The annual Kidney Walk for The Kidney Foundation of Canada is returning to Penticton Sept. 23.
Registration opens at 9 a.m. in Gyro Park, with the 2.5 kilometre walk starting at 10 a.m. Participants can collect pledges for The Kidney Foundation of Canada in advance of the walk.
Top fundraiser so far, Annick Lim, says the walk benefits many people affected by kidney disease.
“If a person is diabetic, for example, it’s very likely they’ve had kidney issues also. Ninety per cent of people who have kidney disease is due to high blood pressure or diabetes,” said Lim.
Lim knows all too well how life-threatening and life-altering kidney disease can be — she was diagnosed with kidney disease due to a birth defect at 18 months. She received a kidney transplant from her father in 1999, allowing her to forego dialysis treatments.
“It’s become my passion to volunteer with the Kidney Foundation because there have been times in my life where the foundation was actually there for me — people don’t realize what the Kidney Foundation offers,” said Lim.
Lim states that what it really comes down to is that the foundation is supportive when you’re at your most vulnerable.
“It makes it so that people don’t have to fundraise for their upcoming medical expenses,” said Lim.
According to Lim, 39 people are currently on dialysis in the area. This involves a hospital visit every week, three to four times a week. For this reason, many people who suffer from kidney disease are unable to work. For those concerned they may not be able to participate in the 2.5 km walk due to health restrictions or other impairments, Lim says your presence at the event is enough.
‘We want people to understand that the walk is not a 15 km, it’s 2.5 km. It is made for all abilities, whether someone is in a wheelchair or a walker,” said Lim.
“But if you don’t want to do the walk or you’re not able to, you don’t have to. You can just stay at Gyro Park during the half hour walk.”
The event will also include entertainment and refreshments.
A silent auction featuring donated items from local vendors will take place after the walk.
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Jordyn Thomson | Reporter
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