Source: Shawnee Evergreen – Published July, 2013 by Erin Birbeck.
Most people diagnosed with kidney disease the news comes as a surprise. They had little awareness of kidney disease until forced with the diagnosis. For local Shawnessy resident Shannon Guyett, this is not the case. Several generations of Shannon’s family have been affected by kidney disease, and she knows all too well the burden it creates. Watching both her grandfather and father die from kidney disease, and then being diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease (PKD) herself, Shannon was determined to change the fate of her family. Unfortunately, the fight against kidney disease for Shannon’s family did not stop with her. At age 13 her daughter Alyssa was diagnosed with the same disease that has drastically altered Shannon’s life. Seeking to help her daughter adapt to a life with kidney disease, Shannon came to The Kidney Foundation of Canada.
When Shannon heard about the foundation’s annual Kidney March, there was nothing stopping her from taking on the challenge of walking 100 kilometers, in 3 days, from K- Country to Calgary.
Shannon explains, “When you go from having full kidney function and living life to the fullest, to finding out your kidneys are only functioning at 28%, it’s an eye opener. I can delay kidney failure but will not be able to stop it.”
When you have kidney disease the fight is never over, as there is no cure. For Shannon and her family, like thousands of other Canadians, this is a reality. The number of Canadians being treated for kidney failure has tripled in the past 20 years. Eighty percent of those waiting for an organ donation are in need of a kidney.
Shannon and her daughter refuse to let kidney disease hold them back. That’s why when Shannon is asked, “What are you marching for?” she responds, “to raise awareness and funds to expand the possibility of advancements in this challenge that I face on a daily basis. Kidney March asks me to do the most I have ever done for kidney disease. That’s my commitment.”
Shannon’s can-do attitude is inspirational. She is committed to holding a BBQ every weekend in July with all funds going towards her Kidney March challenge. Shannon is confident her Shawnessy community will support her in the fight against kidney disease. She is motivated to raise awareness and funds beyond expectations by the September 6 -8th Kidney March. Local residents can drop by and support Shannon at her home BBQ every weekend this July at 533 Shawinigan Drive S.W. To find out how you can support Kidney March, or to make an online donation in support of Shannon, please visit www.kidneymarch.ca or contact us at 1-866-956-2724.
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