Be kind to your kidneys: walk, wheel or run

Greater Trail is gearing up for this year's Kidney Walk at Gyro Park on August 26.

After attending the Kidney Walk for the last two years, Karen Fontaine will be able to participate in the walking portion for the first time.

Over the course of the last two years that Fontaine participated, she was recovering from health problems ranging from kidney and pancreas failure to Riddle Diabetes to creating a Fistula and even Ielets. As a result, she could only fundraise money for the cause. On Sunday, August 26, the Trail Kidney Walk will take place in Gyro Park between 8 a.m. and 12 p.m.

The scope of problems that she suffered drained her so much that she doesn’t actually remember a lot of the last ten years.

“I spent more time in the hospital than at home,” she said.

“But the pancreas transplant changed my life.”

Fontaine received a call less than one year after her kidneys failed indicating that she could come into the hospital for the pancreas, but that the staff didn’t know if the organ donor’s kidneys could be used.

“When I woke up, I was told that I got both,” she said excitedly. “But I never had kidney disease very long. Some people have it for several years before they get a transplant.”

As a result, she spends a little more time at home. During kidney dialysis, she spent three days a week in the hospital for four hours each day so that her blood could be removed and cleaned.

“By the time you start feeling better, you’re ready to start your next treatment,” she explained.

People living with kidney disease often have to spend as much as 15 hours each week on dialysis. It is difficult for people with kidney disease and their families. The 2.5 and 5 kilometre walks in Greater Trail are geared to raise awareness about the debilitating disease.

Show your support by joining the Trail Kidney Walk at 10 a.m., after an 8 a.m. pancake breakfast and 9 a.m. registration. For more information, visit www.trailkidneywalk.ca.