Meet some of our ‘Moms on the March’

Why these moms are walking 100 kilometres for their kids

Kidney March is not your average walkathon. It is the largest walk of its kind in the world fighting against kidney disease and for organ donation. Danielle Sinclair, Laura McKenzie, and Kim Ball are three of the many moms who take part every year. For them, kidney disease is a lifelong battle they never imagined they would have to face.

There is no age limit to kidney disease and kids with kidney disease experience unique challenges that impact the whole family.  Danielle Sinclair is marching for her 10-year-old daughter, Teagan. Teagan has a rare kidney disease called Cystinuria that almost went undetected. She was diagnosed at five years old and has had six surgeries to remove large cystine kidney stones. Due to her disease, Teagan lost her right kidney. Danielle’s hope is that Teagan will not need a transplant in her lifetime. 

“If my daughter and all the other people on dialysis and with kidney transplants can go through these challenges, I can challenge myself to complete 100 kilometres,” said Sinclair. By raising funds for research and walking the 100 kilometres, Sinclair said she’s able to take an active role in creating change and finding a cure. She hopes that her participation also inspires people to become organ donors.

This past year has been especially hard for first-time Marcher, Laura McKenzie who is facing the new diagnosis of her four-month-old daughter. Laura had to go through a lot of this alone. Due to COVID19 protocols, only one parent was allowed at appointments. “You try to stay strong but … there is only so much a mother can do on her own without breaking down.” Until Laura decided to do Kidney March and share her story, she hadn’t told family and friends. “No one can really do anything for you… but with Kidney March, they now have a way to help and a way to support us.”

“There is just so much love and support in the community and it’s comforting to know that I am not alone,” McKenzie said.

One of the greatest things about Kidney March is it reinforces the support of the community for patients, families, and healthcare professionals. Everyone can rally around the same cause, support each others journey, and connect from their shared experience.

 “Being part of the Kidney March family really gives me a sense of belonging,” explains Kim Ball, Calgary urologist and mother of three. Kim’s two-year-old son Liam’s kidneys have failed, he is on dialysis every night and needs a transplant. “As a mom, we want the best outcomes for our kids, we don’t want to see them suffer. So having this opportunity to hopefully better his future means a lot.” Liam’s father is just starting the process of testing through the donor program as he is the best potential match for Liam.  They are hoping Liam will be big enough soon so he can receive a living kidney donation by the end of this year.

Dr. Julian Midgley, former chief of pediatric nephrology at the Alberta Children’s Hospital in Calgary, participates alongside many health-care workers in the unit to show support for their patients and raise awareness in the community.

“We get to know these patients very well and this is another point of contact and support for them,” he said. “I’m very proud how the Kidney March has become a bigger and bigger event every year.”

“Every year, we fund incredible research projects, that improve the treatments of kidney disease and bring us that much closer to a cure,” explains Joyce Van Deurzen, Executive Director at The Kidney Foundation of Canada Southern Alberta Branch. “There have been many advances made by our researchers, and Kidney March is a big part of that.”

1 in 10 Canadians has kidney disease. There are also very few warning signs. Up to 80% of kidney function can be lost without any noticeable symptoms.  Genetics can cause chronic kidney disease and kidney failure, especially in children and adolescents. Some of these diseases can be rare or even ultra-rare, and a lot is still unknown about them. These moms are marching so that more research can be done to find answers to those unknowns. Not only for their own little ones, but for future families.

Make 2014 your best year yet.

Best Way for Spreading Christmas Cheer is Singing Loud for All to Hear

We, at the Kidney Foundation Southern Alberta branch, are singing to you and singing your praises.

Click here to read more.

Become a Hero In Training

There’s eight weeks until Kidney March! It’s time to kick our training into high gear.

Kidney March certainly isn’t a cake walk. But there’s motivation in our mission. Kidney disease can’t be stopped. People are waiting for transplants. The 100 kilometres and $2,200 we raise is nothing compared to the day-to-day battle of kidney disease.

However, when it comes to training, the brain can play tricks on us. It takes a lot of mental strength to go from the first lonely training walk of the winter months to game time shape! But fear not. We, along with the rest of your fellow Kidney March fans, are here to support you with our scheduled training walks.

