April 22nd, 2024

Virtual Kidney Walk supporting patient programs, research and organ donation initiatives

By Alejandra Pulido-Guzman For the Lethbridge Herald on May 13, 2021.

Every spring for the past nine years, residents of Lethbridge and Medicine Hat have put on their walking shoes for a morning of family fun to support kidney patients in their community.
When the pandemic changed the world in 2020, the switch to make Kidney Walk virtual was a tremendous success and surpassed the foundation’s expectations.
Kidney Walk is an opportunity for those affected by kidney disease, patients, loved ones and health professionals to walk united, raising awareness and funds to support the Kidney Foundation of Canada in providing patient programs, advancing research, and supporting organ donation initiatives.
Dialysis nurses like Jamie Wald see first-hand the devastating effects of kidney disease. It is a big commitment for kidney disease patients, once they’re on dialysis they require treatment three days a week, four hours a day.
“I find the kidney walk very special for me. I’ve been a dialysis nurse for the past four years now and I’ve seen first-hand the serious struggles people face while suffering from kidney diseaset whether it’s physically, emotionally or financially,” says Wald.
This year will be Wald’s third time participating in the Kidney Walk. She has created a team with her fellow nurses to support the foundation’s local services and advocate for their patients.
“The Kidney Foundation is incredible at supporting patients in so many ways, from their finances, getting to and from dialysis treatments, and more. I am proud to be able to walk in support of my patients and the foundation,” adds Wald.
Although the event is virtual again this year, the commitment to support kidney patients remains the same. “This past year has proved the resilience and strength of our community,” says Joyce Van Deurzen, Executive Director, Southern Alberta and Saskatchewan.
“We are proud to be able to host Kidney Walk virtually again and support the patients and their families that count on us,” adds Van Deurzen.
This year the walk will take place on Sunday June 6, 2021. Registration is free, participants walk between two and five kilometers, or a distance of their choice and will join the online celebration at 11:00 am MT.
Funds raised by Kidney Walk benefit the Kidney Foundation of Canada and fuel advances in kidney research, valuable local patient programs, organ donation initiatives, and much more.
A person can lose up to 80 percent of their kidney function without any noticeable symptoms. There is no cure for kidney disease, and it is the tenth leading cause of death in Canada.

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