Kidney March 2022 Surpassed Expectations! THANK YOU!

Congratulations and thank you. 

You continued to fight united against kidney disease and for organ donation. Your determination and commitment to making a difference in the lives of kidney patients and their families was heroic. It is because of you Kidney March 2022 exceeded every expectation we had. Thank you!

After two years of marching on our own paths, we came together to share heartfelt highs and lows, laughs and tears, and embrace the incredible feeling of uniting, no matter what. Strangers became friends, and lifelong memories were made, all while making a monumental impact in the lives of those affected by kidney disease.  You blew up social feeds and shared your journey with so many around the world. 

To everyone who participated but was unable to do so in person, we can’t thank you enough for putting your all into Kidney March this year. You are valued members of our Kidney March family and we loved watching your journeys online.

Thanks to you, our marchers, crew, sponsors, donors, and volunteers, we put kidney disease and organ donation on the map in the biggest way possible.

Kidney March 2022 raised over $959,635 – and the donations are still coming in! This year’s fundraising contributes to the over $12 million raised through Kidney March to support all those living with kidney disease, fund life-saving research, and fuel organ donation initiatives and education. We’re closing in on a million dollars and there is still time to help reach our goal, donations are accepted until October 31, 2022. Donate Now

Stay connected on our social pages, @KidneyMarch on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Join the Kidney March Training Walks Group, Kidney March Crew Group, and Strava Club. Tag yourself in our Facebook Albums! We will be uploading more pictures and videos from the weekend there. 

• Save the date for the Kidney March Alumni Reunion on Saturday, October 22, 2022. We will unveil the Kidney March 2022 video and celebrate everyone who made this year outstanding!

Registration is open for the 2023 Richardson Wealth Kidney March, this is going to be a HUGE year. Register before December 1, 2022, to be a Trailblazer! As a Trailblazer, you pave the way for the year to come and you will receive an exclusive Trailblazer item.

Click here to register for Kidney March today & BE A 2023 TRAILBLAZER!

From the Kidney March team and all those living courageously with kidney disease, thank you for being a hero in the face of adversity. Together we are changing lives, and we could not do it without you.

The Story Behind the Memorial Hill Banner

At Kidney March, you will cross paths with some of the most incredible people on the planet whose generosity extends far beyond fundraising for our cause. Meet Jimmy Lock and Pierre Lebrun, Creators of the Memorial Hill Banner.

Brought together through a mutual friend, Jimmy and Pierre’s compassion for our Kidney March community is inspirational. 2019 was Jimmy’s first year marching, and he has been a monumental part of our community ever since. Pierre got a glimpse of Kidney March in 2019 as a spectator and volunteer and is now a three-time participant too.

“I came to support my friend at a cheering station and I was amazed. So many participants. I could not believe the commitment of the walkers. I have no personal connection to kidney disease. Just a big heart, wanting to do good for others.”- Pierre Lebrun

When a Kidney March family suffered a tragic loss, Jimmy and Pierre came together with big hearts to show their support by creating a new tradition to honour those we have lost, the Memorial Hill banner. They collected the names of passed loved ones from fellow Marchers and Crew and wrote them on the banner with the intention of displaying it at the top of the route’s steepest climb on day two in 2020.

The banner will finally be displayed on the route for the first time this year. It will be an emotional experience as it waits at the top of the big hill, “Memorial Hill” to commemorate our loved ones.

Pierre and Jimmy want to extend the opportunity for everyone to honour those they’ve lost on the banner. To add a loved one’s name to the banner please contact Pierre directly at, pierrotlebrun1956@gmail.com

Why We March, Meet Andree Fedoruk

Thirteen-time Marcher Andree Fedoruk featured on this year’s poster, gives us a glimpse of the camaraderie and spirit that brings her back to Kidney March every year.

Andree and her husband Steve took a leap of faith and joined Kidney March in its first year. Ready to give back after Steve received a lifesaving transplant in 2001 from his sister, Marilyn, the couple registered to March and Crew and have not missed a year since.

“It’s been unbelievable to see the progression of Kidney March. Growing year after year. We are friends. We are family. The benefits with this community are limitless.” Andree Fedoruk

This year’s poster image represents our community of support and compassion. Andree, on the left side, explains what was happening.

“That was the Sunday leaving camp. Carrie and I were walking out and saw Kristine crying. It’s an emotional day. We put our arms around to support her, console her, reminisced about the weekend, and motivated each other to keep marching on.”  

