On Sunday, Aug. 25, Tracy Short is inviting everyone in the community to come help make a difference at the first ever Kidney Walk and Run in Boitanio Park.
Short, this year’s regional honouree for the Kidney Walk in Williams Lake, has seen first hand the devastating effects kidney disease can have on a family.
Short’s dad Ken DeWalt, who she is representing on Aug. 25, passed away from kidney disease in 2011 and, through his story, she hopes to help put a face to the disease.
“Many people suffer with kidney disease, like my dad,” Short said. “While there is no cure, my goal is to help engage and generate interest in organ donation.”
Short said her dad suffered with kidney disease for seven years.
He was on peritoneal dialysis for those seven years until May of 2011 when he was put onto hemodialysis. However, his heart was too weak and, unfortunately, one month later, he died at the young age of 62.
“I didn’t know anything about the Kidney Foundation (of Canada) until my dad got sick,” she said.
“So last year I decided on his birthday to check into the Kidney Foundation walk in Kamloops and did that for the first time.
“I was drawn to walking again this year but I wanted the money raised to stay here in Williams Lake.”
Williams Lake will be joined by 19 other communities across B.C. who are championing the Kidney Walk. Since 2008, the Kidney Walk has raised more than $860,000 for kidney patients in B.C.
This year’s goal is to raise $340,000 province-wide.
Free registration for the Williams Lake Kidney Walk and Run begins at 9 a.m. in Boitanio Park, with the walk and run starting at 10 a.m. The walk will be a 2.5-kilometre route, while the run will be five kilometres in length.
There will also be an opening ceremonies, speeches, a silent auction for the Kidney Foundation, a food vendor and a bouncy castle for the kids.
Short said donations to the Kidney Foundation can either be made online or at the walk, and information about becoming an organ donor is available online at transplant.bc.ca.
Short will be at Save-On-Foods in Williams Lake this Friday, Aug. 16 from noon until 5 p.m. sharing informational brochures and handing out wristbands for the upcoming walk.