A 2.5-kilometre walk around Maffeo Sutton Park Sunday (Sept. 25) could help two-year-old Hailey-Ann Grant with a kidney transplant.
The Kidney Foundation of Canada holds its Kidney Walk for Nanaimo at the waterfront park Sunday, with proceeds going toward foundation services, programs and research.
Hailey-Ann suffers from severe polycystic kidney disease, something that her mother, Kristina, said was diagnosed when she was 21 weeks pregnant. It’s considered a miracle that she’s made it past the age of one without needing a transplant, Kristina Grant said.
She said Hailey-Ann’s kidneys are 13.5 centimetres long, when they should be five cm.
“She takes blood pressure medication every single day in an attempt to control her blood pressure because, one thing I found out through the Kidney Foundation is that, your blood pressure is controlled by your kidneys, so the bigger your kidneys, the more hormone it releases and the higher your blood pressure.”
Hailey-Ann also takes inhalers daily to assist her lungs in fighting off any infections, but despite that, Grant said her daughter has the perfect attitude.
“She is your typical kid with her alter ego Super Hailey,” said Grant. “If you hand her her medication, she takes it. It’s just such a part of her life. She doesn’t fight her inhaler … She’s learned to give herself her blood pressure medication. Going to the hospital isn’t a scary thing to her, it’s just a fact of life.”
Hailey-Ann will require a transplant and the only question is when. Grant said the goal is when Hailey-Ann is a 15-year-old because her cousins, the best candidates for a kidney match, will be over the age of 18 and legally able to donate.
The foundation has set a target of $20,000 for Nanaimo and as of Wednesday afternoon, more than $15,000 had been raised. Grant’s team, Hailey’s Comets, were one of the top fundraising teams with $6,305 raised.
In all, the foundation hopes to raise $450,000 in the B.C. and Yukon region, but only $117,217 had been raised as of Wednesday afternoon.
Eighty per-cent of all transplants in the region are kidneys, said the foundation. One in 10 Canadians and one in 10 British Columbians suffer from kidney disease, according to the foundation.
Kidney Walk registration begins at 9 a.m. Sunday and the walk will begin at 10 a.m. For more information on the event or to make a donation, please go to www.kidney.ca.