North Delta family walks for Kidney Disease

Violet Baxtor and her mom Shelley Quenneville will be part of this year’s Kidney Walk on Sept. 25 at Bear Creek Park.

Violet Baxtor (centre) and her Team Kidney Kids cohorts (from left) Logan Booth

Violet Baxtor enjoys dancing around the room, caring for her two siblings and mastering the monkey bars at the park.

But Violet is not your typical eight year old. She takes nine different medications every day and has to follow a strict diet, all because Violet has kidney disease.

At three years old, Violet was playing with the other kids at North Delta Parent Participation Preschool when her mother, Shelley Quenneville, noticed something alarming. “I knew something wasn’t right,” Quenneville said, recalling the moment. “[The other kids] were so full of life and Violet looked fatigued and her skin grey.”

Her daughter’s once-bright blue eyes turned dark. Her skin, once vibrant, turned grey. Her hair, once soft, turned dull and stringy.

At the time, Violet was suffering from repeated bladder and kidney infections, which led her mother to take her to the hospital. After several months she was diagnosed with stage four chronic kidney disease.

Violet had a small surgery to repair her kidneys at the age of five, but Quenneville said that since the surgery her kidney has only gotten worse.

“She will one day need a kidney transplant,” Quenneville said. “I would like to encourage more people to register as living donors.”

Violet and Quenneville will be participating in this year’s Kidney Walk on Sept. 25 at Bear Creek Park. The walk raises funds for critical research into organ donation and support programs and services to help individuals and their families affected by kidney disease.

“The money raised contributes towards proper treatments and specialized equipment for those battling with kidney disease,” Quenneville said.

Kidney disease affects one in 10 Canadians according to the Kidney Foundation of Canada, and on average kidney patients can wait four years or more for a kidney transplant.

“My main hope is that more people will acknowledge this disease,” Quenneville said.

The 2016 Kidney Walk takes place at Surrey’s Bear Creek Park on Sunday, Sept. 25 at 10:00 a.m. Registration opens at 9:00 a.m. For more information, to donate or to sign up to be an organ donor, visit kidneywalkbc.ca.