May 8, 2020
Tabby Barley was a surprise baby for more reasons than one.
Her parents both thought they were done having children after having two already. But she was also the only one of the three to be born without Polycystic Kidney Disease, or PKD.
According to the PKD Foundation, PKD is one of the most common, life-threatening genetic diseases. It is the fourth leading cause of kidney failure and more than 50 percent of people with PKD will develop kidney failure by age 50. Once a person has kidney failure, dialysis or a transplant are the only options.
Tabby’s mother, of Southern Missouri, had always had kidney issues but was never told she had PKD until after she had undergone eight surgeries. Her issues started in the 1960s, and she found out she had PKD after having Tabby.
Tabby’s brother then started seeing symptoms in his late 20s, and an ultrasound revealed the cysts on his kidneys.
At that point, all three siblings were tested, and it was revealed that Tabby’s sister also suffers from PKD. She will need a transplant within the next year.
But Tabby doesn’t have PKD. “There’s got to be a reason I’m the only one who doesn’t have it,” Tabby said.