Manitoba News & Events

Welcome to the Manitoba News & Events page! Here you can find news and events from our branch: click on the buttons below to read the latest news, or to go to our events calendar. 


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Spring 2015 newsletter cover

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New Reimbursement Program for Home Hemo Dialysis Patients

August 20, 2015 - The Kidney Foundation of Canada is very pleased that Manitoba patients who treat their kidney disease independently, at home, will now be reimbursed for the extra water and power costs incurred during these treatments. The Province of Manitoba approved proposals submitted by the Nocturnal Home Hemodialysis Patient Action Group (NHHPAG) and the Manitoba Branch of the Kidney Foundation for this important initiative. The Home Hemo-Dialysis Reimbursement Program (HHDRP) will be administered by the Manitoba Branch.
“The Kidney Foundation of Canada commends the Province of Manitoba for launching this reimbursement program for home hemodialysis patients, covering the extra water and power costs incurred during these treatments,” said Val Dunphy, Executive Director, Kidney Foundation of Canada - Manitoba Branch. “This is the first provincial program of its kind in Canada and will truly assist families affected by kidney disease.”
Home Hemodialysis offers good medical outcomes, and the Kidney Foundation recognizes that doing this treatment at home means extensive training, major changes to the patient’s residence and a tremendous commitment by the entire family. We are pleased that this will assist those families.
We thank the many patients at Seven Oaks and Health Sciences Centre who provided their utility bills, input and time, enabling us to develop a comprehensive case for support. We at the Kidney Foundation thank our colleague Sebastien De Lazzer for his hard work and tenacity.
Home hemodialysis patients will be notified of program details by the Manitoba Renal Program. The program will be retroactive to April 1, 2015.


RBC Provides $225,000 in Support of New Healthier Together Program

 July 31, 2015 – RBC Royal Bank joined three charities to announce an exciting and comprehensive new health program to benefit Manitobans.

Healthier Together: Mobile Screening and Education for Aboriginal Peoples in Manitoba is a new program that will work to improve the health of First Nations, Inuit, and Metis peoples in Manitoba by sending mobile screening clinics to all areas of the province. The aim is to provide simple tests and education that will help Aboriginal Peoples detect chronic health problems in the early stages, including issues such as kidney disease, heart disease, stroke, and Type 2 diabetes.

The Heart and Stroke Foundation in Manitoba, The Kidney Foundation of Canada – Manitoba Branch, and the National Aboriginal Diabetes Association have been working together for two years to plan this new program. The aim is to help Aboriginal communities get better access to health services and to provide culturally appropriate health education workshops to individuals.

RBC Foundation is proud to provide $225,000 over the next 3 years in funding support.

“We at RBC are inspired by this important partnership and program,” shares RBC Regional President Kim Ulmer. “We believe that everyone deserves access to the education, diagnosis tools, and care to better ensure healthy and vibrant communities across Manitoba.”


“This program will certainly impact communities across Manitoba in a positive way,” says Val Dunphy, Executive Director for The Kidney Foundation of Canada – Manitoba Branch. “Aboriginal Peoples in our province have disproportionate rates of chronic health issues. By providing screening clinics to remote and rural communities, we’ll provide education and early detection to help Aboriginal Peoples take better control of their health and ensure that future generations can lead healthier lives. Our program will empower young Aboriginal Peoples to take steps to avoid issues that come with chronic illnesses, such as dialysis and amputations.”

Aboriginal communities and organizations that serve First Nation, Inuit, and Metis populations in Manitoba are invited to apply for screening clinics. There will be 30 clinics and education workshops provided to communities free of charge each year. A simple 2-page application form is available on the program’s website at The deadline for this year’s applications is September 18, 2015.

