Kidney Captains

Annick Lim, Teresa Atkinson, Vivian Short and Robert Forbes at the 2019 Kidney Walk in Penticton. The event is going virtual this year.

First came virtual meetings, virtual marathons and virtual medical appointments.

Now organizers of the annual Kidney Walk in Penticton have joined in the virtual fun and are inviting others to join them.

As of Tuesday, just three people had signed up for the event, which is scheduled to take place this Sunday in support of the Kidney Foundation of Canada.

Past editions have seen hundreds of people collect donations in advance as individuals or team, then gather on the day of the event in blue T-shirts for a walk along the Okanagan Lake waterfront.

“The great thing about the Kidney Walk is it’s not usually a long walk,” said volunteer Annick Lim, who is one of the three registrants for Sunday.

“It’s about getting the community together and creating the awareness that one in 10 Canadians has kidney disease.”

So rather than the usual morning of pump-up activities and a walk, participants will instead leave their homes on Sunday and simply walk around the block.

“I’ll probably just go up and down the beach and take some pictures to prove I did my walk," Lim said with a laugh.

It will be a rare adventure out for Lim, who is immunocompromised as a result of a kidney transplant 21 years and has been self-quarantined for nearly three months.

“Not only is COVID dangerous for the average person, COVID with kidney transplant recipients has a mortality rate starting at 30% and higher,” she explained.

Since her first walk in 2012, Lim has raised $100,000 for the Kidney Foundation as a way of paying forward the gifts and support she received in her time of need.

“It saved my life,” said Lim, who is now looking to push her total to $250,000.

Half of proceeds from the walk go directly to research, she added, while the other half goes to patient supports, ranging from bus passes so people can get to dialysis to new equipment they need at home.

As of Tuesday, Lim and the other two people on her team had raised almost $9,200 en route to their goal of $20,000 – the sixth highest total in the province.

Click here to join the walk or simply donate to Lim’s team.