Coen Wallace

Kidney Walk this weekend

Funds raised to support the Kidney Foundation; participants can choose three distances

Get ready to walk and run for a good cause; the Victoria Kidney Walk takes place this weekend at Clover Point.

The event kicks off at 10 a.m. Sunday (Aug. 17).

Funds raised go to the Kidney Foundation of Canada.

Participants can choose between three events, a 2.5-kilometre walk, a five-kilometre fun run or a five-kilometre timed run sponsored by the Running Room.

“The walk and the fun run are both free to participate in and are a way for us to get people out to support the foundation and raise awareness,” said Jamie Boittiaux, one of the event’s organizers.

For the timed run, participants are asked to pre-register ($35) online at victoriakidneywalk.ca. Race day registration is $40.

“Last year we had around 100 people come out and participate so we’re hoping to surpass that this year,” said Boittiaux, who is also a kidney patient and well aware of the benefits of the Kidney Foundation of Canada.

“I only became more involved with the foundation in the last couple of years,” she explained.

“I’ve had three kidney surgeries and a kidney removed and afterwards I felt so alone. When I got involved with the Victoria chapter of the foundation I found that I wasn’t alone at all. My hope is that all people who are newly diagnosed with kidney problems will know they have somewhere to turn and the Victoria Kidney Walk helps with that.”

The funds raised through the walks, which happen all over B.C. and Canada this month and next, go to the Kidney Foundation which supports people like Boittiaux and the Wallace family from North Saanich.

Coen Wallace, now four-years-old, lives with his mother, Tanis, father, Chris and brother Layton. He was born with diseased kidneys and spent the first two years of his life hooked up to a dialysis machine.

Fortunately for the family, in November 2012 after working with the Kidney Foundation, they found a donor match for Coen. He received a new kidney in February 2013 and is now happier and healthier than ever.

According to the Kidney Foundation, one out of every 10 British Columbians suffer from chronic kidney disease. In the past 10 years there is an inexplicable increase of 60 percent and with no cure, there is a pressing need to raise money for kidney disease research and patient care.

For more information, please go online to kidney.ca.

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