I'm about to die. Not anytime soon, but I know the disease I carry will -- barring accidents along the way -- be the reason I eventually pass away. The disease I'm carrying, Autosomal Dominant Polycystic Kidney Disease (ADPKD), is a hereditary disease affecting about 1 in 1000 people worldwide. It affects everyone in different ways. For some, the progression from diagnosis to kidney failure is quick. For most of us, it takes tens of years to get there.
And this is what one can hope for: that it takes tens of years to develop to the point where one needs dialysis or a kidney transplant. There's no other hope to be had, because as of today, there are no treatments that can cause the cysts in the kidneys to stop growing. Research at especially the Mayo Clinic is showing some promising results with Tolvaptan to slow down cyst growth, but it's only effective for a short amount of time and isn't a lasting solution.
So if you're considering donating to a charity this year, do consider donating to the closest charity supporting research into kidney diseases. There's a lot to be done, not only for ADPKD but also for other diseases.