Skip to content

Local nurse spurs first ever Kidney Walk in Yellowknife

An Edmonton based organization’s annual walk for kidney disease is happening in Yellowknife for the first time.
The boy in front with the black backpack, Daxton Abercrombie, 6, was diagnosed with a kidney disease and is surrounded by his supporters, team Keeping It Renal, who helped fundraise during the virtual Kidney Walk last year. Photo courtesy of The Kidney Foundation of Canada

An Edmonton based organization’s annual walk for kidney disease is happening in Yellowknife for the first time.

On June 4 starting at 10 a.m., participants will meet at Frame Lake Trail in front of Stanton Territorial Hospital and walk the 5 km trail to fundraise for the kidney and transplant community, raise awareness about kidney diseases, and to honor affected families and donors. Registration starts at 9 a.m.

Maureen Wade, community development coordinator for The Kidney Foundation of Canada (TKFC), said that the organization has been doing these walks for the last 20 years, and though their department’s jurisdiction includes the territories, no one has mediated relations in Yellowknife until now.

She said that Joleen Doering, a nurse from Stanton Territorial Hospital, was pivotal in making the walk happen since they don’t have an office in Yellowknife.

“We have to rely on people like Jolene, who are really interested in continuing this on,” she said.

Doering said that she has been working in the dialysis program since 2014 at the hospital and she learned about the Kidney Foundation of Canada through patients and because they provide educational material at the hospital. She said that she felt really excited when she was told the kidney walk would be coming to the community.

Doering is also fundraising for the walk. She said that she raised $500 of her $1,000 goal when Yellowknifer spoke to her on Tuesday.

Wade said that a total of $2,550 has already been raised by nine participants since May 1 and all of the funds raised stays in northern Alberta and territorial communities.

Flavia de la Fuente, executive director for the branch, stated in a press release on Thursday, “Our branch in Edmonton is proud and eager to connect with the Yellowknife community,” she said. “We provide free patient-centered programs starting in Red Deer throughout Northern Alberta and the Northwest Territories.”

According to the Kidney Foundation of Canada, four million Canadians — one in 10 — have kidney disease.

“Dialysis — which filters a person’s blood of toxins — is life support for patients,” de la Fuente stated. “There is a misperception among the community that dialysis is as good as two kidneys, but dialysis only does about 10 per cent of the work of a healthy kidney.

“As a result, they need dialysis to live, but the treatment itself causes significant physical, mental, and financial challenges.”

The funds raised from the kidney walk will be used to helps patients purchase medical equipment, medication, transportation to medical appointments, groceries, housing costs and utilities, and so on.

A welcome snack and educational material about kidney disease will be sponsored by the local Co-op for the event.

People interested in donating can do so at the event or on the kidney walk website.