Wendy’s Restaurants in Winnipeg raise more than a $260,000 in support of kidney health

June 30, 2015 (Winnipeg, MB) – Throughout the month of March, which was Kidney Health Month, six Wendy’s ReBlue Bomber Louie Richardson at Wendy's in Marchstaurants in Winnipeg joined forces with The Kidney Foundation of Canada – Manitoba Branch (“The Foundation”) to raise funds and awareness for more than 4000 Manitobans affected by kidney disease.

This year, Wendy’s staff raised an impressive $31,318 for The Foundation. The money was raised through selling paper chili cup “diskettes” at the cash register and from a portion of all chili sales for the month. Staff also made donations through payroll deductions.  

Michael Hutchinson of APTN National News helped with the fundraiserThe highlight for the month was World Kidney Day on March 12 when local celebrities served chili in support of kidney health. All proceeds from chili sales on this day were donated to the Foundation. Local celebrity servers at Wendy’s included JD Francis (99.1 Fresh Radio); Shannon Gwynne (Jewel 101); Michael Hutchinson (APTN National News); Jordan Knight (Energy 106); Rachel Lagacé(CTV Morning Live), and Chester Pangan (CKJS); Jay Richardson (97.5 BIG FM); as well as Louis Richardson and Rory Kohlert (Winnipeg Blue Bombers).


 “We are thrilled to receive such wonderful support from Wendy’s Restaurants in Winnipeg,” said Val Dunphy, Executive Director of The Foundation. “Every year, their dedication to our cause is reflected in how their staff and customers support us. The money they raise will help our friends, neighbours, and family member affected by kidney disease.”

Wendy’s staff in Winnipeg enthusiastically sold diskettes during the month of March. The top two diskette sellers received prizes. The top selling location for the fundraiser was on King Edward, bringing in more than $8000 for kidney health! The most improved location was the Wendy’s on McPhillips. Rachel Lagacé of CTV Morning Live


“The Kidney Foundation of Canada provides important programs and services to Manitobans who have kidney health issues,” explained Tim MacLeod, owner of the Wendy’s Restaurants in Winnipeg. “Our business feels it is important to support our local community. Our founder Dave Thomas was on dialysis before he passed away. We know he would be proud of our efforts to support kidney health in Manitoba.”


This marked the 13th year of partnership between The Foundation and Wendy’s Restaurants. While some may think 13 is an unlucky number, The Foundation feels that this is a great year, since it is the year when Wendy’s surpassed the $250,000 mark in its fundraising efforts. To date, Wendy’s has raised $266,339 to support kidney health in Manitoba.

Supportive employer a key to success in cross-border kidney donation

By Melanie Ferris

*This story originally appeared in our Spring 2015 Kidney Care Connection newsletter.

“Murray saved my life,” says Patrick McPhillips. He is sitting in the Foundation’s office, sharing the story of how his nephew from Washington, DC, recently donated a kidney to him.Murray McPhillips and his uncle Pat


“I’m 55 years old,” explains Patrick. “I didn’t expect to reach 60.”


Patrick McPhillips is a life-long resident of Winnipeg. He found out he had polycystic kidneys about 17 years ago.


“I didn’t have many symptoms but once I hit about age 53, they (his kidneys) started to fail,” Patrick states. “I went on dialysis in May 2012.”


Once Patrick’s kidneys started failing, he was placed on the waiting list for a kidney donation. Doctors said it would be probably at least seven years (on the waiting list).


"Dialysis worked well for me at first. I kept working,” he says. “I worked for a while and did dialysis, but it got to be too much. I became overwhelmed and I had to stop working.”


Patrick does not have any children. His wife was not able to donate either of her kidneys. While he is one of three siblings, unfortunately, two of them passed away before they were able try to donate a kidney to their brother.


That’s where Murray comes in—honouring a promise that his late-mother made.


“My mother passed away 12 years ago, rather unexpectedly,” explains Murray. “That’s how a lot of this comes into play. My mother made a promise to her brother to get tested. He lost another brother, so things got really narrow in our family for possible candidates.”


