The local chapter of the Kidney Foundation of Canada is gearing up for the fourth annual Give the Gift of Life Fun Run and Walk, slated for Sept. 12 at Great Chief Park.
Registration is from 9 to 10 a.m. with the event kicking off at 10:30 a.m.
“Funds raised go to support research, pay for patient comfort items, dialysis units and also help cover travel expenses for treatments,” said Linda Lumsden, coordinator of fund development for the Red Deer & District Unit.
She said the community has strongly supported the cause from its inception – last year, the Give the Gift of Life Fun Run and Walk raised $54,000.
The event is also meant to not just raise funds but also to bolster awareness about kidney disease and the vital importance of organ donation, she said.
Currently about two million Canadians are living with kidney disease and don’t even know it.
According to the Foundation, for the body to work properly it must contain just the right amount of water. One of the jobs of the kidneys is to remove excess water from the body or to retain water when the body needs more.
When the kidneys are working properly, excess minerals such as sodium and potassium are excreted from the body in the urine. The kidneys also help to regulate levels of other minerals such as calcium and phosphate which are important for the formation of bone.
Kidney disease usually progresses silently often destroying most of the kidney function before causing any symptoms.
Therefore, people at risk of developing kidney disease should be evaluated regularly.
These people include those with diabetes, high blood pressure or blood vessel diseases and close relatives of people with hereditary kidney disease.
Signs and symptoms indicating possible kidney disease include high blood pressure, fatigue, puffiness of the eyes, hands and feet, passage of bloody, cloudy or tea-coloured urine, presence of protein in the urine and excessive foaming of the urine.
Those with kidney disease may also experience frequent passing of urine during the night, loss of appetite or weight and persistent itching.
Meanwhile, pledges raised by those taking part in the event must be submitted to the Red Deer office no later than Oct. 18 to be eligible for rewards.
For more information, check out www.kidney.ab.ca or call 403-754-1625.