Andree shared her Kidney March advice, and we couldn’t have said it better ourselves.

“It’s not about looking at the finish line. It’s about what happens between the start and finish. Meeting the people, learning their stories, sharing laughs, tears, and being inspired.” 

Look for Andree at this year’s Kidney March and say hello. She can’t wait to create more memories again this year!

You’re Invited! 2021 Kidney March Celebration and Alumni Reunion

Saturday, October 23, at 7:00 pm MT
Where: Online at kidneymarch.ca
– It will premiere live right here on our homepage. 

It’s time to celebrate your accomplishments and everyone who has made Kidney March what it is today. Join us Saturday, October 23, at 7:00 pm MT for the Kidney March Celebration & Alumni Reunion!

We have a lot to be proud of and much to celebrate! Everyone is invited, all past and present Marchers and Crew, volunteers, donors, sponsors, friends and families, you are our Kidney March family and the kidney community!
Watch special messages from your fellow Kidney Marchers, see who won the top fundraising awards, be the first to see our 2021 video, plus we will reveal the 2022 Trailblazer item!

What is a Trailblazer?
Trailblazers are bold and committed. They take the first steps in the fight against kidney disease and for organ donation by registering before Dec 1, 2021 and pledging to raise $2200 for Kidney March 2022.  All Trailblazers will receive a special gift in recognition of their commitment, a high-end clothing item, and you wont want to miss it this year!
Register at: https://kidneymarch.ca/

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.

Kidney March EXPO

You’re Invited to Kidney March EXPO

It’s time to reunite Marchers, Crew, family, friends and welcome new family members at our annual kick-off event, Kidney March EXPO!

Meet us online at 11:00 am MT, on Sunday, April 25, 2021.
Discover the world of Kidney March, hear past Marchers and Crew share their
first-hand experiences, learn what to expect for 2021, and
join a live Q&A chat with the Kidney March team!

To attend EXPO through ZOOM, please register in advance. 
Use this link to register and share it to invite family and friends: https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJAscuiqrz8qGNJAJ5nLwl7dtOBb-IGCbrrS

Learn about this life-changing 100KM journey to fight against kidney disease and for organ donation. This online event will equip and inspire you to register for Kidney March and complete it this September. 

Kidney March alumni and registered participants – Wear your Kidney March Gear! After the presentation we encourage everyone to turn on their video for the live Q&A.

Following EXPO, plan to get active and head out for a training walk in your community. Be sure to post a photo and comment about where you walked on the Kidney March Training Walks Facebook Group . Or submit your photo to us through the Marcher Center photo upload link.

We can’t wait to connect virtually with you from coast to coast and beyond!

Once you’ve registered, share the registration link with family and friends to invite them to join you at EXPO!

What to Expect Kidney March 2021

What to Expect for 2021

Kidney March 2021 is Going Virtual

To plan the best Kidney March possible, we have assessed our circumstances, and with your best interests at heart, we are proud to announce that Kidney March 2021 will continue in a virtual format. Our goal, as always, is to provide our Marchers and Crew with a life-changing experience while continuing our mission to improve the lives of those affected by kidney disease and organ donation. We are excited to bring the Kidney March experience to you again this year!

Watch the video to hear Joyce Van Deurzen, Executive Director, Southern Alberta and Saskatchewan and Laura Fleming, Manager of Kidney March, explain more on Kidney March 2021. 

Kidney March 2020 was an incredible triumph. We raised the 2nd highest amount in Kidney March history. We proved that no matter where we are across the globe, no matter what challenges or opportunities we face, our community stays connected, rallying in support of each other, marching no matter what! Look forward to the fun, interactive surprises we have planned to keep you connected while walking in your community. Stay tuned and connect with us anytime. Our team is here to answer your questions.

Special thanks to our sponsors for your continued support. We are so grateful.

Connect on the Kidney March Training Walks Group and join our STRAVA CLUB. Continue to train and most of all, support each other with positivity and hope. Stay safe and follow your local health guidelines.

Sincerely,

Joyce Van Deurzen
Executive Director, Southern Alberta and Sask. Branch.

&

Laura Fleming
Manager, Kidney March & Signature Events.

Kidney March 2020 Celebration & Alumni Reunion

Watch with us Saturday October 24, 2020 at 7:00 pm MT

Although we can’t be together in person, nothing will stop us from celebrating everyone who has made Kidney March what it is today – Marchers, Crew, donors, sponsors and volunteers! In our 11 years, Kidney March has raised over $9.5 million to change the lives of kidney patients and their families. This life-changing achievement is thanks to you, our Kidney March family, and it’s time to celebrate your ongoing support for the kidney community. Learn about the achievements of 2020, watch special messages from marchers, be the first to see the 2020 video and the Trailblazer item, and leave inspired for 2021!

