Kidney March, is going ahead in an exciting new format for 2020, keeping in theme with their annual motto “Failure is Not an Option.”
This will be the 11th year for the three-day, 100-kilometre event held every September in the Calgary area and foothills of the Rocky Mountains.
Kidney March organizers knew this year was going to look very different.
Marchers will still walk 100 kilometres and raise the minimum $2,200 in the battle against kidney disease and for organ donation but will unite virtually from across Canada.
The 500+ participants in this year’s march will complete Kidney March in their own communities.
They will start by walking 70 kilometres between August 10 and September 10. Then they will connect virtually over the final three days of Kidney March, September 11 – 13, to walk 10 kilometres per day and complete the remaining 30 kilometres of their 100-kilometre journey.
“For the safety of our participants, we knew big changes would be necessary. Many of our participants are high-risk or family members of those most vulnerable. We also knew we could not let our community down by postponing or cancelling our event. For most participants, it is a year-long commitment to training and fundraising. It is more than a walk, Kidney March means so much to so many, it’s a community of support,” says Laura Fleming, Manager of Kidney March and Signature Events, The Kidney Foundation of Canada (Southern Alberta Branch). “We are thrilled by the number of people who continue to register every day. The support from across Canada is truly phenomenal.”
Marchers are drawn together because their lives have been impacted by kidney disease. Those living with kidney disease, friends, family and healthcare heroes rally together for this cause. Some also join who are not connected to kidney disease but simply want to do something meaningful, make a difference and challenge themselves.
One in 10 Canadians has kidney disease or is at risk, and the scariest part is most don’t know it. A person can lose up to 80 per cent kidney function without symptoms.
Every day 15 people learn their kidneys have failed, and they will need either dialysis or a kidney transplant to survive.
There is no cure for kidney disease, both dialysis and transplants are a form of life support. Seventy-eight per cent of Canadians waiting for an organ transplant are waiting for a kidney.
Wait times average four years, and many have died waiting.
That is why organ donation is such a vital part of the Kidney Foundation’s work.
Kidney disease is not only devastating physically and emotionally; it also comes with a huge financial burden.
Before the pandemic, requests for assistance were already greater than the funds available. The Kidney Foundation knows the need will only increase over the coming months.
“With growing economic, psychological, and health-related stresses impacting our kidney community, we need to continue Kidney March. People are counting on us. The funds raised will improve lives, there’s no question about that,” says Joyce Van Deurzen, Executive Director, The Kidney Foundation of Canada (Southern Alberta Branch).
Every year Kidney March makes a huge impact.
Last year the March raised over $1.4 million for The Kidney Foundation of Canada.
The money raised supports kidney disease prevention, lifesaving research, patient support programs, health education, and organ donation initiatives. A significant portion of the funds raised goes towards Canadian research projects, which are vital to the development of improved treatments and a cure.
The true impact of Kidney March, however, is beyond the numbers, it’s made up of every participant’s powerful story and the incredible impact it has on the lives of Canadians living with kidney disease.
Learn more and be inspired to register or donate at KidneyMarch.ca