KAMLOOPS (Aug. 19) — The 2019 Kamloops Kidney Walk will be held on Sept. 22 at McDonald Park, organizers announced at a news conference today.
Participants can register at 10 a.m., with the Walk to begin at 11 a.m.
Each year, organizers honour someone who has been involved in the fight against
kidney disease and the promotion of organ donation. This year, the co-honourees are Hugh McLennan and Louis (Big Rig) McIvor.
McLennan, 76, is a working rancher — he and his wife, Billie, work the McLennan Ranch near Pinantan Lake, northeast of Kamloops.
McLennan also is the host of Spirit of the West, a weekly one-hour radio show that is syndicated and streamed on the Internet. He also is an emcee, keynote speaker and a guitar-playing musician.
When McLennan found himself on dialysis — he dialyzed three times a week in the North Shore CDU — and in need of a kidney, McIvor, a long-time friend, was quick to offer his help. McIvor is a former long-haul truck driver who later became a Kamloops-based radio personality. He is a familiar face on the local entertainment scene.
After testing proved McIvor was a match, the two wound up in Vancouver General Hospital and the transplant took place on Nov. 22, 2017.
It wasn’t long before both men had returned to living their lives . . . McIvor as he had before surgery and McLellan as he had before being forced onto dialysis.
Also attending the news conference were Alan Dodds of Lordco Auto Parts and Katherine Ray of Molycop, both of whom are with the South Central BC Branch of the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIM). They, along with Tyler Thompson of New Gold Inc., who is the chair of the South Central Interior executive officers, are responsible for getting the 2019 Kidney Walk off to a roaring start with a donation of $5,000. This is the largest single donation received in the event’s 10-year history.
As of mid-August, in the region served by RIH, there were 1,378 patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) being monitored by nephrologists. Of those, 140 have undergone transplants, and 114 are on dialysis.
The annual Kamloops Kidney Walk is in support of kidney transplantation and organ donation. It uses the River’s Trail from McDonald Park to the entrance to McArthur Island.
Following the walk, the Brock Central Lions Club will have pancakes and sausages available, along with coffee, by donation.
The Kidney Walk raises funds for programs and services to support those affected by CKD and donors when a transplant is arranged, as well as supporting vital research. To donate to a team or an individual, please visit kidneywalk.ca.
The 2019 Kamloops Kidney Walk’s goal is $20,000.