Whatever 2021 brings, we are marching no matter what!
Register before December 1, 2020, to be a Trailblazer

What is a Trailblazer? Trailblazers boldly lead the way for Kidney March 2021 by registering before December 1, 2020 and committing to raising a minimum of $2,200. In recognition of this, Trailblazers receive a high-end clothing item to wear proudly. (Watch the Alumni to see what it will be!)

 

Marching for their Princess Warrior

Calgary resident Robin Somji had heard of Kidney March before, but something piqued her interest this year and she didn’t know why. “In March I remember hearing the ad on the radio, and I said to myself I should do that. And then I thought, why would I do that? I heard the ad several times, including into the COVID shutdown when I wondered why they keep advertising this when no one can take part?” Little did she know that two months later the unthinkable would happen. Robin’s young daughter Alysha was not feeling well, the family learned her kidney function was only 4% and failing fast. Alysha at only five years old was swiftly put on dialysis, and the family was thrust into life with kidney disease. “Funny how the universe was hinting at me and preparing me,” remarks Robin. “We spent a month in the hospital and now do dialysis at home for 16 hrs every day and will do so until she is ready for a transplant. I am hoping I can be her donor.” 

A person can lose up to 80% kidney function without any symptoms, it can affect any age group, and there is no cure. 78% of Canadians waiting for an organ transplant are waiting for a kidney.

In this year’s Kidney March participants will complete their march in their own communities. The Somji family will be walking in Springbank starting August 10th. Their team, along with the other participants, will connect virtually for the final three days of Kidney March, September 11 – 13, to walk 10 kilometres per day and complete their 100-kilometre goal. Cheer for their family if you see them walking around Springbank in this bold journey for Alysha.

The Somji’s goal is not only to raise awareness about kidney disease but to also raise funds towards research to improve the future of kidney health and transplant outcomes.  Alysha will likely need more than one transplant in her lifetime, but by supporting research the family is hopeful Alysha will only need just one from her mom.

Learn more about their story from:

 

 

 

87-year-old Calgary woman steps up to help fellow kidney patients

In the News: Learn more about this year’s Kidney March and meet Sylvia and Kasthon as they gear up to take on their own 100 KM journeys with tremendous support! Check out the Global News story by clicking the image below to view the video. 
Thank you kidney community for stepping up to show our Kidney March spirit!

“Organizers of this year’s Kidney March have had to make some changes because of the COVID-19 pandemic. But as Gil Tucker shows us, they’re getting some great support from a very determined patient.” –  Global News Calgary 

 

Cancelling ‘Not an Option’ for Kidney March 2020
Kidney March is going ahead in an exciting new format for 2020, keeping in theme with their annual motto “Failure is Not an Option.” This will be the 11th year for the three-day, 100-kilometre event held every September in the Calgary area and foothills of the Rocky Mountains.

The true impact of Kidney March, is beyond the numbers, it’s made up of every participant’s powerful story and the incredible impact is has on the lives of Canadians living with Kidney disease.

Meet Marcher Sylvia Shields, an 87-year-old kidney patient from Calgary. This year’s new virtual format will allow her to participate, and she is taking full advantage of it. She will be walking her 100 KM down the halls of her condo building the Aviemore in Calgary, with the help and encouragement of the other condo residents. Specifically, she will be cheered on by her core group of supporters and fellow Kidney Foundation volunteers known as the Aviemore Angels. She plans to walk about 2.6 kilometres per day, “Each floor is about 1.3 kilometres, so if I circle it twice, that will give me the distance I need per day. If it is nice out, and my health allows it, I will walk outside too.” Due to her health conditions, there was no way for her to participate in the outdoor, 3-day, 100 KM event in the past. “This is a wonderful opportunity for me to make a difference,” Sylvia said with excitement in anticipation of the challenge she is about to take on. Sylvia lost one of her kidneys early in her twenties and with only 11% kidney function remaining, she is now facing kidney failure, but Sylvia tells us that will not stop her from participating in Kidney March. “With the support of the Kidney Foundation, I have discovered unlimited resources that have allowed me to maintain a healthier lifestyle. Although we are living through unprecedented times, I am determined to do my part to give back to a foundation that has helped me and millions of Canadians.