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Although Sharon Wroblewski was not diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease (PKD) until she was 18, she was already familiar with it. PKD causes cysts to grow on the outside of the kidneys and eventually cause kidney failure. Growing up, she had been surrounded by it on both sides of her family. “On my dad’s side, 4 out of the 5 kids, including him, had kidney disease. Out of all my cousins, I don’t even know how many of them had PKD,” explained Sharon in a May 5, 2012 Westland Observer story.

Sharon, who lives in Westland, currently works at Comerica Bank in the commercial loan department. Bob is retired and cares for two of their grandchildren.

Around 2002, after being monitored by a nephrologist (kidney specialist) for many years, her kidney function began decreasing. “In 2011, it got to the point where my nephrologist said it’s time to get on the transplant list,” Sharon states. “My sister was a perfect kidney match except that the donor testing revealed that she had PKD as well, so she couldn’t donate.”

In February 2012, Sharon’s kidney function dropped to the point where she had started peritoneal dialysis at home. Then, on April 26, 2013, she received a kidney from a deceased donor. In November 2017, her sister also received a kidney from a deceased donor.

In 2011, in an effort to raise awareness about kidney disease, Sharon had formed a Kidney Walk Team called the “Kidney Beanz”. In addition to raising funds through walking, Sharon also sold raffle tickets.  Kidney Beanz consists of Sharon; Bob, her husband of 37 years; family members (even those in Florida who join in the fun long distance); friends and many additional walkers who have become friends over the years.

When the 2020 Kidney Walk went virtual, she said, “Well, at least we can still do it — it’s a whole new world this year.” Sharon keeps up with the NKFM through Facebook and participates in the Zoo Walk Facebook live events.

On August 15, 2021, the Kidney Beanz (pictured at right) participated in their 10th Kidney Walk at the Detroit Zoo, where where they raised money for the NKFM.

The Kidney Walk remains important to Sharon. “I walk to honor my father who died of kidney disease, to bring awareness about PKD and to raise funds to find a cure.”

Visit here for more information on the annual Kidney Walk at the Zoo.