Dialysis staff and patients to walk for kidney health

Staff and patients at the Haemodialysis Unit have decided to conduct a Big Red Kidney Walk in Warragul on September 10.A machine keeps Alan Woollard alive. For 15 hours a week, each Monday, Wednesday and Friday, Alan attends the Haemodialysis Unit at the West Gippsland Healthcare Group where a dialysis machine filters toxins from his blood performing the job his kidneys can no longer do.

He is one of 14 people who receive treatment weekly at the Unit enabling them to stay well and live a full life.

Statistics show one in three Australians are at increased risk of developing kidney disease* and many people are unaware they have the disease.

To raise awareness and to support local people living with kidney disease, staff and patients at the Haemodialysis Unit at West Gippsland Healthcare Group have decided to conduct a Big Red Kidney Walk in Warragul on September 10.

WGHG Haemodialysis Nurse, Danielle Gorman, said it was a fun way for staff, patients, families, friends and members of the community to come together to promote kidney health and fundraise for Kidney Health’s Big Red Kidney Bus.

“The mobile dialysis bus is funded solely by donations and has been utilised by a number of our clients giving them access to dialysis treatment while on holiday. It is often difficult for people on dialysis to take a break as they need treatment three days a week to stay well.”

Alan said he had enjoyed short breaks to Lake Entrance, Echuca and New South Wales through the Big Red Kidney bus, giving him and his wife a break away or visit relatives.

The mobile bus is fitted with three dialysis machines and staffed by a nursing team.

Alan said it was a wonderful service that he would like to see keep running.

“We are looking forward to walking on September 10 for this cause and to help promote the kidney health message to the wider community,” Alan said.

The Walk organised by the WGHG Haemodialysis Unit will be held in Warragul on Sunday 10th September and start at the Geoff Watts Track in Bourke Street at 8.30am following a 2.5 kilometre circuit.

It will be followed by a barbecue brunch. Walkers are asked to contribute a $20 donation. Non-walkers are also welcome to support the cause. Food for the fundraiser has been donated by Woolworths, Coles and Bakers Delight stores at Warragul.

*Australian Bureau of Statistics 2013. Australian Health Survey: Biomedical Results for Chronic Diseases, 2011-12. ABS, Canberra

Photo: WGHG Haemodialysis Nurse Danielle Gorman and Alan Woollard look forward to joining the Big Red Kidney Walk in Warragul on September 10 Photo by Karyn O’Brien