Source: Perth Community News | Chris Must
EMC Events - Organizers of the second annual Kidney Foundation of Canada "Give the Gift of Life Walk" to be held in Perth Sept. 25 are hoping to raise at least $8,000 for the cause.
Organizer Brenda Dubé said last year's walk raised $6,000 and attracted 30 participants. "I'm really trying to get more people involved this year, and trying to get not only Perth aware, but also the surrounding communities," she added.
The Sunday morning walk will start from the Crystal Palace in the Tay Basin at 10 a.m., with registration opening at 9 a.m., and a pre-walk warm-up planned for 9:45.
Any participant who registers prior to Sept. 17 will be entered in a draw. The prize is a one-night stay for two at the Sheraton Hotel in Ottawa. To register, call Brenda Dubé at 613-264-1175, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The walk replaces the annual Round-Up For Research fundraising held in Perth for a number of years to support the Kidney Foundation.
Proceeds of the Perth walk, and similar walks being held in 30 communities across Ontario this month, will support education and awareness of kidney disease, fund support programs for patients, and research, and help promote organ donation, "which is very important, because a lot of lives are lost," said Dubé.
The five km walk will take place on the same route in downtown Perth as last year. "I'm using the same route as last year, because it worked well, and people seemed to like it," said Dubé. The route is wheelchair accessible, since it follows paved streets and sidewalks, and it is possible for anyone who may be unable to complete the entire five km to return to the Crystal Palace early.
Participating in the walk and collecting pledges will help save lives, said Dubé. "It's a common disease that a lot of people struggle with, and without their dialysis, they won't survive," she said.
The dialysis unit at the Smiths Falls site of the Perth and Smiths Falls District Hospital serves 27 patients, each of whom requires three treatments per week lasting from three to five hours.
According to information from the Kidney Foundation of Canada, kidney disease can strike anyone at any age. An estimated 2.6 million Canadians have kidney disease, or are at risk. Each day an average of 15 people are told that their kidneys have failed. In 2009 there were nearly 38,000 Canadians on renal replacement therapy, more than triple the number in 1990.
The two leading causes of kidney failure are diabetes and renal vascular disease (including high blood pressure).
The need for more awareness of organ donation is highlighted by the statistic that 249 people died while waiting for an organ donation in Canada. One third of them were waiting for a kidney.
Dubé said it is important for anyone battling a disease to have the kind of support offered by the Kidney Foundation, and to have an awareness of the resources that are available to help.
The Sept. 25 walk will go ahead rain or shine. There are public washrooms on-site, and ample parking in the vicinity. Coffee, tea, water and refreshments will be available before and after the walk.
Anyone who participated in last year's walk will be eligible for a special draw if they can also persuade a friend to sign up this year, and bring in a minimum $50 pledge. The prize for the special draw will be an automobile cleaning package.
Prizes for the top individual fundraiser and top fundraising team will be awarded. Dubé said she also hopes to have some local products or services to raffle. "The general public are more than welcome to drop by and show support by offering a donation if they wish," said Dubé, and will also be welcome to get in on the raffle.