And, just so you know, you do not have to be a marcher to do these training walks. These are come one, come all events. Sure, we’d love for you to jump on board for a heroic trek through the foothills of the rockies with hundreds of like minded marchers (side note: register here). But we’re just as happy to have you make a few friends and keep your kidneys running in tip-top shape. You can check out all of our upcoming walks and FYI (For Your Inspiration!!) sessions here.

A Kidney March Training Success Story

Laurel Ryan works with children suffering from kidney disease.

Laurel RyanAs a member of the Alberta Children’s Hospital Nephrology Program, she sees the effects of this disease every single day. Last year, she wanted to do something big to fight the disease. Something that would challenge her. The Kidney March fit the bill, and she took a leap.

What she found was a “spa for the soul”.

It started with training. The YMCA led walks were a perfect way to meet other marchers and keep her eyes on the finish line. Her leg muscles got stronger and grew accustomed to walking long distances. Her feet toughened up. All that movement and calorie burning helped her get down to her “marching weight”.

Laurel Ryan

Marching on behalf of the children every day was inspiring. 100 kilometres was an accomplishment, and she’s developed lifelong friends and a workout habit that’s been life changing. She’s become a 2nd year marcher, and considers it a privilege.

Interested in attending your own
“spa for the soul”?

Registration is open, and our support team is here to answer any questions you may have. Register today! We’ll help you get started.

Not from the Calgary area? Call our support team at 1-866-9KMARCH and we’ll help you plan your personal training program and connect you with other marchers in your area. We have marchers registered from coast to coast.

iPad Mini’s. Win 1. Give 1.

Here at Kidney March, we think building a movement this B-I-G is pretty remarkable but, let’s face it, we may be a little biased. Luckily for us, we have hundreds of alumni and their heartwarming testimonials to back up our claims. So, you could almost say it’s a fact. Jack.

And, here at Kidney March, we also know that just like awkward group photo’s or exploring Space Mountain, Kidney March is further sweetened by sharing with a someone special. So, in an effort to get everyone and their families, besties AND their BFF’s in this fight together, we have an idea.

Until April 30th, 2013, each and every person who registers to join us for Kidney March as either Marcher or Crew will be entered to win not one, but two (yes, two!!) exclusive Kidney March iPad Mini’s. One for you and the extra iPad Mini for a loved one of your choosing. All registrations must take place no later than 11:59pm April 30th, 2013 to qualify for the contest.

The goal? To get as many people in this fight as we can. To rally together to raise the boldest flag humanity has ever seen in the fight for kidney disease and the appeal for organ donation.

To all the folks already on board this year, no worries. You’ve already been entered in the draw. And, we admire your keenness.

To the folks sitting on the fence about whether or not to sign up for Kidney March on September 6th through 8th — why not join us? Not only will you get to enjoy the experience of a lifetime with some of the most inspiring people on the planet, but you may even be 2 iPad Mini’s richer.

You can register right now at: www.kidneymarch.ca or call 1.866.9KMARCH.

P.S. – Kidney March Expo is April 28th at Fort Calgary. Open to everyone and completely free. The place to be to find out all you need to know about Kidney March. You can find out more or RSVP here.

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Kidney March Expo is just around the bend

Kidney March 2013 is upon us! That means, it’s Expo time. It’s a little taste of adventure and heroism (for our fellow passionate fans of the hardest working organ) to kick off the 2013 Kidney March season.

To our new Marchers (or those thinking about it but leaning a bit towards yes), Welcome. We can’t wait to meet you in person!

And to our returning Alumni, our Kidney March Family. Welcome back. We’re delighted to see you again. And, honored that you have decided to once again step up to the plate and raise the boldest flag humanity has ever seen in the fight against kidney disease and the appeal for organ donation.

For those new to Kidney March and not sure what to expect, the Expo is a can’t miss afternoon chock-full of “how to’s, what now’s, and when should I’s”. Have questions about training? We can help you get ready for this. It’s our specialty. Wondering if you’ll hit your fundraising goals? We’ll turn you into a fundraising machine, we promise. Wondering where you’ll sleep? We’ll introduce you to our 5-star accommodations under the stars.

