Kidney patient Larry Rhodes receives a warming pair of socks in the Trail Dialysis Unit, located in Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital. L-R: Kyle Trevison, Dr Chi Zhang, Doug Buderick, Jackie Brown, and patient Larry Rhodes. Besides Trail, other dialysis units participating are in Sparwood, Cranbrook, Creston, and Grand Forks.

Kidney patient Larry Rhodes receives a warming pair of socks in the Trail Dialysis Unit, located in Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital. L-R: Kyle Trevison, Dr Chi Zhang, Doug Buderick, Jackie Brown, and patient Larry Rhodes. Besides Trail, other dialysis units participating are in Sparwood, Cranbrook, Creston, and Grand Forks.

Foundation warms the souls of Kootenay Boundary in-centre dialysis patients

This year, the Kidney Foundation, BC and Yukon Branch is covering close to 2,700 patients

Chills are a common side effect in renal patients as they pause from daily life, taking a sedentary position to undergo hemodialysis thrice per week for several hours at a time.

Being that March is Kidney Health Month, a very fitting campaign called “Warm the Souls” has been running in tandem with this global campaign dedicated to raising kidney health awareness.

Alongside the Kidney Foundation of Canada, the BC and Yukon foundation branch is supporting those with kidney disease through”Warm the Souls,” a campaign that distributes thermal socks or toques (for amputees who cannot wear the socks) to all in-centre hemodialysis patients in B.C.

“We are excited to reach out and help in this way to make a real impact on kidney patients in hemodialysis units,” says Annick Lim.

As a kidney transplant recipient and long-time kidney foundation volunteer, Lim is the visionary behind “Warm the Souls.”

“Along with the socks and toques, community chapter volunteers will also be providing information on how patients can stay connected or re-connect with others in the kidney community,” she said.

Dialysis is a treatment for kidney disease that cleans the blood and remove excess fluid from the body when a person’s kidneys are no longer healthy enough to do these critical life-sustaining jobs.

Those who receive their hemodialysis treatment in-centre must travel to a hospital or clinic three times per week and remain there four to five hours each time.

“Kidney patients often suffer from poor circulation making them colder than the average person,” says Marie Hesse, director, community initiatives at The Kidney Foundation of Canada, BC and Yukon Branch. “By giving socks and toques, we are hoping to make their lengthy treatments more comfortable. We know that the past couple of years have been hard on everyone — especially those in our vulnerable kidney community — so in addition to the physical warmth these items will provide, we are hoping also to warm their souls.”

Warm the Souls started in 2018 by delivering socks to several hemodialysis units in B.C.

This year, the Kidney Foundation BC and Yukon Branch, is fortunate to be able to include all hemodialysis centers in B.C. covering close to 2,700 patients.

Read more: Gratitude Garden invites Trail community to spread kindness

Read more: March is Kidney Health Month

About kidney disease

• 1 in 10 Canadians has kidney disease; that’s 4 million people

• The leading cause of kidney failure is diabetes at 36 per cent

• The number of people living with end‐stage kidney disease has grown 31 per cent since 2011*

• 46 per cent of new patients are under the age of 65*

• More than 52,000 Canadians are being treated for kidney failure

Treatment for those with end‐stage kidney disease:

— 57 per cent areondialysis

— 43 per cent have a functioning transplant.

• Symptoms may not develop until permanent damage has occurred.

• There is no cure for end‐stage kidney disease.

• In 2019, kidney disease was the 10th leading cause of death in Canada.

• 25 per cent of new end‐stage kidney disease patients were late‐referrals, which means they started dialysis only 90 days after first seeing a nephrologist. *Excludes Quebec.



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About the Kidney Foundation of Canada

Excellent kidney health, optimal quality of life, and a cure for kidney disease is the foundation’s vision that has guided it to be a collaborative, inventive and focused leader in the development of programs, services, research opportunities and awareness campaigns that have had a positive impact on the millions of Canadians living with, or at risk of developing kidney disease. The foundation’s national research program has grown to become one of the most important sources of funding for scientists conducting kidney-related research. The foundation is committed to providing education, support, and information about kidneys and kidney disease. For more information, visit kidney.ca.

BC HealthKootenay Boundary Regional Hospital