TV presenter Sarra Elgan is urging people from across Wales to Walk for Life on March 29 and help raise vital, life-saving funds to transform the lives of children suffering with kidney failure and disease.
The S4C star paid a special visit to the Children’s Kidney Unit at the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff this week where she met some of the many children in Wales whose lives are dependant on dialysis because of renal failure.
The Specsavers Walk for Life, which takes place on March 29, is the Kidney Wales Foundation’s biggest and most important fundraising event of the year with money raised going to support projects specifically aimed at helping children with kidney problems.
These include a refurbishment programme to transform the Children’s Kidney Unit, which cares for patients from across Wales, and provide it with new state-of-the-art dialysis machines.
More than 50 walks are expected to take place across the country from Wrexham in the north to Cardiff in the south, bringing together thousands of supporters.
Sadly, each year more and more children in Wales are being diagnosed with kidney failure, while waiting lists for a transplant remain at record levels.
Sarra, who is one of this year’s Walk for Life Ambassadors, said: “My heart goes out to the parents whose children suffer with kidney failure. I don’t think people realise just how much these children go through and the impact it has upon their families.
“Seeing a child attached to a dialysis machine for hours upon hours makes you feel so helpless, which is why I want to do everything I can to try and make a difference.
“The Walk for Life is so important to each of these children’s lives and I really hope that everyone gets behind their local walk. Every penny raised really will make such a difference.”
Event supporter Specsavers will be promoting walks in many of their Welsh stores and encouraging customers to take part, while joining Sarra as Walk for Life Ambassadors are mezzo soprano Katherine Jenkins and Olympic gold medalist Nicole Cooke MBE.
Nick King, from Specsavers, said: “Specsavers is proud to be associated with the Kidney Wales Foundation and we are delighted to offer our support to a cause which is relevant to many of our customers.
“Kidney disease is often caused by hypertension and diabetes, which can also be responsible for many complications in the eye, so it is important we do all we can to tackle such health problems.
“With the support of Specsavers staff and customers we hope to raise awareness for the charity and to get as many people as possible across Wales walking at this year’s event.”
Roy J. Thomas, Chairman of the Kidney Wales Foundation, said: “This year’s Walk for Life is our most important ever as we try to help the hundreds of children in Wales affected by kidney disease and failure. By supporting your local Walk for Life you are sending a huge message of hope and support to these children and their families.”
For more information about the Walk for Life or to organise your own walk contact the Kidney Wales Walk for Life team on 029 2034 3940
Picture: Walk for Life Ambassador Sarra Elgan gets a high-five from kidney patient Leo Jones. Also pictured are Leo’s mum Katherine and Dr. Judith Van der Voort.