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First in-person Kidney Walk held in Forest City since 2019

The first in-person Kidney Walk in London, Ont. since 2019 took place Sunday morning at Gibbons Park.

Among the roughly 200 people taking part were Riley Morningstar and his mom, Cora Morningstar.

It was just a few years ago that Riley nearly lost her when she needed a kidney transplant.

“It was pretty scary for me because I didn’t know if she would survive this,” said the 18 year old. “I didn’t think I would have a mother, which really was frightening.”

Cora, 49, is a two time kidney transplant recipient. She developed kidney disease as teenager after a bout with meningitis. She had her fist transplant at age 19, and a second one more than two decades later.

“If I didn’t have that first kidney transplant I don’t know where I would be now,” Cora explained. “Having the first kidney transplant allowed me to be able to go back to working full time, allowed me to get married, have three children. I mean living basically a normal life.”

The London Kidney Walk is expected to raise $35,000 to support kidney patients.

Carl Cadogan, Kidney Foundation regional senior manager, said new breakthroughs are providing more treatment options.

“There is more flexibility for patients to get the kind of dialysis they might need, and to have options, rather than having dialysis at home, or having dialysis in a hospital,” he explained.

According to the Kidney Foundation, about one in 10 Canadians is diagnosed with some form of kidney disease.

Kidney Foundation Peer Support and Program Coordinator Rizwana Ramzanali said kidney disease is on the rise.

“I think it’s the lifestyle that we’re all living,” said Ramzanali. “It’s very fast paced. Kidney disease can go undiagnosed. It’s a quiet disease that just creeps up on you, and when you’re diagnosed it’s a little late to turn back things.”

When it comes to stories of survival, the other side are the donors.

Riley Morningstar and his mom said they wouldn’t be here without them.

“Donors are selfless people,” said Cora. “Honestly I have no words other than ‘Thank you.’ Like, you can’t put into words,” she said.

“My mom’s a very strong person and I’m glad that I can have her as my mom,” added Riley. Top Stories

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