“I live in Washington DC right now. My involvement here started shortly after my uncle went on dialysis. I promised I would get tested for a match, not thinking I would be,” Murray says. “When I found out I was a match, my perspective on the whole thing changed.” 


The journey to give his uncle the “gift of life” took almost one year. It was complex because of issues due to Murray living in the United States and his uncle living in Canada. 


A key to the success of the transplant was the support that Murray received from his employer, Marriott Hotels International.


“They are a great organization. They put people first,” states Murray, explaining that they allowed him to work remotely for a month in 2013 while he spent time in Winnipeg getting health tests done, and again in late 2014 when he returned to Winnipeg to donate his kidney.


After finding out that his kidney was a match for his uncle, Murray talked about it with a lot of co-workers and friends. “I’ve never heard a negative story,” he explains. “It was very reassuring.”

The kidney transplant happened on November 13, 2014.

Val Dunphy with the McPhillips

Above: Foundation executive director Val Dunphy with Murray McPhillips and Patrick McPhillips


Uncle Pat is doing well and hopes to go back to work soon. “I was instantly a little better,” Patrick says. “I’m getting better every day now, I’m doing more and more.”


Murray has words of encouragement for others who are thinking about donating a kidney.


“If only people knew how easy this was,” he shares. “I don’t feel like I lost a kidney, and I don’t feel any different. I am running a couple of 5Ks every week now, and that was one of the conditions. Because I couldn’t give up running.” 


Murray was out of the hospital in a day and a half. He has now returned to Washington, DC, but an important part of him will remain with his uncle Pat in Winnipeg. 



If you are thinking of becoming a living kidney donor, please visit Transplant Manitoba  for more information.

March is Kidney Health Month

March 1, 2015: Did you know that Manitoba has the highest rate of end-stage kidney disease in Canada?

The Kidney Foundation of Canada wants Manitobans to think about their kidney health. Throughout Kidney Health Month, the Foundation will work to build awareness and raise funds for the thousands of Manitobans affected by kidney disease through the following initiatives:

  • March 1 – 31: Volunteer canvassers are going door-to-door throughout the province to collect funds for The Foundation’s programs and to provide information on kidney disease.
  • March 1 – 31: All six Wendy’s locations in Winnipeg will support The Foundation through their 13th annual Wendy’s Great Chili promotion. Throughout March, Wendy’s is donating partial proceeds from chili sales and total proceeds from sales of $1, $5, $10, and $20 paper chili cups to the Foundation.Wendy's bronze diskette
  • March 12: On World Kidney Day, Wendy’s is donating 100% of proceeds from all chili sales to the Foundation. Join us at Wendy’s during the lunch hour on this special day to be served by:
    • JD Francis, DJ for the morning show at 99.1 FRESH Radio
    • Shannon Gwynne, news anchor at Jewel 101
    • Michael Hutchinson, anchor at APTN National News
    • Rory Kohlert, player for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers
    • Jordan Knight, DJ at Energy 106
    • Rachal Lagace, reporter at CTV Morning Live
    • Chester Pangan, host of the morning show at CKJS
    • Jay Richardson, DJ for 97.5 BIG FM
    • Louis Richardson, player for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers
  • March 24: The Foundation invites adults (ages 18+) to get their kidney function tested for FREE from 10am to 2:30pm at Neechi Commons, 865 Main Street in Winnipeg.

“With some of the highest rates of kidney disease in Canada, we encourage Manitobans to think about getting tested for kidney disease and taking steps to protect their kidneys. This includes getting active and eating healthy foods,” explains Val Dunphy, executive director of the Foundation in Manitoba.

“Symptoms for chronic kidney disease often do not appear until it is too late to be proactive. Throughout Kidney Health Month, we encourage Manitobans to think about the importance of good kidney health as well as discussing organ and tissue donation with their families to help Manitobans who are waiting an average of five to seven years for a kidney transplant.”

The Foundation has many programs and services for those affected by kidney disease. It also has programs to help prevent kidney disease. We care about your kidney health.

