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Kate's Story

An Epic Adventure of a Lifetime
“I just can’t stay away,” says Kate, kidney transplant recipient and BC resident. Kate’s first Kidney March was in 2012, one and a half years after she was diagnosed with kidney disease.

She saw an ad for the Kidney March on Facebook and thought, “How cool is this.”  She admits she was terrified at the same time, but when her mom offered to register for the Kidney March too, she was in.  And she still is. Five Kidney March adventures later, Kate (and her mom) can hardly wait to go again.

What is Kidney March?  It’s epic.  It’s a movement. It’s folks who believe failure is not an option. It’s 100 km walk over 3 days.  Calgary to Kananaskis Country and back.  

The Kidney March is quite simply, THE kidney event of the year – and has raised nearly $6 million to date to support kidney disease prevention, research and organ donation initiatives. Every September, Kidney March draws hundreds of people from across Canada to gather for the experience of a lifetime. Kidney patients, families, friends, nephrologists, nurses, social workers, and members of the public come together and walk shoulder to shoulder to do the most they can possibly do for kidney disease and organ donation. In 2018, 255 marchers & 140 crew took part with 11 marchers & 4 crew being from BC. But just watch these numbers grow.  

 “Having my Branch officially on board with Kidney March is so exciting,” says Kate.  “I am so inspired and pumped and ready to start recruiting new Marchers.” As Kate explains, Kidney March doors open wide to embrace every new Kidney March family member. “When you register a huge support team will wrap their arms around you, offering tips, tools, compassion and encouragement.  I was utterly amazed at how well organized the Kidney March is; they have thought of everything: gourmet meals, entertainment, hot showers, and massages, medical tents, merchandise store and the list goes on.”

Kate continues with these words of wisdom, “I did not know what to expect in year one.  I was a little worried about the physical challenge of walking 100 km in 3 days, it seemed rather daunting.  But you don’t have to be an athlete, most participants aren’t.   There are training walks, and lots you can do to prepare in advance.    You learn a lot about yourself in these sorts of situations.  Just when you think you can’t go any further, you somehow do. Most people find they are a lot tougher than they think, and don’t forget, you have a community of support - fellow marchers, volunteers and crew - cheering you every step of the way.” 

The Kidney March’s top priority is to raise funds to improve the quality of life for Canadians who are struggling with kidney disease. All Marchers must raise $2,200, many raise much more. “But that’s not impossible either” says Kate.  “The Kidney March team offers a ton of support – providing ideas on how to fundraise.  I know at first, I was a bit afraid to “ask” my network to support me.  But what I found surprised me.  People were moved by the sheer challenge of the Kidney March and were more than willing to offer their financial support.”  

For Kate, Kidney March means many things, including being a real family affair.  Her mom has walked along with her five times. And for four marches, Kate’s dad has been part of the crew. “He’s one of the guys who help set up the tents, tables, snacks, and make sure the pit stops are ready for us. The March wouldn’t be possible without the fabulous crew members who volunteer their weekend to help out.”

“But above all it is an unforgettable journey. The beginning of life-long friendships formed around a strong passion, and a drive to make a difference.”