Expo Details:

Date: Sunday, April 28th, 2013
Where: Fort Calgary
, 750 9th Avenue SE, Calgary, AB
FYI Session – 11:00a-12:00p
Kidney March Expo – 12:00p – 2:00p
Kidney March 5K Training Walk – 2:00p – 3:00p

We can promise you that at both the Expo and at Kidney March, you will be in the company of the most inspiring folks on the planet. These heroes, who all have their very own story of why they are standing up and making noise for Kidney March are the inspiration that fuels Kidney March, the largest walk of it’s kind in Canada. And, we’d love it if you joined us. Feel free to bring a friend (or two). Because the only thing that sweetens the beauty of this journey of a lifetime is sharing it with a loved one. Or a team of loved ones.

Drop in’s for the Expo are very, very welcome but if you could RSVP, we’d sure appreciate it.

W: www.kidneymarch.ca

E: info@kidneymarch.ca

T: 1.866.9KMARCH

M: www.meetup.com/kidney-march

Don Cherry parts with a beloved car for a cause that’s close to his heart – via The Globe and Mail

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The Donor: Don Cherry

The Gift: A 1997 Yukon SUV

The Cause: The Kidney Foundation of Canada

The Reason: To raise awareness about organ donation

When Don Cherry’s beloved 1997 Yukon SUV finally gave up, he didn’t want to just send it to the scrap yard.

“I bought it for my daughter brand new,” the Toronto-based hockey broadcaster said.

“And she drove it for a while. Then my son drove it for quite a while, then I drove it for quite a while, and then my grandson drove it for quite a while.”

By then the vehicle had more than 300,000 kilometres on it. “I thought, ‘Well, it’s got to go’ and it’s kind of sad. I’m one of those guys that fall in love with cars,” Mr. Cherry said. “I thought, ‘Now how can I have this SUV, my beauty, go out in style?’ And I thought, why not go to the kidney car program and have it go that way?” Click here to read more.

Why Walk 100km’s in 3 Days? Because (kidney) failure is NOT an option.

Check out our new Kidney March video. It not only shows what Kidney March is all about, but it demonstrates why Kidney March is vital in its supporting research and programs. We need your help to spread the word! Please feel welcome to SHARE this video freely today!

via kidneymarch.

Three cheers for Kate, her incredible story and her contagious inspiration

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In January of 2011 at just 25 years old, Kidney March 2012 Alumni, Kate was diagnosed with IGA Nephropathy.  The diagnosis arrived after fourteen long months of experiencing severe headaches and sensitivity to light.   Click here to read more.

Why Marching Should be a Team Sport

 

 

May 23, 2012

 

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”

 

The ranks of Kidney March are a varied sort. We have the rugged individualists, marching for the cause, eschewing human contact as they strive for their personal bests. We have social butterflies, making new acquaintances with every step and stretch. We have those who stroll, curiously taking in every leaf, bird, and cow on the road.

But, however powerful our marchers are alone, teams are where it’s at. Here are a few reasons why you should turn Kidney Marching into a team sport:

You’ll be reminded of the “why.” Why the heck would I walk 100 kilometres in 3 days? Why did I sign up for this? When your brain starts heading down that treacherous path, your teammates will be there to get your mind back in the fight, back on those you love (like the “Nephrodisiacs“, or “In Memory of Nash“), back to those who make this commitment every year (like the Kidney Sisters), and back on track.

Click here to read more.

Become a Hero In Training

 

 

May 3, 2012

 

Become a Hero In Training

 

They say “April showers bring May flowers”. But around the excited halls of the Kidney Foundation, we say “April showers bring May…wait, it’s May? That’s 4 months until Kidney March! We need to start training!”

Kidney March certainly isn’t a cake walk. But there’s motivation in our mission. Kidney disease can’t be stopped. People are waiting for transplants. The 100 kilometres and $2,200 we raise is nothing compared to the day-to-day battle of kidney disease.

However, when it comes to training, the brain can play tricks on us. It takes a lot of mental strength to go from the first lonely training walk of the winter months to game time (fighting) shape! But fear not. We, along with the rest of your fellow Kidney March fans, are here to support you with our scheduled training walks. Click here to read more.