One of Wales’ biggest fundraising events of the year is fast approaching and charity supporters all over Wales are donning their walking shoes to raise money for Kidney patients and their families.

The Kidney Wales Foundation 2011 Cardiff Walk for Life supported by Specsavers takes place on Sunday March 27 and is one of around 100 walks and fundraising events expected to take place across Wales that day to help raise vital, life-saving funds to transform the lives of patients, young and old suffering with kidney failure and disease across Wales.

The Specsavers Cardiff Walk for Life, which starts form The Mochyn Du public house in Sophia Gardens will be gathering pace from 10:30am when supporters will be able to register and collect their eye-catching Walk for Life t-shits, have their faces painted and meet other supporters.

The walk, which will be setting off at 11:00am, will be led by Kidney Wales’ latest Patron and supporter, British Lions, Cardiff Blues and Wales Rugby star Leigh Halfpenny. He will be swapping his rugby boots for a pair of trainers to raise money to tackle the causes of Kidney Disease by taking part in this fun event for the whole family; urging people from across the city to join him in helping the many children in Wales whose lives are dependent on dialysis.

Speaking of his work with the charity, Leigh said:

“I’m looking forward to my first event with Kidney Wales on Sunday. I was fortunate enough to meet some of the children who benefit from the charity’s support recently in the Kidney Wales Children’s Centre in the University Hospital of Wales. This event is so important to raise the funds needed to support these children and their families and all the other Kidney patients of all ages across Wales.

He added “I know it will be a fun day out for everyone and there so many across Wales to choose from”.

Leading the walk with Leigh will be The Lord Mayor of Cardiff, Cllr Keith Hyde, Welsh singing sensations and long standing Kidney Wales supporters, Only Men Aloud as well as charity patrons TV presenter, Sarra Elgan and the Rt Hon Rhodri Morgan AM and recently appointed Trustee, Baroness Jenny Randerson and a host of supporters from all facets of Welsh public life.

Roy J. Thomas Executive Chairman of Kidney Wales Foundation said:

“The people of Wales always show fantastic support for the charity which helps raise awareness and the vital funds needed for equipment, research, treatment and support for kidney patients and their families across Wales. Our walk at Cardiff is no different and always attracts a great crowd.

“We are looking forward to having Leigh with us at this year’s event. We know this will be the first of many Walks for Life for him as he has already shown so much compassion and generosity towards the patients he has met.”

The Cardiff Walk for Life takes place on the 27th March at Y Mochyn Du pub off Cathedral Rd from 10:30am with the walk starting at 11:00am. The walk is short and designed so anyone can take part. It will finish at Cardiff Castle where light refreshments will be provided.

For more information about the Walk for Life visit www.kidneywales.com or contact Tristan on 029 2034 3940.

NOTES TO EDITORS

For more information or case studies contact Tristan Williams on 029 2034 4940.

All Walks are held on Sunday March 27 unless otherwise stated. Walks organised so far include: Aberdare, Aberavon, Abergavenny Specsavers, Aberystwyth, Amlwch, Ammanford, Barry, Blackwood, Bridgend Specsavers, Builth Wells, Cardiff, Cardigan, Carmarthen, Cwmbran Specsavers, Cwmtwrch, Denbigh, Dunvant, Ebbw Vale Specsavers, Gwaenysgor, Halkyn Community Council – 9th April, Haverfordwest, Llanboidy, Llanddowror, Llanfairfechan, Llantrisant & Pontyclun, Llantwit Fardre, Llanwrtyd Wells, Llanybydder, Machynlleth, Monmouth, Neath, Newport – April 2nd, Newport Pembrokeshire, Pontarddulais, Pontypool Canal Walk, Pontypridd, Porthcawl, Tredegar, Undy, Usk,Trinity Fields School Ystrad Mynach – 20th March, Ystrad Mynach.

Walk for Life Ambassadors for 2011 are Leigh Halfpenny, Alex Jones, Sarra Elgan and Andrea Benfield.

· Around 500 people in Wales are listed for a kidney transplant, while many hundreds more undergo dialysis because of kidney failure.

· Around 10,000 people in Wales are now suffering from some form of chronic kidney disease.

· A kidney transplant remains the best long-term hope for those suffering with kidney failure. The long-term survival of a kidney transplant continues to improve with 92% of kidney grafts from cadaveric donors and 95% of those from living donors still functioning one-year after transplant.

· The Kidney Wales Foundation is one of Wales’ oldest and biggest charities. In the 1970s it launched the Kidney Donor Card and a decade established Lifeline Wales – the precursor to today’s Organ Donor Register.One of Wales