Edna Humphreys wants people to spend more time thinking about their kidneys because not enough people do.
“You can’t live without a healthy heart, lungs and kidneys,” she said.
Humphreys is one of the organizers of the Kamloops Kidney Walk, an annual fundraiser for the Kidney Foundation of Canada.
The event will take place this Sunday at McDonald Park in North Kamloops, with registration at 10 a.m., opening ceremonies at about 10:45 a.m. and the walk starting at about 11 a.m.
The route will go from McDonald Park to the Rivers Trail, to the entrance of McArthur Island, then back to McDonald Park.
“It’s a really scenic walk along the river there,” Humphreys said.
A sausage and pancake breakfast will be provided by donation by the Kamloops Brock Central Lions Club at 11:15 a.m.
Humphreys said that they usually get between 200 and 300 walkers out for the event, but she would like to see more participants.
Unfortunately, kidney disease is not something at the top of mind for most people.
The local organization’s fundraising goal is $20,000, with all money raised going to the B.C. branch of the Kidney Foundation of Canada.
Humphreys said most of the money raised in Kamloops will end up being spent locally and regionally.
“Several years ago, we did have something like $31,000 in our walk and, when I asked the kidney foundation how much money had been spent in our RIH region, it was $27,000 or something,” she said.
“It doesn’t exactly stay in Kamloops, but we get what we need.”
Some of the money goes to support the seven kidney suites on the Lower Mainland that are often used by locals when they need to travel south for treatment or a transplant. A stay in a kidney suite is only $25 a night, significantly lower than prices at Vancouver hotels.
“When my son had his transplant, he was down there just under six weeks,” Humphreys said.
“But people can be there eight weeks and most people have to maintain their homes here and pay rent as well. It’s a huge financial burden.”
Approximately one in 10 people in Canada suffers from kidney disease.
More information on kidney disease and organ donation can be found at the Kidney Foundation of Canada’s website at kidney.ca.