Today the Skaha Lake Ultra Swim returns for its 22nd year, and the second year in which the race will be supporting the Kidney Walk and Canadian Kidney Foundation.
The partnership came from several competitors’ and organizers’ personal backgrounds and experiences with kidney disease and the Canadian Kidney Foundation.
“My mum’s life was extended by about 15 extra years because of dialysis,” said Matt Hill, one of the organizers of the Ultra Swim. “When she was 70 – I was watching her die in front of my eyes before they finally realized it was her kidneys that were at about two per cent function. Her doctor told me in 30 years being a kidney specialist he’d never had a person get off after starting at her age. She was off in a year and stayed off for another 10 years before she had to go back on at 80. She decided to have a dignified death at 85 as her kidney function was eventually dropping and she felt pretty darn grateful that kidney cleaning had given her that gift of life for the last chapter.”
The money raised by the Ultra Swim and the Kidney Walk supports the Canadian Kidney Foundation. One in 10 have kidney disease, and many go undiagnosed. The Kidney Foundation not only uses the money they receive to research kidney disease, the organization also runs programs that help support people who need transplants, as well as those who are donating their organs.
“Twenty years ago, when I received my transplant, there was a program through the Kidney Foundation’s B.C. and Yukon branch called the LODER program,” said Annick Lim, the volunteer for the Kidney Foundation who will be helping the swim with the donations and pledges. “The living organ donor program, it helps fund people who are going to be donating an organ, for their travelling or expenses.”
Last year, together with the Kidney Walk in June, over $39,000 was raised for the Canadian Kidney Foundation. This year, the Ultra Swim alone has raised around $1,100 out of a goal of $5,000, with the majority of donations expected to come over the weekend.
The Kidney Foundation will be taking donations and pledges at registration for the swim on Aug. 10 at the Peach City Runners at 214 Main St, Penticton from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. There will also be a tent set up on race day Sunday Aug. 11 at Christie Beach in Okanagan Falls at the end of the course, where you can make a donation starting at 10 a.m.
Those interested in registering or donating can click here.
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