On December 11, 1999, it was with great sadness that Ken Walter passed away from complications associated with Fabry disease. He was only 37 years old when his battle ended after being on kidney dialysis for 8 years. Ken's death was especially hard to take knowing that a treatment for Fabry disease was getting closer and closer.
Despite Ken's struggle with his health, he lived life well. His family and friends were always proud of him for making the most of the time he had. He took great pride at accomplishing things and he usually excelled at the things he was capable of doing. He was a hard worker and had great initiative to always seek better jobs and a better life for his family. Ken was also an avid sportsman. He loved to hunt. Ken was a good golfer, an excellent archer, and a 300-game bowler. When he made up his mind to do something, he gave it his best effort. Like many individuals with Fabry disease, Ken didn't dwell on the things he couldn't accomplish. He figured out what he could accomplish despite the limitations of the disease and did them well.
Above all, Ken's pride and joy were his two daughters, Caitlin and Jeannine. He loved his girls more than anything. Ken came from a large family, 6 brothers and one sister, who he also loved very much and they loved him. Ken is pictured with his family in the attached photo. Ken is at the bottom center in the wheelchair.
At the time of his passing, Ken's brother Tom wrote this for Ken's daughters: "I would say this. Your father loves you very much, and even though there were no goodbyes between you, always remember that he is with you. You were his pride and his joy. After today, remember him as a loving and caring father who wanted nothing more for you than to love each of you and for each of you to be happy. Let's not be sad with his passing but rejoice and celebrate his birthday. He was to be 38 years old on the 13th of December. I love you my brother and I will miss you."
We miss Ken, we think of him often and we will always remember him for facing life with great strength and great pride. He was a good man!
Ken's mother and 4 of his siblings, including the NFDF founder, Jerry, are also affected by Fabry disease. Ken is survived by his two daughters, mother, father, brothers and sister, and many aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins.