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Jul 4, 2018

Kidney Association to Benefit from Annual Ride Across Belize

The annual Ride Across Belize got underway this morning in Belize City and continues through to Friday. This year from the proceeds raised, the Social Security Board will be making a contribution to the Kidney Association of Belize to assist persons that are afflicted with renal failure.  S.S.B. hopes to raise fifty thousand dollars between now and October.  News Five’s Duane Moody reports.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

The fourteenth annual Ride Across Belize fundraiser began today. Close to a hundred riders, professional and amateur, trekked some eight-four miles from Corozal Town to Belize City to raise funds to assist a nonprofit organization and to bring awareness to the challenges and mission of that group. This year, however, the organizers over at the Social Security Board are doing things differently, encouraging more support from the corporate citizens and the public.

 

Chandra Nisbet-Cansino

Chandra Nisbet-Cansino, Organizer, Ride Across Belize

“Every year it is a labor of love. It is an initiative from within the staff of Social Security supported by the board. And so all the persons that you see servicing, all the persons that you see supporting the ride along the way is the staff of Social Security Board and it is the effort that the staff wants to make to give back to the community because we serve the community every day and we see the needs and the staff is very much into giving back to the community. This year, we actually polled our staff again and a large majority of them expressed concern for dialysis patients. I think we hear a lot of those stories and they wanted to see how we could help patients who need dialysis and can’t afford it.”

 

Renal failure has become a prevalent condition which continues to affect many Belizeans. Since the establishment of the Kidney Association of Belize, some five hundred plus patients have been assisted by the organization, most of those persons died within five months of having been diagnosed and started dialysis treatment. To date, there are one hundred and thirty plus patients in need of treatment three times a week at two hundred dollars per session. Kidney Association president Daniel Itch says that the donation is more than welcome.

 

Oscar Itch

Oscar Itch, President, Kidney Association of Belize

“It’s one and only event that we’ve had over the years from our establishment in 2003 and we believe that it will go a long way in assisting kidney patients suffering from renal failure and also to continue our education awareness campaign which we plan to take throughout the entire country of Belize. I think it is a good initiative and we encourage other businesses to also partner with the Kidney Association of Belize to try to do events similar to those.”

 

While the need is endless, the target amount is a minimum of fifty thousand dollars, which Organizer Chandra Nisbet-Cansino says will be raised through a vigorous campaign starting today through to October.

 

Chandra Nisbet-Cansino

“Today is the start of the fundraising efforts. Usually in the past rides, this is the culmination, but we did it a little differently this year and today is the start. So you will be hearing a lot more about the needs and you will see how great these needs are and so we will ask persons to give as much as possible.”

 

Oscar Itch

“It’s not enough, but one-one okro full basket. A patient to be able to survive at the cost right now two hundred dollars per session doing three for the week, needs a little over thirty thousand dollars for a year. So it really doesn’t go very far, but it helps a lot in trying to assist our patients and a majority of them, ninety percent of them, are persons with very low income who really can’t afford those sessions. So we have a lot of them who would do maybe two sessions or one session for the week. So the lifespan of life is pretty cut down by far. So we try as much as possible to assist them, but I think our aim now is more to look at the angle where we need to educate our Belizean populace how to prevent the disease. Prevention is always better than cure.”

 

Itch says that the idea is to screen diabetics, hypertensive patients and those who have a family history of kidney disease. That service will be done throughout the year across the country. Duane Moody for News Five.

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