Kidney cancer ‘fun’-raiser set for April 13 in Tualatin Community Park

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Lindsay Walker, 46, was diagnosed with kidney cancer in November 2022 and is now cancer-free. Besides undergoing treatment, her diagnosis of stage 3 chromophobe renal cell carcinoma led to to look online for a kidney cancer foundation or local events to support.

“To my disappointment, there weren’t any,” said Walker, who noted that more than 82,000 people in the U.S. will be diagnosed with kidney cancer this year. “I knew once I had recovered, I would make sure other kidney cancer patients in Oregon didn’t find that to be true and would have a place to go for support and awareness. My goal came at a great time, as the Kidney Cancer Association (a nationwide nonprofit) was starting a pilot program to have regional events across the country.

“I was asked to be the regional event Ambassador for Oregon and plan an event with their help. I am fortunate to be partnering with them for the inaugural kidney cancer event in Oregon.”

This led to the 82K Challenge at Tualatin Community Park on Saturday, April 13, at 11:30 a.m. But this is no ordinary walk/run fundraiser. It is an 82-minute “Choose Your Own Adventure” event for participants to wear orange and walk on the trails, ride bikes, walk dogs, knit, color, create cards or Love Rocks, or learn about kidney cancer.

“I have spent most of my adult life advocating, fundraising and spreading awareness for cancer causes,” Walker said. “It’s become a passion…  Because I wasn’t able to talk to a medical professional who knew anything about kidney cancer for so long, I had to find my own answers… The Kidney Cancer Association was one of the first places I went for information. I was so grateful for the informative videos and the ‘Just Diagnosed Toolkit,’ the quick replies via email and the social media posts.”

Walker, who lives in Wilsonville and taught third grade in Sherwood for 20 years before switching to second grade five years ago, is continuing her advocacy for kidney cancer treatment. “Rare cancers don’t get as much attention as others, and chromophobe currently has no specific treatment aside from surgery, which is unacceptable and terrifying as a patient,” she said. “I’m determined to help change that… ”

She added that her former third-grade student, Jordan Morales, “used to work for Tualatin Parks and Rec, and that’s how I found the location.”

The event is sponsored by Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU), the Knight Cancer Institute and Gates Family Dentistry. Fundraising concludes on World Kidney Cancer Day on June 20. 

For more information or to donate, visit charity.pledgeit.org/f/iKbpYwCfeC.

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