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Feb 21, 2019

Healthy Living: Kidney Association Fundraiser

It’s the place many people turn to when they are in a crisis. That’s because when someone is faced with a sudden diagnosis of kidney failure and needs emergency dialysis that they simply can’t afford, they go to the doors of the Kidney Association of Belize on LaCroix Boulevard in Belize City. The N.G.O. is preparing for the annual commemoration of World Kidney Day in March, but as we find out in tonight’s Healthy Living, they also need the public’s support to keep up with their mission.


Marleni Cuellar, Reporting

When you think of awareness walks the biggest and most popular is probably that of the Cancer Awareness Walk held every year in May. But many more organizations have adopted their own awareness walk to in essence kill two birds with one stone: get people moving for better health and to raise much needed funds. For the past few years in March, the Kidney Association of Belize has hosted its own awareness walk.


Ana Cortes

Ana Cortes, Administrator, Kidney Association of Belize

“World Kidney Day is celebrated in March every year and so were starting a month of celebrations on the second of March which is the walk and of course at the end of that event that same day we’ll be having the raffle of the Wingle.”


Ana Cortes is one of a staff of two at the association. She explained that the walk and raffle are the two main fundraisers spearheaded by the association.


Ana Cortes

“If the Kidney Association doesn’t have the finances we try to talk to one of our providers and see how best we can assist our patient. It doesn’t matter if the kidney association pays them later on. But the kidney association always tries to assist a patient. We never turn someone down.”


The Kidney Association of Belize advocates for the prevention of kidney disease and helps those who have renal failure. Their health fairs and education outreach includes free testing of kidney function, blood sugar and blood pressure. Their medical assistance helps people cover costs of dialysis, medical equipment like catheters and even diagnostic tests like ultrasounds. It’s a costly initiative that always requires more funds.


Ana Cortes

“As much as we would love to assist each and every patient with all the dialysis. That is impossible but at least with one we try to assist or some medication or money for ultrasounds. There are so many things that person suffering renal failure needs that the associations would try to find ways to assist. You get a call someone is in emergency at the hospital they need this or need that. We try to assist them as much as we could we have to come out of our house and come to hospital and see what we can do. We are glad the government is assisting with so many patients but there are other people who need the assistance. There is always someone that needs a dialysis every week.”


Marleni Cuellar

“Have you seen more or less since the new programme?”


Ana Cortes

“Since the programme we have seen an increase in people coming out and being diagnosed with renal failure, Unfortunately that is the case.”


…which is why Ana pleas for the support of the public to support their fundraisers. The walk takes place March second and the t-shirts are sold at twenty dollars each while the raffle for the brand new single go for fifty dollars each.
Ana Cortes

“Our target was at like ten to fifteen thousand dollars for us to assist more patients. But, we have been encountering, there have been challenges in selling the tickets. I now that people out there are not able to purchase, just to take out fifty dollars is something hard. But were always telling them it’s not just purchasing ticket look at it as a donation to assisting other people.”


Most importantly though, Ana pleas for Belizeans to start taking care of their health and encouraging our children to lead healthier lives.


Ana Cortes

“I have learned we have to do something about our lifestyles. We need to change our lifestyles and it has to come from home. You have to train your children from they’re small that they need drink more water and that is the key point more water. You need to include more fruits and veggies in their meals. When they go to school, Instead of you putting a snack of a chips and biscuit you put a fruit something healthy. And that way they will be trained. We as adults need to train our young ones how to change the lifestyles.”


Also in March the association will host three health fairs: one in Belize City, one in Orange Walk and one in Cayo.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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