Vernon’s advocate in the fight against kidney disease is at it again.
Jacqueline Marioni has once again signed up for and is so far leading the list of fundraisers in the Vernon Kidney Walk, which gets underway Sunday, Oct. 4 at 10 a.m. in Polson Park.
It is a cause close to Marioni’s heart, following her kidney transplant in 2013, and the latest news that she is in chronic renal failure and in need of another transplant.
About to celebrate her 50th birthday (at the end of the month), the wife of 26 years and mother of two grown children continues to fight the disease which affects one in 10 Canadians.
Her first transplant was thanks to her husband Chris’ donation and the Living Donor Paired Exchange Program (since Chris wasn’t a direct match for her rare blood type).
“Chris is thriving. He just got tested and his function is 50 per cent. You can’t get better than that for one kidney,” said Marioni.
“I have had a harder time of it. Everything that the post-transplant team doesn’t want to happen to you pretty much happened.
“They say I have broke all records and am totally not text book.”
With her scarred kidney causing all sorts of health issues, including living in Vancouver for nine months in order to be close to St. Paul’s Hospital, Marioni’s life has changed drastically.
“I used to do cross country skiing, outrigger paddling and really enjoyed running. Right now those hobbies seem like a very distant memory as I haven’t had the energy or strength to do them for some time.”
Although her once-active lifestyle has been replaced by books, rest, friends and family, she still smiles through it all.
“I live with my family one great day to the next, happy that I am not on dialysis and that we are all together,” said Marioni, who also volunteers for B.C. Transplant and is helping out with the walk as much as she is able. “After all, isn’t that what it is all about?”
And her dedication to the Kidney Foundation runs deep, for its support during her fight and recovery from her transplant.
“The Kidney Foundation helped with the financial strain incurred from loss of wages, relocation to medicine.”
Along with such support for those affected by kidney disease, the foundation is funding research and education so that people like Marioni can realize a cure in her lifetime.
“If you are unable to donate please consider walking by my side in Vernon on Oct. 4 or volunteering your time. Anything is appreciated.”