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Walk to fight kidney disease on Sept. 18

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The province's kidney community will be out in full force on Sunday, September 18 to spread awareness of kidney disease and raise funds for The Kidney Foundation of Canada.

Tillsonburg is one of 40 communities in Ontario joining together this fall for The Kidney Foundation of Canada’s Kidney Walk. Each year, thousands of Canadians take steps to create a better future for those living with, and affected by, kidney disease.

Kidney disease is impacting communities and families in growing numbers. Today, one in 10 Canadians has kidney disease and over 1,000 Ontarians are waiting for a kidney transplant. The number of Canadians being treated for kidney failure has tripled in the last 20 years.

“There is a growing need to increase awareness around kidney disease, particularly with an aging population and an increase in people at-risk for diabetes and hypertension,” said Greg Robbins, President of The Kidney Foundation of Canada, Ontario Branch, in a media release. “Each year, the Kidney Walks raise funds to invest in important kidney disease research and support crucial programs and resources for those living with kidney disease.”

Kidney Walks are the Foundation’s largest community fundraiser. The events may only last a few hours, but the connections and camaraderie for those who attend has a lasting impact.

“Participants tell us time and time again how important it is to see they are not alone and to become involved in a community of those affected by kidney disease,” added Robbins. “It’s more than just patients, too. One in 10 Canadians have kidney disease and millions more are at risk. It’s likely someone you know is or will be affected by kidney disease.”

The Kidney Foundation’s goal is to support those affected by kidney disease through education, patient support programs like Kidney Connect Peer Support, advocacy, and by funding research to improve understanding of kidney disease and its treatments. Kidney disease is treated with dialysis or a kidney transplant; there is no cure.

Walk for someone you love living with kidney disease. For more information, to register for the Tillsonburg walk, or to donate, visit www.kidneywalk.ca. The Kidney Foundation's fundraising goal is $740,000 in Ontario.

Tillsonburg Kidney Walk

In Tillsonburg, the goal is to raise $3,000 said Greg D'Hulster, local contact person for the Tillsonburg Kidney Walk on Sunday, Sept. 18th. You can contact D'Hulster at 519-550-0685 for more details on the Walk.

As of Wednesday, they were more than 55% to that goal, he said.

Donations can be made through pledges, collected by walkers, or online at www.kidneywalk.ca.

Tillsonburg's annual walk - the Dylan D'Hulster Kidney Walk - begins at 10 a.m. in front of the Tillsonburg District Memorial Hospital. Registration is at 9 a.m.

You can register as a team or individually - local teams last year included Coward PharmaChoice and Tillsonburg Sole Mates, as well as Team D'Hulster, unofficially known as the 'Dyl Pickles' in honor of Dylan's nickname and wearing Toronto Maple Leafs apparel in honor of Dylan's favourite NHL team. In total, more than 50 people participated last year.

Dylan, who passed away in January 2015, was able to walk in Tillsonburg's early Kidney Walks, including the 2014 Walk.

Ed DeSutter, who was a key member of the committee that brought a dialysis unit to Tillsonburg, passed in 2007, several years before Tillsonburg's first Kidney Walk.

"Is this our fourth or fifth?" asked Linda DeSutter, Ed's wife, who has participated each year.

"Fifth," Greg nodded. "We started in 2011."

For the D'Hulster family, the goal is to carry on what they started for Dylan.

"And to help others out now, for sure," said Greg. "We know first hand how awful it is. Right?" he nodded to Linda.

"Yes, that's right," Linda agreed, noting Ed (who was not a candidate for a transplant) was on dialysis from 2000-2007, and would have 'walked' if it had been around earlier in Tillsonburg.

"I would have pushed him," she smiled.

IF YOU GO

Sunday, September 18

Tillsonburg Memorial District Hospital, 167 Rolph Street

10 a.m. (Registration begins at 9 a.m.)

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