Give the Gift of Life Fun Run & Walk this weekend
The Kidney Foundation of Canada asks you to be a hero
By: Amy Crofts
| Posted: Saturday, Sep 07, 2013 06:00 am
For Raymark Dizon the decision to donate his kidney wasn’t a difficult one. After all, it was for his dad.
“He actually didn’t approach me. I just said, ‘Hey, if it comes to it, let’s get the testing ready,’” said the 22-year-old. “I had no hesitation doing it.”
Raymark’s father Regie was diagnosed with kidney disease a decade earlier. He was on peritoneal dialysis for a year and half before receiving the transplant in May.
Raymark is one of the 12 living donors in Alberta who has donated one of their kidneys in 2013. Flavia Robles, executive director of the Kidney Foundation of Canada Northern Alberta & Territories branch, said Raymark is a great example of a “superhero who gave the gift of life,” which is the theme for the foundation’s run and walk at Lions Park this Sunday.
The goal of the Give the Gift of Life Fun 5K Run & 2K Walk this weekend is to raise $30,800 for the foundation’s short-term emergency funding program. The fund helps kidney disease patients purchase medication, blood pressure machines, and transportation to doctor and dialysis appointments, which they otherwise may not be able to afford.
“Most people still don’t realize that kidney disease is chronic,” said Robles. “Even a kidney transplant … is a form of treatment because the (donated) kidney will only last so long. Perhaps in their lifetime they might need two, in some cases three.”
Robles explained 4,500 Canadians are on the waitlist for a new kidney. Since the wait can be up to four years, many patients must undergo dialysis at least three times a week for four to five hours per day.
“After receiving a transplant … they want to do cartwheels,” she added. “They’re not tied anymore, they can live a normal, regular life that you and I are lucky enough to do every day.”
Receiving a transplant brought Regie and his son closer together, and gave him a better quality of life.
“He was doing better than I was for the first little bit,” admitted Raymark. “He has more energy, he’s more upbeat, overall he’s doing fantastic.”
Raymark as well as Robles will be participating in Sunday’s run and walk to support the kidney foundation.
Registration is $25 for youth and adults aged 12 and older. Children are free.
So far, 58 people have registered and have reached 60 per cent of the event’s nearly $40,000 goal.
Registration takes place from 9 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. on Sunday at Lions Park on Sir Winston Churchill Avenue near St. Anne Street. The event starts at 10:30 a.m. and lunch will be provided.
To register or make a donation, visit: http://kidney.akaraisin.com/stalbert2013.