Cowichan Kidney Walk set to raise funds, awareness about disease

The Cowichan Valley is one of 25 locations across British Columbia that are hosting a Kidney Walk on Sunday, Aug. 10.

"The Kidney Walks are fun, family events that raise critical funds for programs and services to help British Columbians affected by kidney disease," said Laura Cranfield of the Kidney Foundation of Canada in a news release. "It also raises awareness about the severity of kidney disease, as well as the importance of organ donation."

The walk in Duncan is taking place at the Cowichan Sportsplex with registration starting at 9 a.m. and the walk starting at 10 a.m. "This year is especially important for The Kidney Foundation of Canada, as it marks our 50th Anniversary," said Cranfield. "We are so proud of all that we have accomplished for kidney patients, and hope that this year of Kidney Walks is our most successful to date."

The Kidney Foundation aims to prevent kidney disease or delay its onset. They provide support services for patients who have chronic kidney disease and promote organ donation to increase transplant rates.

One in 10 British Columbians has kidney disease and the rate of those suffering has grown 60 per cent over the last 10 years.

Risk factors include diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, family history of kidney disease, aboriginal, African, Asian or South Asian ancestry and being over 50 years old.

To help decrease your risk you can stay active, monitor your blood sugar levels, monitor your blood pressure, reduce your salt intake, don’t smoke and refrain from regularly taking ibuprofen. Over 3,000 people rely on kidney dialysis to live. The average wait time for a kidney transplant is five years.