About 150 people turned out for the 11th annual kidney walk in Penticton Sunday, helping raise over $25,000 for the Kidney Foundation of Canada.
That’s about $10,000 more than last year’s estimated $15,000.
“We definitely raised more money this year. We are third in the province, as far as I know at this moment,” said organizer Annick Lim, who was pleased to see a solid turnout, especially with the crowd including support staff, doctors and nurses from Penticton Regional Hospital.
“That really means a lot to the community. We see these people on a regular basis, which makes it nice to have them here,” said Lim, adding there were also some young faces among the participants.
“It was really nice to see, to help people realize that there are children in the community with kidney disease. There was a couple of little girls that actually have kidney disease, one is about three and the other is about six,” said Lim, who was diagnosed with the condition when she was 18 months old.
“I’m 43 now. I’ve had my kidney transplant for close to 20 years. It is just an eye opener for people to realized that kidney disease exists at any age. It can happen to anyone.”
Money raised by the walk goes to help fund research nationally, and patient services, like “kidney suites,” to house families when they are travelling to Vancouver for treatment.
“We have a couple of townhouses that are close to all of the hospitals at the coast — B.C. Children’s Hospital, Vancouver General Hospital, St. Paul’s — where all the transplants happen,” said Lim.
Money raised by this year’s Kidney Walk is going to be bolstered by a local businessman. Al Mansfield, owner of the White Spot, pledged to donate $4 from every entree sold Sunday to the fundraising campaign.
“He’s hoping to raise a lot of money,” said Lim. “Al Mansfield and his wife Dorothy, she just had a kidney transplant. He’s a really good supporter. I am just grateful to have him on board.”