Fort St. James residents gear up for Kidney March

Kara and Tina Auchstaetter have committed to walking 100 km over three days in support of the Kidney March and transplant awareness.

Fort St. James residents Kara and Tina Auchstaetter have committed themselves to a three day march in support of the Kidney Foundation.

Fort St. James – Imagine walking farther than you ever walked and raising more money than you’ve ever raised.

These words represent reality for Fort St. James resident Tina Auchstaetter,44, and her daughter Kara,17, who have committed to walking 100 km over three days from Kananaskis Country to Calgary, in support of the Kidney Foundation’s fifth annual Kidney March September 5-7.

“Right now we’re walking two hours a day but closer to the time we’ll start walking five,” said Ms. Auchstaetter. “The hard part is asking people for donations.”

One in ten Canadians have Kidney disease and 15 people a day are diagnosed with kidney failure. Right now, over 2,500 Canadians are on a waiting list for a kidney transplant. Not only is the waiting list long, typical a kidney transplant will only last 10-20 years before a new one is needed. Someone may need 2-3 transplants throughout their lifetime.

“I see patients all the time at risk of getting kidney disease right here in Fort St. James,” said Ms. Auchstaetter, who is a registered nurse at Stuart Lake Hospital. “It effects us all.”

The mother-and-daughter duo are apart of a team of four called The Sole Sisters, which includes their cousin Renee Colthorp, and friend Tanya Work. Each one of them must raise at least $2,200 to meet the required donation amount to enter the march. In support of their $8,800 goal, the foursome is holding a pub night fundraiser Friday, July 25 at the North Arm Pub & Grill at 6:30 pm, as well as a family garage sale Saturday, July 19 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 490 Elm Street in Fort St. James.

In October 2001, Ms. Auchstaetter’s aunt needed a kidney transplant and, her other aunt stepped in and become an organ donor. The aunt who had the transplant is still alive today, however the one who gave her kidney passed away from bowel cancer in 2011.

“My aunt Denise wouldn’t be here with us if it weren’t for her sister-in-law donating her kidney,” said Ms. Auchstaetter. “This is not only to create awareness for the importance of organ donation, but in memory of my aunt Faye who was so giving and courageous. In a small way she is still living and we are following in her footsteps.”

Tickets for the pub night are $25 and include dinner, dancing and five free raffle tickets. Tickets are available at the Soup Wallah, Barton Insurance and North Arm Pub, or call Tina at 250-996-1855 or Kim at 250-996-7515. For more information visit the FaceBook group at www.facebook.com/solesisterskidneymarchers.