For Daniel Hutchings, raising funds and awareness for the Kidney Foundation of Canada is a way for him to give back to the organization and people who have helped him so much in recent years.
Hutchings has been on dialysis for 10 years after getting an auto immune disease when he was in his twenties.
“Within a month my kidneys were shot. I had nothing left.”
After receiving a new kidney in 2010, Hutchings contracted meningitis which caused him to lose that kidney in 2017, putting him back on dialysis again awaiting another new kidney.
Dialysis entails going to Cariboo Memorial Hospital (CMH) three days a week for four hours each time where Hutchings’ blood is filtered through a machine.
“It’s like having another job,” he said of having to be on dialysis.
There, he meets other patients like Lions Club member Ron Erho, who is also on dialysis.
Erho, along with fellow Lions Club member Chantal Lambert and club president Wilf Goerwell, met Hutchings at the Williams Lake Seniors Centre Friday (May 27) to donate $300 which Hutchings accepted on behalf of the Kidney Foundation.
Hutchings was thankful for the donation, and said the funds raised at the annual Kidney Walk help patients such as himself with travel expenses related to medical needs and other supports.
This year the Kidney Walk was once again be held virtually.
“I know I’ll be walking,” he said of the chance to give back to the Kidney Foundation who has provided invaluable resources in his time of need.
“I also walk to advocate for other fellow kidney warriors and those we have lost along the way.”
The average life expectancy for those on dialysis is five years, and Hutchings, at 35, has been on dialysis for seven this time around.
He expects to get the call “any day” for a kidney transplant as he is now on the top of the organ recipient list, something he is very grateful for. “I hope to get the call within the month.”
Erho said being on dialysis “pretty well runs you down” but is necessary.
“The first time my kidneys let go I thought I was had but they came back and then a year later they didn’t come back after that,” Erho said. “Other than that, no big complaints, it’s keeping me going.”
As a member of the Lions Club and being a person who requires dialysis, Erho is also appreciative that “everybody helps everybody. That’s the name of the game.”
Hutchings and Erho see each other in passing to and from their appointments at CMH.
“We’re a pretty tight little group, and we try to help each other out too if anybody needs help.”
Hutchings said Williams Lake “is awesome” for being supportive and he encourages everyone to get out and take a walk for the Kidney Foundation.
A virtual online celebration took place Sunday, June 5 at 10 a.m. Please visit kidneywalk.ca to support the cause.