The Winnipeg Foundation supports Kidney Camp

December 22, 2014:

The Kidney Foundation of Canada is very grateful for the $10,000 grant we received in support of Manitoba’s Kidney Camp. The Foundation was able to send 19 young people affected by kidney disease to Camp Stephens at Kenora, August 11 to 16, 2014.

Kidney Camp is an amazing experience; we hear this from all participants each year. It is a glorious, week-long adventure.

This year, two children were on hemodialysis and two children were treated by peritoneal dialysis during their stay. This was valuable "training" for those youth not yet receiving these treatments--it was viewed as a great learning experience. This demonstrated ways to cope and explain the procedures to others. Overall, it seemed to bring the children even closer together. This experience is truly invaluable.

Thank you so much to The Winnipeg Foundation for building healthier communities!

Drop the Pop grants for Manitoba schools

On November 25, 2014, The Kidney Foundation of Canada – Manitoba Branch announces that it has chosen four elementary schools from across Manitoba to receive its inaugural $250 grant that will help the schools carry out a Drop the Pop Challenge for their students.

KFOC staff with Mulvey school students and staff

Elementary schools with a significant Aboriginal student population were invited to apply for this grant. It is the Foundation’s first time providing this grant. Nineteen schools from across the province applied. The successful schools are as follows:

  • DR Hamilton School in Cross Lake First Nation
  • Langruth Elementary School in Langruth
  • Mulvey School in Winnipeg
  • Peter Yassie Memorial School in Tadoule Lake, northern Manitoba

 “We are thrilled that principals and teachers from across Manitoba are going to help spread the word to children that it’s important to take care of your kidneys. One way of doing this is to cut back on sugar,” explains Val Dunphy, executive director of The Kidney Foundation of Canada – Manitoba Branch. “As November is National Diabetes Awareness Month, we think it is a perfect time to get students thinking about nutrition and the connection between diabetes and kidney health.”

During a Drop the Pop Challenge, school and community staff commit to help educate children about the dangers of sugary drinks. Teachers take on the role of challengers, asking students to “drop the pop” and all sugary drinks for one week while they teach their students about making healthy lifestyle choices. Successful applicants will receive health promotion tools, the $250 grant, and Drop the Pop curriculum with lesson plans and handouts.

Schools were selected based on providing concrete plans on how they would promote health to their students, as follows:

  • The DR Hamilton School plans to have students sign onto the Drop the Pop Challenge. They’ll do the challenge again in Spring 2015 to measure improvements. Younger students will do a poster contest while middle year students may make short videos about kidney disease, amputations, etc. The school will use their grant to purchase bags of vegetables for contest winners to take home or to give to a community Elder of their choice. They’ll also explore using Aboriginal foods and ways that they can make them healthier, such as using whole wheat flour in bannock and cooking moose meat in a healthier way (rather than frying).
  • The Langruth Elementary School is already a “pop-free zone.” It plans to use a graphic novel about the dangers of diabetes in Aboriginal communities with its students. They will have discussions, do research, lessons, and develop an awareness campaign. They will use the grant to help provide healthy snacks to the children who take part in an annual two-day ski trip.
  • Mulvey School in downtown Winnipeg will have “older” students meet with staff to design menus, create posters, and research and write nutrition education announcements that they will announce over the school’s PA system. Their challenge will encourage students to be instructional leaders for each other. They’ll use their grant to buy food items that were taken from the student-developed menus. Some funds will be used to purchase art supplies to advertise and promote the challenge around the school and the community.
  • The Peter Yassie Memorial School is Manitoba’s most northern/remote school. The school will encourage traditional cultural knowledge by inviting Elders to provide sharing/learning circles to the students. Students will learn about gathering and using traditional berries and teas instead of drinking pop and energy drinks. The teachers will use funding to help provide healthy snacks to their students, in an area where 4 litres of milk costs $14.99.

