DELAWARE, OH (WCMH) — Sara Dietrich is a sophomore cheerleader at Delaware Hayes High School, and she battles Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD).
PKD is a life threatening genetic disease that has no cure or treatment. Liquid filled cysts form on her kidneys, decreasing the function. PKD causes constant numbing pain that requires the need for regular blood and urine testing to keep track of her levels, but Sara does not let it dampen her spirit! She practices her tumbling and varsity jumps like healthy cheerleaders, but some days, she simply can not practice.
“Some days are definitely worse than others, some days are better, and on the bad days, they’re pretty bad,” said Sara. “Some days it hurts so much that I don’t want to go to school.”
At the age of 12, Sara was diagnosed with PKD, the fourth leading cause of kidney failure in the United States.
“When she was first diagnosed, we literally had no idea what it was or who to turn to or anything,” said her mother Autumn Dietrich. She added, “Sara was placed on a special diet…her activities were restricted…it was almost mind-blowing in a way.”
But Sara remains positive as she gives 110% every day.
“I want to be able to do a lot of the things that everyone else can…a lot of people say they don’t even know about it until I tell them,” Sara said.
Once she reaches stage 4 out of 5 for kidney failure, she will be placed on dialysis and then will need a kidney transplant, but her family does not like to dwell on that statistic.
“She’s not going to be able to participate in anything that she’s passionate about, so I think it’s so important to us just to allow her to go,” said Autumn.
“I just try not to think about it, and I think of the positives,” said Sara.
The Central Ohio Chapter of the PKD Foundation’s Annual Walk for PKD will be on October 15, 2016 at Wolfe Park.