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Annual walk raises money and awareness of kidney disease and organ donation

Nanaimo’s Kidney Walk takes place this Sunday (Aug. 17) at Maffeo Sutton Park, beginning at 10 a.m.

According to Pascale Jallabert, Nanaimo Kidney Walk coordinator, it is a family event with a number of options to participate.

“We’re doing a 2.5-kilometre walk at the waterfront and there’s a 5 km fun run. We have 2.5 km (for) dragon boating,” said Jallabert. “It’s just for fun and is open to anyone.”

While it is the seventh iteration of the Nanaimo walk, the Kidney Foundation of Canada B.C. branch is celebrating its 50th anniversary and as such, Jallabert said there will be cake and a celebration as well as part of the festivities.

The Kidney Foundation raises money for kidney disease research, and one of the goals of the walk is to spur people on to register as organ donors. There will be places to register on Sunday.

“In B.C. they did a survey and 85 per cent of people surveyed said they want to [donate] organs but right now 19 per cent of people registered for organ donation so the No. 1 goal is to really have that awareness,” Jallabert said.

The goal is to raise $20,000 in 2014 – the 2013 total was about $21,000 – and donations will be accepted online and at the event.

Jallabert is still accepting volunteers as well.

For more information, please go to www.kidney.ca/bcwalk or call Jallabert at 250-758-4397.

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