Kidney walkers lace up for fundraiser

It’s a good thing doctors aren’t always right, as Penticton resident Grant Bogyo can attest.

Grant Bogyo laces up his runners in preparation for this Sunday’s Penticton Kidney Walk fundraiser. Registration for the annual event takes place at 9 a.m. followed by the walk and runs which begin at 10 a.m. from the start point at Riverside Village.

It’s a good thing doctors aren’t always right, as Penticton resident Grant Bogyo can attest.

In October 1983, the then-28-year-old Bogyo went to his doctor to seek treatment for his swollen feet.

Having been diagnosed with juvenile diabetes at the age of 11, he knew his failing kidneys were likely to blame, but he was completely unprepared for the doctor’s prognosis.

“He just said: ‘You’re diabetic. Diabetics don’t do well with transplants. You’re going to have to go on dialysis and you’re going to die,” Bogyo recalled. “It was last thing on a Friday afternoon. His bedside manner sucked.”

After receiving a second opinion, Bogyo flew to Halifax where he received a kidney from his sister, Valerie, and carried on with his life.

“That’s a big deal. The average transplant, they say, lasts 10 years, but there are a few people like Grant who’ve kept them for a lifetime, and so that’s a really special match,” said Teresa Atkinson, who’s organizing the Penticton Kidney Walk on Sunday.The sixth annual event seeks to raise funds to support the Kidney Foundation of Canada’s research into kidney disease and increase awareness about the importance of organ donations.

Bogyo will be the guest of honour.

About 300 people participated last year, and organizers are hoping for up to 500 this year. In addition to the 2.5-kilometre walk, there will also be five- and 10-km runs, plus a separate race for professionals.

Registration opens at 9 a.m. at Riverside Village and events begin at 10 a.m. There will also be a silent auction, barbecue, music and kids’ activities.

Atkinson, who undergoes nocturnal dialysis six nights a week to deal with her chronic kidney disease, hopes Bogyo’s story will help people understand the importance of being a registered organ donor.

“If you were to die tomorrow, would you want to help other people live?” she said.

“And if you do, then you need to register, because it’s not fair to leave that decision in your family’s hands when they’re in crisis.”

Bogyo, who works as a clinical psychologist, is eager to help spread the word.

“If I had not received that organ, my wife of 38 years would have been a wife of eight years, I wouldn’t have been able to raise three adopted children, I wouldn’t have gone on and got a doctorate,” he said.

“I feel like I owe it to give back. It’s made me have a life, and part of my responsibility is to use it wisely.”

 

Just Posted

Okanagan Ogopogo bathtub race fundraising efforts over the top

In five years the Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has raised over $120,000 for SOSM Foundation

Swimming advisory issued for Summerland beach

Bacterial counts exceed guidelines

Civil claim filed over motocross track west of Summerland

Track was constructed on agricultural land around 2016

Car catches fire while being towed by motor home on Hwy. 97

The incident occured just north of Sage Mesa Rd., no injuries have been reported

Repair work to begin on lakeshore paths in Summerland

Paths were damaged during spring flooding in 2017 and 2018

Trudeau to meet with U.K. and Japanese prime ministers ahead of G7 summit

French President Emmanuel Macron, this year’s G7 host, has little expectations of a unified front from the leaders

Thousands cycle to conquer cancer

The 11th annual Ride to Conquer Cancer took place Saturday morning, Aug. 24 in Surrey, B.C.

PHOTOS: Brazil military begins operations to fight Amazon fires

Amazon fires have become a global issue, escalating tensions between Brazil and European countries

Racist confrontation in Richmond parking lot caught on camera

Woman can be heard yelling racial slurs, swear words at woman in apparent parking dispute

Okanagan Nation bringing overdose awareness to Syilx Okanagan communities

The Purple Ribbon Campaign for International Overdose Awareness Day is Aug. 28

Groups ready campaign to help young voters identify ‘fake news’ in election

The media literacy campaign to focus on identifying misinformation and suspicious sources online

Big rally in northern B.C. draws attention to continuing lumber crisis

Mayor Joan Atkinson says about 400 workers have been directly affected by the closure of the Canfor mill

Orangeville Northmen take Minto Cup at Langley Events Centre

Swept best-of-five series 3-0 over Victoria Shamrocks

Most Read