Man walking to raise funds for dialysis unit

Couchiching resident Tom Bruyere was walking along River Road to Fort Frances on Friday to raise money to help maintain the new hemodialysis unit now up and running at La Verendrye hospital here.
Bruyere, who discovered he had diabetes 28 years ago, was scheduled to walk about 20 miles on Friday morning. “It’s quite an expensive proposition to keep a dialysis going,” he noted.
The 55-year-old started at 8 a.m. at Carl Shaum’s farm on River Road heading towards Fort Frances. He was expected to arrive at the Red Dog Inn around 2 p.m.
“I do a lot of walking anyhow,” said Bruyere. “I’m a diabetic myself so I walk a lot to keep my sugar levels down.”
Although he has never had to use a dialysis machine himself, Bruyere is quite familiar with the stress going to Thunder Bay for treatment was causing on other district patients and their families.
“I never had to but I had quite a few friends and neighbours who have,” he said. “I had one neighbour who had to move to Thunder Bay to go for dialysis treatment.”
Bruyere was to be joined by members of different organizations for parts of the walk.
“I don’t walk fast, I just move at a comfortable pace,” he said yesterday. “I’ll walk rain or shine, but it’s gonna be shining.”
Last year, Bruyere raised just over $5,000 for construction of a dialysis unit here. This time, he had raised $8,000 before the walk even started.
Others can donate by calling Jim Leonard at 274-8531 or contacting Teresa Hazel at the Riverside Foundation for Health Care.