This grant is made possible with generous funding from CN Rail. The Drop the Pop Challenge is a part of the Foundation’s curriculum for Aboriginal schools called Our Children, Their Health, Our Future.

Brandon fundraiser a big success!

The Westman Kidney Ride, Glide, Stride (KRGS) happened on October 19, 2014, at the Westridge Park in Brandon, Manitoba. The Kidney Foundation of Canada is pleased that the KRGS was once again hosted in Brandon and there was a great turn out. The weather was perfect, and we had over 50 people in attendance. Participants raised almost $4000 in support of programs, services, and research.

The Kidney Foundation of Canada – Manitoba Branch would like to send a big “thank you” to all of our generous event sponsors. Snacks were provided by Sobeys, Superstore, Safeway, World of Water, and DAVIDsTea. Our media sponsors were: 94.7 Star FM/880 CKLQ; 96.1 BOB FM/101.1 The Farm; and the Westman Communication Group Channel 12. Our other event sponsors include Guild Insurance Brokers Inc.; Union Shoe; Westman Salvage; Millco Steel; and McKenzie Seeds.

To everyone who came out to participate and volunteer—you helped make the day a success! We look forward to seeing you again in 2015!

Remembering Vahan

Vahan Melikian was a strong believer in life-long learning
and even in his late eighties jokingly referred to his need for further post-secondary education. He was a valued volunteer of the The Kidney Foundation for over 18 years. Upon his passing in 2010, his daughter Arda and the rest of Vahan’s family decided to create a bursary in his memory to assist those affected by kidney disease in obtaining further education.

“My father was a longtime volunteer at the Kidney Foundation, was a strong believer in the mission of the Foundation, and always believed that education and helping others is very important,” says Arda. “Linking support through a bursary to someone who is impacted by kidney disease seemed like the right thing to do to honour his name.”

At the Foundation , he was known and admired for his
gentle demeanor by anyone who interacted with him, but
also for his handwritten records. “His work was so meticulous that the records he wrote by hand were often more reliable than any electronic documents we had,” says Val Dunphy, Executive Director of The Kidney Foundation’s Manitoba Branch. “If we ever had questions, we knew we could go to Vahan’s work to find the information we needed.”

Arda admits her father was a quiet man who actively avoided recognition for his volunteering efforts and involvement in philanthropy but Val recalls one time when Foundation staff were able to honour him for his dedication. “It was truly proof of the impact Vahan had on us that so many past and present KFOC employees and volunteers came together to celebrate him and all that he did for the greater kidney community,” she says.

His passion for education and assisting those with kidney disease have come together in the Vahan Melikian Bursary award, an endowment set-up by Vahan’s loving family to honour his name. The bursary is granted each year to a deserving kidney patient or their family member so they may pursue higher learning.

If you or a family member are a kidney patient and could benefit from the Vahan Melikian Bursary Award, contact your social worker, or Sharon at The Kidney Foundation at 204.989.0806, for an application form. Bursaries are awarded in August of each year (confirmation of enrollment required from the educational institute).

With Your Help, We Can Meet Each New Challenge Head-on

Our New Challenge Campaign Cabinet members were busy in 2013 raising funds that continue to support kidney research. While the initiative is a nation-wide collaboration, here in Manitoba we aim to raise $5 million to support research and prevention by 2017.

“Kidney disease in Canada has escalated tremendously; tripled in the past 20 years,” says Don Whitmore, Honorary Co-Chair of Manitoba’s New Challenge Campaign Cabinet. “Today one in every ten Canadians has kidney disease. Sadly, when kidney disease strikes, it affects the patient for the rest of their life and, also, impacts the entire family. Treatment is expensive, but the social costs are phenomenal!”

Too many of our friends, family members, neighbours, and acquaintances are being diagnosed with kidney-related illnesses each year. In our province, more than 4,000 people are currently affected and that number will continue to grow without breakthroughs in research. Besides the human toll, the current cost per person per year on dialysis is $71,000. With more than 1,400 Manitobans on dialysis right now, that adds up to over $99 million in annual costs. As the number of people diagnosed with kidney disease increases each year so will the cost to treat them.

