Third-time Kidney Marcher, Brenda Brown is an Unstoppable Force
Member of Team BeCauseYuKan, Brenda Brown from Abbotsford BC, is a go-getter, mother of three, grandmother of three, organ donation advocate, transplant recipient, and returning Kidney Marcher. After two years of virtual events, September 9 – 11, 2022, will be her first time participating in-person, side by side with hundreds of others dedicated to the Kidney March cause.
Nine years ago, Brenda received a life-saving kidney through The Kidney Paired Donation program, where her then 22-year-old daughter donated her kidney to a stranger. Today Brenda and her daughter are healthy and well. Brenda now uses her time, passion, and skill to advocate for the transplant community. She has taken on the role of President of the Canadian Transplant Association and participates in many more initiatives to support organ donation awareness.
After getting a second chance at life, Brenda made the empowering decision to do three new things every year, and in 2020 Kidney March was one of those things. We are glad she decided to join up and run – or should we say, march – with it.
Kidney March is a physical challenge, but it is much more. Patients, loved ones, doctors, nurses, and researchers participate side-by-side, connecting the community and building bonds that go far beyond the event itself. Sign up today and join Brenda and her teammates on Team BeCauseYuKan for an amazing journey this September.
Vinay, Bhavini, Asha, and Jyoti have a lot to be thankful for and being part of the Kidney March family is one of those things.
Although Bhavini Ruparell laughs when she says, “she will never ‘walk’ Kidney March again,” she and her whole family are proud to support and be a part of Kidney March. They have marched, crewed and are multi-year sponsors. The past two years they have been our massage tent sponsor, a necessity for every marcher’s tired body after a long day of walking. Although there isn’t a massage tent this year, their sponsorship will go a long way to support those living courageously with kidney disease. We thank them for their unwavering sponsorship.
We also want to thank them for everything they do to raise awareness for the importance of organ donation.
Kidney Marcher Bhavini is a kidney transplant recipient from a deceased donor and a proud advocate for organ donation, “…the best way we can honour them[donors] is by following their example.” Bhavini has a message for everyone who is registered to donate. “It’s really important for people who are now signing their organ donation cards or registering themselves to have that conversation with their family.”
Learn more about this generous kidney family in the below Calgary Herald News story from 2018, ‘The Legacy of Organ Donation’
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.
We’re on a mission to stand up and make noise. We hope you will too.
Most people reading this have been touched by kidney disease in one way or another. If you’re like me, you’re endlessly frustrated by its nature. Debilitating. Incurable. Utterly relentless. To seeing people I know and love go through the daily reality of this disease is disheartening; but I have hope.
Kidney March is in its fifth year. We celebrate how far we’ve come in the field of research, we honour those we know and love who are affected by kidney disease and we put faith in a future where it’s no longer a silent killer that currently affects more than 1 million Canadians. And, most important of all, we do something about it. Something Big.
I’m asking you, to do the most you can possibly do to help plant the boldest flag humanity has ever attempted in the fight against kidney disease and the appeal for organ donation. I’m asking you to join us for the 5th Annual Kidney March.
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.
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.
Now in its 3rd year, Kidney March is really gaining ground (pun intended as this year marks 300 kilometres of ground gained). This year in particular Marchers have been great at getting Kidney March and Kidney Disease in the news. Just last Friday, Global Calgary aired a segment on the impact of Kidney Disease on the person, home hemodialysis, and The Kidney Foundation. Heather, the health reporter, tied it all back to Kidney March as an important fundraiser to help the Foundation continue its work. You can check out the full Global piece here. Feel free to share it with your family and friends to show them why the March is so critical.
The Kidney Foundation, Southern Alberta Branch, wants to remind Albertans that registering is one step in making your intent to donate your organs and tissues known. However, even with signing the back of your Alberta Health Card, your family/next-of-kin will be asked for consent in the event of your Click here to read more.
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!”