News Feed Item

Gene and His Big Dumb Kidneys Launch Search for a Living Donor

ORANGE COUNTY, Calif., April 21, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Gene Okun, a 50-year-old renewable energy consultant and former competitive body builder, lives with polycystic kidney disease (PKD), a genetic disease that causes uncontrolled growth of cysts in the kidney and can eventually lead to kidney failure. Since receiving a diagnosis of PKD, Gene's kidneys have grown big (doctors say they may be the world's biggest) and dumb (since they're now only functioning at 18%). Today, Gene and his big, dumb kidneys launched a new campaign to raise awareness of kidney disease and the life-changing impact of becoming a living kidney donor. With help from his family and friends, Gene introduced BigDumbKidneys.com to inspire people to learn more about PKD and kidney donation.

"Polycystic kidney disease varies greatly in its severity, and there are a number of symptoms and complications associated with this disease," said Terry Watnick, M.D., from the University of Maryland School of Medicine. "Raising awareness of PKD and the need for a drug treatment is important. I hope more people understand the impact the disease has on patient lives."

Gene's large and low-functioning kidneys quite literally get in the way of normal activities. Daily routines like eating, sleeping and even a simple hug are extremely difficult. The Big Dumb Kidneys campaign videos bring to life specific instances that can be awkward and uncomfortable with the constant accompaniment of two big and dumb kidneys.

"We applaud Gene's efforts to raise awareness for this severe, life-threatening disease," said Andy Betts, CEO of the PKD Foundation. "Our mission is to find treatments and a cure for PKD and to improve the lives of those it affects. We do this through funding programs of research, education, advocacy, support, and awareness on a national level, along with direct services to local communities across the country. We look forward to working together toward a new treatment."

Currently, more than 93,000 people are waiting on kidney transplant lists in the U.S. The wait for a deceased donor could be five years, and in some states, it is closer to 10 years – time that Gene and his kidneys just do not have.

"For many years, I watched my father struggle with PKD, the burden of relying on dialysis, and the many complications of this genetic disease that eventually contributed to his passing," said Gene. "My dad always made the best of every situation. I'm determined to do the same by motivating people to learn about kidney disease and the process of becoming a living kidney donor. People have questions about becoming a donor. With help from my big, dumb kidneys, I want to give them information and help connect them with people in need."

"I don't want to lose my brother the same way I lost my dad," explains Gene's sister, Tina Okun. "We have a big goal – to find Gene a kidney, to keep him healthy and alive, so that he can continue to make a difference in this world."

To discover more about becoming a donor or to help Gene in his search for a live kidney, please visit BigDumbKidneys.com or follow on Facebook and Instagram @BigDumbKidneys and with the hashtag #BigDumbKidneys.

Gene's Big Dumb Kidney Campaign

I launched this Big Dumb Kidney campaign with my sister Tina to find a living kidney donor and raise awareness of polycystic kidney disease and other kidney diseases that affect millions of men, women and children in the U.S. and around the world.

We are grateful to our friends, families, colleagues and business partners who are contributing their creativity, energy and skill to make this campaign possible. We especially recognize the people at SmithSolve, Second Melody, The O'Hara Project, Dave Patino Photography, SmartWorld Coffee, and the talented actors who portrayed my kidneys: Dumb and Big. We would also like to thank the dozens of physicians, donors, recipients and leaders of patient organizations who are providing input, advice and support on this journey.

Together we can find a living kidney donor and help others fight kidney disease. Thank you in advance for your blessings and prayers.


To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/gene-and-his-big-dumb-kidneys-launch-search-for-a-living-donor-300443423.html

SOURCE Big Dumb Kidney Campaign

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
DX World EXPO, LLC, a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based startup trade show producer and the creator of "DXWorldEXPO® - Digital Transformation Conference & Expo" has announced its executive management team. The team is headed by Levent Selamoglu, who has been named CEO. "Now is the time for a truly global DX event, to bring together the leading minds from the technology world in a conversation about Digital Transformation," he said in making the announcement.
"Space Monkey by Vivent Smart Home is a product that is a distributed cloud-based edge storage network. Vivent Smart Home, our parent company, is a smart home provider that places a lot of hard drives across homes in North America," explained JT Olds, Director of Engineering, and Brandon Crowfeather, Product Manager, at Vivint Smart Home, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Conference Guru has been named “Media Sponsor” of the 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. A valuable conference experience generates new contacts, sales leads, potential strategic partners and potential investors; helps gather competitive intelligence and even provides inspiration for new products and services. Conference Guru works with conference organizers to pass great deals to gre...
DevOps is under attack because developers don’t want to mess with infrastructure. They will happily own their code into production, but want to use platforms instead of raw automation. That’s changing the landscape that we understand as DevOps with both architecture concepts (CloudNative) and process redefinition (SRE). Rob Hirschfeld’s recent work in Kubernetes operations has led to the conclusion that containers and related platforms have changed the way we should be thinking about DevOps and...
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and shared the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the develop...
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, led attendees through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He looked at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering m...
The next XaaS is CICDaaS. Why? Because CICD saves developers a huge amount of time. CD is an especially great option for projects that require multiple and frequent contributions to be integrated. But… securing CICD best practices is an emerging, essential, yet little understood practice for DevOps teams and their Cloud Service Providers. The only way to get CICD to work in a highly secure environment takes collaboration, patience and persistence. Building CICD in the cloud requires rigorous ar...
Companies are harnessing data in ways we once associated with science fiction. Analysts have access to a plethora of visualization and reporting tools, but considering the vast amount of data businesses collect and limitations of CPUs, end users are forced to design their structures and systems with limitations. Until now. As the cloud toolkit to analyze data has evolved, GPUs have stepped in to massively parallel SQL, visualization and machine learning.
"Evatronix provides design services to companies that need to integrate the IoT technology in their products but they don't necessarily have the expertise, knowledge and design team to do so," explained Adam Morawiec, VP of Business Development at Evatronix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to ...
Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
"ZeroStack is a startup in Silicon Valley. We're solving a very interesting problem around bringing public cloud convenience with private cloud control for enterprises and mid-size companies," explained Kamesh Pemmaraju, VP of Product Management at ZeroStack, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Large industrial manufacturing organizations are adopting the agile principles of cloud software companies. The industrial manufacturing development process has not scaled over time. Now that design CAD teams are geographically distributed, centralizing their work is key. With large multi-gigabyte projects, outdated tools have stifled industrial team agility, time-to-market milestones, and impacted P&L stakeholders.
"Akvelon is a software development company and we also provide consultancy services to folks who are looking to scale or accelerate their engineering roadmaps," explained Jeremiah Mothersell, Marketing Manager at Akvelon, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Enterprises are adopting Kubernetes to accelerate the development and the delivery of cloud-native applications. However, sharing a Kubernetes cluster between members of the same team can be challenging. And, sharing clusters across multiple teams is even harder. Kubernetes offers several constructs to help implement segmentation and isolation. However, these primitives can be complex to understand and apply. As a result, it’s becoming common for enterprises to end up with several clusters. Thi...