Kidney recipient Annick Lim (right) and good friend Debra Williams with a couple of the lunch menu Williams’ Pasta Factory restaurant will be serving up in support of the annual Kidney Walk Sept. 24 in Penticton. A dollar from each item will go to Lim’s fundraising efforts. Mark Brett/Western News

Kidney recipient Annick Lim (right) and good friend Debra Williams with a couple of the lunch menu Williams’ Pasta Factory restaurant will be serving up in support of the annual Kidney Walk Sept. 24 in Penticton. A dollar from each item will go to Lim’s fundraising efforts. Mark Brett/Western News

Giving the gift of life in Penticton

Kidney recipient and friend together again

That’s what friends are for.

Debra Williams and Annick Lim have been buddies since the fourth grade in Surrey but drifted apart for awhile, eventually meeting up again in Penticton 15 years ago.

It was when the pair reunited that Williams, the owner of the Pasta Factory Martin Street restaurant, learned of Lim’s 1999 kidney transplant.

Since reconnecting the restauranteur has done whatever she could to support her friend’s effort to raise money for the Kidney Foundation of Canada.

That includes donating to the annual Kidney Walk in Penticton which is coming up again Sept. 24.

This year Williams is stepping up her commitment by donating $1 from her lunch time menu to Lim’s personal goal of $6,742.18. Lim’s Kidney Captains team goal is $25,000.

“I’ve known Annick for years and years and years so it was a blast from the past,” said Williams turning to her friend standing beside her. “You put everything you have into everything you do. You just enlighten all of us.

“And the cause itself, it saved her life, love it. On a personal level, I just love her.”

And the reason for Lim’s commitment is obvious.

“It goes without saying how much this foundation means to me,” she said. “I know I wouldn’t be here if they didn’t exist and do the research that so far has not only saved my life but prolonged it.”

Her efforts over the past decade have not gone unnoticed.

In May she she received the Fundraiser Extraordinaire and Community Leadership Award at the Kidney Foundation annual general meeting for the more than $30,000 she has brought in for the cause.

True to character she dedicates the honour right back to the people who support her with pledges each year.

“I could not do it without all of you, no matter how much you give,” said Lim.

She came up with her personal goal this year as: “It’s my dad’s current age, I just turned 42 and it’s been 18 years since my transplant.”

Anyone wishing to support Lim’s or any of the other participants efforts can go to http://bit.ly/2gK27Kx or http://bit.ly/2x8CFVP.

The Sept. 24 walk starts at Gyro Park with registration at 9 a.m. and the 2.5 kilometre trek beginning at 10 a.m.