Kidney walk Sunday at Gyro

The walk goes from Gyro Park to Sunningdale at 10 a.m. “You can bring your bike, you can roller skate – we don’t mind.” - Joanne McKinnon

One in 10 British Columbians suffer from some kind of kidney disease and the community of Trail is doing what it can to help.

Supporters, patients, family and friends are getting together with The Kidney Foundation of Canada at Gyro Park on Sunday morning to raise money and awareness for kidney disease in Canada.

Joanne McKinnon, coordinator for the sixth annual kidney walk, says there is no end in sight to kidney disease in Canadians and events like this spread the word and raise donations.

“There is no cure,” she said. “The funds that we raise support this serious disease and it also goes towards heightening (awareness) for kidney transplants. The transplant organization and the kidney foundation coordinate back and forth. It is a hand-in-hand thing.”

The walk goes from Gyro Park to Sunningdale at 10 a.m. and McKinnon says you don’t have to be a walker to participate.

“You can bring your bike, you can roller skate – we don’t mind,” she said, adding that the 2.5 km route is merely a suggestion. “We have a lot of renal patients, so they will walk half way and come back. The idea is just to raise money and awareness with the walk. You can go as far into Sunningdale as you want.”

For those that want to participate in the walk but haven’t gotten any pledges or registered already, don’t worry.

“We have corporate sponsors, people who sign up with pledge forms, or you can sign up on the day of,” said McKinnon, adding that it is possible to register online.

This year’s goal is to raise $25,000 and McKinnon says they are already one-third of the way there.

“We (fundraise) all the way until the end of September,” she said. “We have a lot of people who have friends and relatives on dialysis and are from out of town that will donate later.”

As a little bit of extra motivation to join the Kidney Walk, community members have donated door prizes and there is even a silent auction-type bid sheet for a flight voucher.

“(It is) a trip for two from Pacific Coastal that has been generously donated,” said McKinnon. “It is worth $1384 and it is open ended. You can fly whenever you like and you have a year to use it.”

By registering for the walk, you are entered into a draw for the door prizes.

When the walk is over and stomachs start grumbling, the Kiwanis Club will be on hand cooking over the grill.

Registration for the kidney walk starts at 9 a.m. on Sunday morning in Gyro Park with walkers hitting the route at 10 a.m. For more information about the walk, the cause, to donate or register, visit trailkidneywalk.ca.

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