime.
Colton has definitely impacted their lives tremendously. There is not a day that goes by that they do not think about him and wish that he was here with them. There are days that are a struggle, but they are thankful that they have their two healthy children here with them, that help them get through the tough days. The fight for PKD is a journey that looks different for everyone. But it is a fight worth fighting. I am thankful for people like the Waibel family who have poured their grief into something positive like raising money for PKD to make a difference in the PKD community so that one day we may see an end to PKD.
We may not have all the answers of why PKD takes the lives of so many too soon, but we can be encouraged to know that our efforts are not without a purpose. That together we can encourage others to make a difference through raising awareness and money for the PKD foundation , so that the PKD researchers can make the possibility of a cure a reality.
Thank you Melissa for being so brave in sharing your story! Colton is one lucky boy to have such loving parents, that are making the difference in the lives of many. We would love to hear from you! Please leave your comments below!