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Winnipeg Kidney Walk raises funds for a good cause

Todd & Katya LaBelle
Kidney Walk participants
The Walk

On September 25, the Kidney Foundation of Canada’s Kidney Walk saw enthusiastic Winnipeggers marching at King's Park to raise funds for the foundation’s financial assistance program. According to the foundation, kidney disease is a leading cause of death in Canada and a silent killer – by the time you know you’ve got it, it is often too late. Currently, around 131,000 Manitobans live with chronic kidney disease, and 382 are waiting on a transplant. Kidney disease can’t be cured, nor can kidney damage be reversed, the foundation says.

Todd LaBelle and his wife, Katya, organized a team to participate in this year’s Kidney Walk. He said, “After my wife was diagnosed with kidney disease in 2018 and started doing dialysis, I started to realize how many other people were affected the same way. I wanted to make a difference, so I joined the Board of the Kidney Foundation of Canada – MB Branch and put a team together for the Kidney Walk. I know how much the Kidney Foundation has helped us and this was my way to return the help. I want to thank everyone who supported me and came out to walk. Big or small, everyone can make a difference.”

On her Facebook page, Katya Labelle announced, “Team Avison Young Kidney Walk 2022! Thank you to all who donated money. And supported this wonderful cause. Todd’s Team raised $5,365 in total.”

“People don’t often think about their kidneys, not as often as they think about every heartbeat or every breath,” said Sylvie Charbonneau, volunteer National President of The Kidney Foundation. “The work these small but mighty organs do to clean toxins from the body and keep hormones balanced, among other functions, is vital to overall good health.”

One in 10 Canadians has kidney disease and the number of people diagnosed annually continues to rise, particularly with high incidence rates of diabetes and high blood pressure. Over 52,000 people are being treated with life-saving dialysis treatments and nearly 18,000 are living with a kidney transplant, the optimal treatment.