By Jensen, Randy on September 10, 2020.
Submitted by The Kidney Foundation of Canada, Southern Alberta Branch
Hundreds of participants, across Canada and beyond, are marching this weekend to complete the final leg of their 100-kilometre journey in the fight against kidney disease and for organ donation. 2020 marks the 11th year for the three-day, 100-km event held every September, traditionally in the Calgary area and foothills of the Rocky Mountains.
This year, event organizers made the necessary changes to keep participants safe and continue the Kidney March mission – to make the biggest impact possible to improve the lives of those affected by kidney disease. Marchers are still walking 100 km and raising a minimum of $2,200 each but are completing the march in their own communities. They began their 100-km journey on Aug. 10 and will complete 70 km by today. This weekend, Friday to Sunday, participants will connect virtually for the final three days and walk 10 km per day, to complete their 100-km goal.
Nothing stops the Kidney March community’s determination and passion, not even a pandemic. The projected fundraising goal has been surpassed, and the fundraising total continues to climb. Additionally, there are 205 first-time participants, over half of whom registered specifically for the virtual format.
“We are thrilled by the number of people who continued to register and the overall response to the digital format. The support from across Canada has been truly phenomenal,” says Joyce Van Deurzen, Executive Director, The Kidney Foundation of Canada (Southern Alberta Branch).
Kidney March is a community drawn together because their lives are impacted by kidney disease. Those living with the disease, friends, family, health-care heroes, or those wanting to make a meaningful difference, rally together for this cause. One in 10 Canadians has kidney disease. A person can lose up to 80 per cent kidney function without symptoms, and kidney failure is irreversible. There is no cure for kidney disease, and 78 per cent of Canadians waiting for an organ transplant are waiting for a kidney.
Kidney March supports The Kidney Foundation’s work to improve patient outcomes, support kidney disease prevention, organ donation initiatives and lifesaving research. In 2019, the march raised over 1.4 million for The Kidney Foundation of Canada.
“Kidney March asks participants to do the most they possibly can for kidney disease and organ donation, and our community continues to amaze us. Their dedication is inspiring, and the funds we are raising will improve lives, there’s no question about that,” says Van Deurzen.
Kidney disease does not stop, and this year has proven that neither will the Kidney March community. They rose to the challenge of continuing their fight to reduce the burden of kidney disease and support research to find a cure. Visit kidneymarch.ca to donate or be inspired on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: @KidneyMarch.