Kidney Walk – Day of awareness

The Trail Kidney Walk earned 81 per cent of their $15,000 goal before the day had passed.

The Trail Kidney Walk earned 81 per cent of their $15,000 goal before the day had passed.

More than 60 people attended the 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. fundraiser in Gyro Park on Sunday.

And they came from all over the West Kootenay.

“The West Kootenay is a large region so we have to pick one physical, geographical spot to have this walk,” explained event coordinator Laura Farnsworth.

The day began with a pancake breakfast, an event Farnsworth planned for people suffering from mobility issues.

“There are all kinds of people here, some people came here because their neighbour is on dialysis and others are here because their sister had a transplant,” Farnsworth said. “(People) can continue by coming here and fighting.”

There were 2.5- and five-kilometre walks in Greater Trail geared to raise awareness about the debilitating disease. Some walked from Gyro concession along riverside sidewalk to Bingay Bay Park in Sunningdale and returned the same way.

While others went from the concession to Bingay Bay, then along Hazelwood Drive and looped around Marianna Crescent, down Hillside Drive and back to Bingay Bay and the Gyro concession stand.

The kidney walk symbolized a common cause and raised awareness about the importance of organ donations. The Safeway pharmacy provided free blood pressure tests, a major risk of kidney disease.

“The weather has been glorious,” she said, “we couldn’t have asked for better weather and the spirit here has been palpable.”

The event continued with a silent auction to raise money for people who use programs offered through the B.C. branch of the Kidney Foundation. In addition, Lisa Sloot performed a Cree song about healing and taught people how to drum.

Sloot and her husband John attended the event as this year’s walk honourees from Castlegar. The couple spoke out about the hurdles of kidney disease.


By the Numbers

• Getting dialysis treatment costs $50,000 annually but a one-time cost of a kidney transplant provincially is roughly $20,000, with an additionally yearly cost of $6,000 for anti-rejection medications.

• In B.C., 25 per cent of people waiting for an extra-renal transplant die on the waiting list.

• Each year, less than one per cent of all deaths in B.C. result in potential solid organ donation.

• There are more than 400 people awaiting a transplant is B.C. and 240,000 people unknowingly living with kidney disease.