Estevan's 2nd Annual Kidney Walk is approaching, and nurses from the Renal Dialysis Unit are participating to raise awareness and funds for the Kidney Foundation of Canada.

“This is an annual event promoted by the Kidney Foundation of Canada, held by numerous communities across the country. It has been a fantastic way to raise awareness and support the foundation in helping our patients,” said Jennifer Juneau, a nurse with the renal unit. This year also marks the 60th anniversary of the Kidney Foundation of Canada.

One in 10 people live with kidney disease, and statistics show that this number has increased every year, rising by 31 per cent since 2011.

The Estevan Renal Unit expanded in 2011 from six to nine spaces. Juneau mentioned that many people are also using home dialysis. However, to qualify for the home program, one must meet specific criteria, such as having approved water, meeting age requirements, and being proficient in self-administering dialysis.

“So that does exclude quite a few people. Therefore, having the extra chairs here in Estevan provides more accessibility for those needing in-centre dialysis.”

Funds raised through this cause are used in several ways, including distributing educational materials, conducting public awareness campaigns, funding kidney research, and providing short-term financial assistance.

“Last year, the money raised helped provide short-term financial assistance to 4,100 people, which is amazing,” said Juneau. “In addition to having access to research information being conducted, they also provide information on the organ donation program, which is crucial. We are in dire need of more organ donation awareness.”

“Our first walk was also joined by several family members and friends of the unit. We welcome the community to join us, promote awareness for kidney disease, and help us raise money for the Kidney Foundation of Canada.”

She noted that living with kidney disease requires a significant time commitment and can be difficult to navigate due to the numerous challenges one can face.

“We need advancements in care to improve the quality of life for those affected. Through our fundraising efforts, we hope to make a difference and raise awareness.”

Click here to find more about kidney disease or to help reach the $1,000 goal, visit St. Joseph's Nephron Ninjas - Saskatchewan Kidney Walk 2024.