Health & Spirit

Father's disease inspires son's journey to find a cure

From Mayo Clinic News Network, Mayo Clinic News Network on

Published in Health & Fitness

It's amazing how far some people will go to accomplish their dream.

Dr. Fouad Chebib grew up in a small town in Lebanon. After finishing medical school in Lebanon's capital city, Beirut, Chebib chased his dream across the world to Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

"I'm one of the kidney doctors," Dr. Chebib says. "I am a physician-scientist."

There was one reason big reason his dream involved becoming a nephrologist at Mayo Clinic.

"I have a very passionate interest in polycystic kidney disease," he says."

"So what happens is the patients who have this genetic defect or mutation will start forming kidney cysts," Chebib explains. "Those are fluid-filled sacs in the kidney. So as they are growing, the kidney starts to fill with fluid and ... grow and grow. They have multiple ... cysts, and that damages the kidney, leading to kidney failure."


It's a devastating diagnosis.

"So far, there has been no cure," Chebib says.

But for the first time, there is hope for patients with polycystic kidney disease: a new drug.

"It blocks the thirst hormone," he explains. "It's called vasopressin."


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