Kidney march - Reg Jerrett (right), whose wife Louise passed away from polycystic kidney disease earlier this year, participated in the Richardson Wealth Kidney March with his daughter Lisa Jerrett (middle) and her fiancé Kent Greff (left).

Reg Jerrett, who enjoys summers at a seasonal site in the Indian Head Campground, recently completed the Richardson Wealth Kidney March in memory of his wife and in support of their children who suffer from kidney disease.
According to the Kidney Foundation, one in ten Canadians suffers from kidney disease and more than 52,000 Canadians are being treated for kidney failure through dialysis or an organ transplant. There is no cure yet for end-stage kidney disease, but research is ongoing.
When Reg Jerrett initially met his wife Louise (nee Tremblett), they were unaware that these statistics would have such a personal impact on them. They grew up on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia and were acquainted in high school. Reg cherishes the fond memories of their 54 years together, first dating and then married for 47 years.
“She’s my sweetheart; she’ll always be in my heart,” he said.
Reg’s employment with the RCMP over 26 years led them to many communities across Canada. This included 10 years in Saskatchewan while Reg served as an instructor at the RCMP Depot in Regina. They returned to the east coast in 2000 after his retirement from the RCMP.
In the late 1990s, Louise consulted a doctor about pain in her abdomen and was informed that she had polycystic kidney disease. She was the first in her family to become aware of the disease and seek treatment, but four of her siblings were later diagnosed with the same hereditary condition. The disease has also been diagnosed in Reg and Louise’s children, Lisa and Robert, and a grandson.
In March 2002, the Jerett’s received the long-awaited news that Louise was to have a kidney transplant. They recognized it as God’s provision for her and were particularly mindful of this since the surgery took place on Easter Sunday. Their doctor cautioned them that there was a possibility Louise’s body would not accept the transplant.
“I remember Louise looked at him and said, ‘Doctor, God has given me this kidney; if you put that in me, it will work,’ and it did,” Reg recalled. “It’s new life, and she had new life on Easter Sunday. God is good.”
A few years later, Reg and Louise moved back to Regina, in order to be closer to their children and grandchildren who live in Regina and Calgary. Summer holidays were spent at the Indian Head Campground and Reg recalled that Louise particularly enjoyed planning craft projects or treasure hunts with their grandchildren at the campground in Indian Head or at their home in the city.
“My wife was an amazing wife, an awesome mother, and a fantastic grandmother. She loved her kids, loved her grandkids,” Reg said with feeling.
The kidney transplant extended Louise’s life for more than two decades, until she passed away in February 2023. With the loss of his wife and understanding what the future holds for his children and grandchildren, Reg determined to join the Richardson Wealth Kidney March this fall. The annual event takes place in southern Alberta and serves as a fundraiser for the Kidney Foundation of Canada, supporting research and related programs. Reg had assisted with the march as a crew member in 2017, but this time he wanted to walk the 100 km route in memory of his wife.
He began building his endurance by taking long walks around Regina and at the Wascana Trails in Lumsden. His daughter Lisa and her fiancé Kent Greff agreed to join Reg for the march. Re-calling a phrase commonly used by Louise, they named their team “Well, I suppose.”
“My wife was quite sick the last couple of years, and every day my son and my daughter would call and talk to her,” Reg explained. “Whenever they finished the conversation, my wife would always say, ‘Well, I suppose,’ which meant, ‘I guess we said it all, there’s nothing else to say for now.”
The Kidney March began at Millarville, Alberta on September 8 and participants took three days to walk a total of 100 km through Kananaskis Country, ending at the Canada Olympic Park in Calgary. Tents were provided for walkers at the end of each day, along with massage and medical support. The scenery was beautiful, and Reg enjoyed meeting some of the 300 participants.
“I met quite a few people along the way,” Reg said. “As you walk you meet people and you stop and chat, you find out their story and why [they] are here. In all cases it’s because either they themselves or someone in their family, someone very close to them, have kidney disease. They are there to raise funds in memory of their friends and family, just like me.”
Reg succeeded in completing the entire route. His daughter and her fiancé were able to walk 72 km, and Reg felt this was a significant accomplishment considering his daughter’s health condition.
“When your kidney starts to fail, you have a lot of impurities in your blood and you get very tired, my daughter is starting to experience that now,” he explained. “I understand where she’s coming from because I’ve seen it in my wife, so I know what the road is like for her ahead. My son, fortunately, he’s doing a little better.”
Participants in the Kidney March are each expected to raise $2,200. Through the generous sup-port of friends and family, Reg and his teammates exceeded their goal by raising $6,809. The funds will be used for continued research which Reg hopes will benefit his family and others facing kidney diseases. Reg said it’s too soon for a definite decision, but he is considering walking in next year’s Kidney Marchand his daughter would like to provide support as a crew member. He encourages others to consider how they could also support the cause by walking or donating.
“If you have family members or friends who have kidney disease and you’re able, I encourage you to do [the march],” he said. “If not, you can always help by sponsoring financially and pray-er. Pray for us while we do the march, pray that God would give strength because it’s a challenge and the prayers do accomplish much.”

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