Penticton’s Annick Lim poses with a poster of Annick Lim. The kidney recipient is a poster child for the B.C. Kidney Foundation and is urging people to become organ donors. Western News file photo

Fighting kidney disease, one step at a time

The annual Kidney Walk takes place this weekend in Penticton

Annick Lim was diagnosed with kidney disease at 18 months of age, eventually needing a kidney donation from her father to save her life.

“I don’t look like I have kidney disease but I do,” she said. “And, having a healthy kidney transplant has saved my life. So whether you are wanting to register your wishes for organ donation or make a donation financially through the kidney foundation that is what helps kidney patients like me.”

Redbird Communications – The Kidney Foundation of Canada (BC & Yukon) : Annick from Gamut Productions on Vimeo.

This Sunday (Sept. 24) she will walk in Penticton along with thousands in 16 communities in the province hoping to bring awareness to the importance of registering for organ donation.

“There is no age limit to organ donor registration. You can be 98 or eight years old, every age needs to be registered because you can’t necessarily fit an adult sized kidney in a small child and vice-versa and so we need everyone to register their wishes. If 50 per cent of the population was registered we would virtually have no waiting list and that is the key.”

Related: Giving the gift of life in Penticton

Lim is also accepting donations to the Kidney Foundation of Canada online at http://preview.tinyurl.com/y73fbcn8.

British Columbians have logged an incredible 26 million kilometres and raised over $2 million dollars over the past 10 years through the Kidney Foundation’s flagship event, the Kidney Walk, in support of kidney patients and their families.

“It was one of those things that started small but caught on in a way nobody really expected, says former Grand Chief Jim Bain, Sons of Scotland, one of the originators of the walk. “We felt that The Kidney Foundation was under-supported at the time and we’ve been backers ever since. We are proud to see the growth and success of the Kidney Walk over the last 10 years and to continue to play an active role in the Kidney Walk today.”

According to the foundation, one in 10 British Columbians has kidney disease, a disease which has no cure and is under-recognized, and undetectable in early stages. The Kidney Foundation is on a mission to change this and the Kidney Walk is helping, one step at a time.

To register as an organ donor or to find more information on the Kidney Foundation of Canada visit www.kidney.ca/bc. The Penticton walk starts at Gyro Park with registration at 9 a.m. and the 2.5 kilometre walk starts at 10 a.m.

10 kidney facts you need to know

— You have two kidneys but you can live with just one healthy one

— Each kidney is the size of your clenched fist and is located on each side of the spine under the lower ribs

— Kidneys do amazing work in your body and are as important as your heart or your lungs

— Kidneys do three main jobs: remove waste, regulate water and produce key hormones

— Together the kidneys normally make about one to two litres of urine every day, depending on how much you drink

— Keep your kidney’s healthy by: eating a healthy diet, reducing salt intake, not smoking and keeping fit and active

— Kidney disease happens when kidney damage is present or there is decrease kidney function for a period of three months or more

Kidney disease is often known as the silent killer – there are no warning signs in early stages; there is no cure

Kidney disease can affect any one at any age and diabetes and high blood pressure are the leading causes of kidney disease

A kidney transplant is often a kidney patient’s best hope for a better quality of life but it is not a cure

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