33 minutes | Feb 2, 2022

Pregnancy and kidney disease

Pregnancy can be an exciting time for most people, but what does it look like if you are a kidney patient? What does pregnancy look like if they have kidney disease, are on dialysis, or have received a transplant? In this episode, we’ll hear useful facts and tips from transplant nephrologist Dr. Mariana Markell, as well as personal stories from Cari Maxwell and Katie Reed, two mothers living with kidney disease.


In this episode, you'll hear from:

Dr. Mariana Markell 

Dr. Markell is a graduate of Yale University and New York Medical College and received her Residency and Fellowship training at Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital and UCLA Medical Center. At SUNY Downstate she has served as the Director of Inpatient Dialysis and created the first Transplant Nephrology Fellowship Program in New York City. She currently continues to care for general and transplant nephrology patients while serving at the Medical Director of Kidney Transplantation. Her research interests include the impact of social determinants of health and issues in women’s health in the person with kidney disease.

Katie Reed

Katie Reed has autosomal dominant tubulointerstitial MUC1 kidney disease (ADTKD-MUC1) and is a recent recipient of a successful kidney transplant. Katie is a board member for the Rare Kidney Disease Foundation, which focuses on raising awareness of ADTKD, building up the ADTKD community, and advocating for patients and families. Katie and her husband reside in North Carolina and are parents to two young children. In their free time, you can find the Reeds out and about at local parks, watching a thrilling game of preschool-aged soccer, cheering for the Steelers, or taking over Disney World in matching family shirts. Professionally, Katie is a Managing Director with Afton Partners, a consultancy focused on funding policy, governance, and sustainability strategies for education and human services organizations.

Cari Maxwell 

Cari was diagnosed with Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) in 1989. Through healthy living and choices, she managed her disease on her own for many years following the example of her father, who experienced ESRD in the early 1980s. A registered organ donor provided a near-perfect matching kidney to him and that gift of life granted Cari and her family 31 additional years with him before he passed away in October of 2018. Advancements in treatment for PKD patients are very close to Cari’s heart, not only for herself but also for her other two siblings and oldest child that are diagnosed with ADPKD and for the likelihood that her two younger children may also be one day. She was fortunate to be able to participate in the clinical trial for the first-ever FDA-approved treatment for PKD – a treatment she still benefits from today.

Cari is a member of the National Kidney Foundation's Kidney Advocacy Committee, and she champions patient education, early detection, and scientific advancement through patient-oriented clinical research. She hopes that through her commitment to the awareness of chronic kidney diseases, others will take an active role in their health journey through early detection, healthy choices, and becoming a strong voice of advocacy for themselves and others. Cari is a wife and mother to three daughters and works full-time as the Director of Culture & Operations for a growing technology integration firm near Hershey, PA.


For more information on pregnancy and kidney disease, visit https://www.kidney.org/atoz/content/pregnancy.

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