Kidney runners
Yellowknife duo cycle to Edmonton for charity

Yellowknife (May 10/00) - Two local men are hoping to make a difference for people suffering from kidney-related illnesses in the Northwest Territories.

The duo -- Greg Loftus and Corey Elliot -- hopped onto their touring bikes last Tuesday and began a journey from Yellowknife to Edmonton to raise money for the Northern Alberta and Territories branch of the Kidney Foundation of Canada. So far the team has raised $1,500 dollars.

"I think it's going to be fine once we hit the pavement," said Loftus, when asked what he had expected on their biking odyssey.

The pair will be travelling light on their 1,600-kilometre voyage and are hoping the weather will co-operate.

"My experience is that there is not a great deal of rain during the springs up here," said Elliot.

"So that's what we're hoping for. After the first 80 kilometres, it should be clear sailing."

What makes their story even more courageous is that Loftus himself is a kidney transplant recipient.

"Because Greg is a transplant recipient it's all the more amazing," said Jackie Foord, executive director for the Northern Alberta and Territories branch of the Kidney Foundation.

"For people to see someone who's actually had one doing this (bike trip), is what makes the whole thing really special."

The pair are expecting their cycling trip to Edmonton will take from eight to 10 days. After that, Elliot plans to continue on to the West Coast for a little R&R before returning to Yellowknife in the fall.

"This trip is kind of a right step forward for me right now and I'd like to take some time off from the working world," Elliot said.

Loftus, meanwhile, will spend a little in Edmonton and then come back home to Yellowknife.

"I was going to ride to Edmonton anyway," said Loftus, when asked why he decided to bike to Edmonton.

To make a donation you can call 1-800-461-9063.