110 W. New York Ave.
DeLand, FL 32720
By Pat Andrews
posted Nov 19, 2012 - 9:17:49am
Among those runners would also be Matt’s sister-in-law Amber, the wife of Matt’s brother, Adam.
Matt and Erin Thompson had registered as part of the PKD Foundation marathon team, and had agreed to help raise money for research for ways to beat polycystic kidney disease (PKD), which both Matt and Adam have, and which their father died of.
Matt is an attorney in DeLand; Adam is an actor who lives in New York.
PKD, an inherited disorder, affects the kidneys and other organs. Clusters of fluid-filled sacs, called cysts, develop in the kidneys, causing them to become enlarged and unable to do their job of filtering waste from the blood. Kidney failure can result.
The form of the disease Matt and Adam have and “millions and millions of people have,” becomes apparent in adulthood. They inherited PKD from their father, Claude “Tommy” Thompson, who died in 2005.
Tommy went into renal failure. He received a kidney transplant from his brother, but then Tommy died from complications of the surgery.
Matt and Adam got themselves tested when Tommy’s condition deteriorated, and learned they, too, had the disease. The brothers were in their 20s.
“I was in law school at the time,” Matt said.
So far, they’ve stayed healthy, mostly by maintaining a healthful lifestyle. Keeping one’s blood pressure low is paramount, Matt said. There’s no cure for PKD, and no medication to take for it.
Another, rare form of PKD can appear in infants and can kill them.
Matt and Erin Thompson felt compelled to run a marathon to raise funds to fight this disease, and to honor Tommy.
But after Hurricane Sandy hit, Amber was running water and supplies to her New York neighbors who were stuck without power. The New York City Marathon was canceled.
Back in DeLand, Matt and Erin decided it would be better not to travel to New York, but to run a marathon locally, to fulfill their pledge request. Each wanted to raise $3,000, and they had trained for nine months to prepare for the grueling race.
So, on Nov. 4, Matt and Erin ran a 26.2-mile course through West Volusia. They started at Grand Avenue in DeLand, and ran north to Reynolds Road, then to Marsh Road, and Daugharty and State Road 11 in DeLeon Springs, before heading back.
Friend Brad Strickland ran with them, and friends Robbie Carrelli and Andrew Oates joined the couple for support toward the end of the run.
Erin’s mom, Karen, and her stepfather, Jerry, along with Matt’s mother, Cindy, and his stepfather, Mark, were at the finish line to cheer them on.
The race was exhausting, Matt said. He noted training for marathons is time-consuming and “doesn’t factor into a good work life.”
Erin has been running half-marathons for a couple of years. The couple decided to stick with the shorter runs, but keep running — for their health.
Matt said he’s within a few dollars of his $3,000 pledge, but Erin still needs some help. Anyone interested in donating can go online to Erin’s page at the First Giving website, www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/erin-e-thompson/2012-run-for-pkd-ing-nyc-marathon-team.
Erin wrote, on behalf of Matt and herself, “I want to personally thank each one of you, my family of treasured friends, for your encouragement and donations. This has been a journey filled with love and healing, and I remain humbled and overwhelmed by your support.”
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