The Kidney Walk in Tillsonburg had a different look this year.
A national fundraiser organized by The Kidney Foundation of Canada, the Walk supports the kidney community. This year it was held as a virtual event. Participants collected online donations and walked in their own neighbourhoods.
Instead of walking a route that started and finished at Tillsonburg District Memorial Hospital, Greg and Anita D’Hulster, captain of the Dyl-Pickles team, walked at the Annandale Public School track Sunday morning with five of their grandchildren, ages 2-10.
“They’ve been coming every year with us,” said Anita.
Family members also walked in Welland and at the Rockwood Conservation Area in the Guelph area.
“Little groups of people all over the place,” said Greg, noting there were a few other local teams walking in the Tillsonburg area Sunday, including Kristen Parsons’ team.
Funds raised help people with kidney disease. The event also raises awareness about the importance of organ donations.
The Dyl-Pickles team, walking in memory of Dylan D’Hulster, surpassed its annual goal of $3,000, raising just over $4,000 as of Sunday.
“That’s pretty good for a crazy year,” said Greg.
“Even with the crazy year it’s still very important to the Foundation, and to the Tillsonburg hospital. I think in a lot of communities, participation and donations (this year) have dropped down, but we’ve found it just as important this year as last, as it will be next year. The need’s still there.”
“With COVID, it’s a lot tougher for people on dialysis,” said Anita.
Last year’s local Kidney Walk had more than 90 participants.