Help fight kidney disease
Thursday, Sep 03, 2015 06:00 am
Six-year-old Cochranite Laiken Olthuis has already endured a life’s worth of hardship.
Laiken is living with kidney disease – nephritic syndrome and focal segmental glomerulosclerosis – and has undergone countless appointments, endless bloodwork, thousands of needlepokes and several surgeries.
She will have to endure a future full of dialysis and searching for kidney transplants and donors – all while her life expectancy is reduced by decades. Pneumonia, measles, chicken pox and the flu can be potentially fatal to her.
There is no cure for kidney disease.
But Olthuis’ mother, Erin, is walking in this year’s Kidney March Sept. 11 in the hopes of a better, different future for Laiken and for everyone else living with the disease.
“It makes a big difference to somebody as young as her. People think kidney disease is for older people; they don’t think of it for somebody like her.”
The three-day, 100-kilometre trek starts Sept. 11 near Millarville, Alta. Participants will make their way into Kananaskis Country and along the foothills until they reach Calgary Sept. 13, where there will be a closing ceremony. Marchers will be provided with overnight camping and amenities along the route.
Each participant has agreed to raise a minimum of $2,200 in order to take part in the event.
Every dollar raised goes back to the Kidney Foundation. Erin said apart from helping pay for treatment and research, the foundation helps pay for the extra costs, such as parking at hospitals. Medication for Laiken is $800 a month alone.
“My hope is that with all the money that the Kidney Foundation raises, we can get better medications, better treatment so there’s hope for her.
“She’s not the only little person that’s sick.”
Kidney disease is one of the Top 10 leading causes of death in Canada. One in 10 Canadians lives with some form of the disease and 15 people a day on average are diagnosed.
To make a donation to the march, visit kidneymarch.ca/sponsor-a-marcher.