Calgary girl battling kidney disease raises $150,000 for research

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“Kidney March asks participants to do the most they possibly can for kidney disease and organ donation, and our community continues to amaze us,” said Joyce Van Deurzen, executive director of the Kidney Foundation of Canada’s southern Alberta branch.

“Their dedication is inspiring, and the funds we are raising will improve lives, there’s no question about that.”

Team Alysha: Princess Warriors is supported by 33 people across four provinces. They’ve collectively raised more than $150,000.

“No team has raised more than $100,000 apparently so we’re kind of blowing the doors off of this,” Robin said.

Five-year old Alysha and Nicholas Somji pose for a photo with mom Robin Somji and dad Feisal Somji on their Springbank home. Alysha has been living with a kidney disease for years and the family have become acting fundraisers for research for the disease. Friday, September 11, 2020. Brendan Miller/Postmedia
Five-year old Alysha and Nicholas Somji pose for a photo with mom Robin Somji and dad Feisal Somji on their Springbank home. Alysha has been living with a kidney disease for years and the family have become acting fundraisers for research for the disease. Brendan Miller/Postmedia

Donning masks and maintaining other public health precautions, the Calgary group will complete a 10-kilometre walk starting and ending at the Somji family’s yard, where Alysha will cut the finishing ribbon.

“It’s going to be really special,” Robin said.

“Her spirits are so great and we’re starting to see more spunk from her. They say kidney disease is a silent disease and it obviously is because the team at the children’s hospital is confident that this has been part of Alysha’s life for a very long time. I think we’re starting to see the true Alysha because she’s starting to feel better.”

Alysha will continue her dialysis treatment until one day when she is ready for a transplant. Robin is hoping to be her donor.

The family also hopes that Sunday’s March can be a small but important step in the fight against kidney disease to make a difference in the lives of those like Alysha.

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