“In recent years our modest investment in kidney research has made substantial strides, both in early detection and in treatment options,” says Don. “Together, we can, and must, do more.

We would like to thank everyone who has donated to the Campaign since its launch in 2012. With your continued support, we can meet these new challenges head on.

“Significant investments in funding for research are urgently required to assist in arriving at solutions that reduce the prevalence of kidney disease in our community,” says Bob Brennan, Honorary Co-Chair of our New Challenge Campaign Cabinet. “Please help us in this worthy cause.”

For more information about this important initiative or to donate, please contact us or visit With our campaign cabinet members alongside us, we are determined to break through the barriers around kidney disease. Together we can all work toward a future without failure.

Many thanks to our invaluable New Challenge Campaign Cabinet Members:

Carissa Gifford
Dave McIsaac
Brigitte Sandron
Lilian Tankard
Blair Waldvogel
Dr. James Zacharias
Honorary Campaign Chairs:
Don Whitmore
Bob Brennan

Our 2014 Volunteer Family of the Year: The Mullins

Janice & SeanThe fact that Sean Mullin is 11 years old is testament to the fact thatthere is always hope. He and his mom, Janice, try to find the positive in every situation and make the most of what life has to offer because they know that things could have been much different.

“When I was seven months pregnant, the ultra sound showed Sean had kidney problems and there was no amniotic fluid at that time,” recalls Janice. She was told her baby would not survive after birth. “I can’t even describe the feelings I had,” she remembers. “I prayed a lot - for some time with my son and for him not to suffer.” Janice tried to keep the thought of his birth out of her mind as she carried him for the duration of her preg­nancy. She recalls that he was full of movement and life the entire time and when Sean was born he proved he was a fighter. “I heard him cry and I knew I was going to be blessed with some time with him. We now really do believe in miracles,” she says.

Sean has Polycystic Kidney Disease which not only affects his kidneys but has also caused his liver and spleen to be enlarged. “We have been so blessed to have eleven wonderful years with little suffering so far,” says Janice. Fortunately, thus far medication seems to be working to treat Sean’s condition, however, dialysis and kidney and liver transplants are probably in Sean’s future.

The family tries not to let kidney disease affect them much but at times have had to make adjustments - like moving from their hometown of Dauphin to La Salle to be closer to Sean’s specialists in Winnipeg. This meant that Sean would be farther away from his Dad, who lives in Bowsman, but it was the best choice in case of an emergency, and they manage to see each other every few weeks.

“I think life with kidney disease in our family has made us stronger and more balanced,” she admits. “I focus, a lot, on providing Sean with balanced, healthy meals and make sure he is getting daily exercise and adequate sleep. I would say we have learned to be flexible and go with the flow and always look for the positives and have fun!”

Today, Sean is “doing awesome.” He has a wide variety of interests including cross country running, hip hop dancing, volleyball, basketball, curling, golfing, hunting and fishing. He enjoys school - especially gym and recess – and has many friends. Anyone who meets Sean can see that he has a great sense of humor and a happy go lucky attitude. “I am so proud of how he handles challenges in his life,” says Janice.

Janice believes that knowledge is power. By sharing her family’s story she hopes to make a difference by encouraging people to talk about kidney disease and organ donation. “That is what motivates us to help out with the Kidney Foundation. We truly are grateful for the Kidney Foundation and all they do for those living with kidney disease.” She also hopes to encourage others who find themselves in similar circumstances. To these people she says, “always have hope and make the most of every day because we can honestly find a positive in every single situation.”

With Greatest Appreciation....

We would like to thank the Kotowicz Family - Elaine, John, Jodi, and Adam - for being our 2013 Volunteer Family of the year. Your willingness to share your story helped provide hope to others affected by kidney disease and built awareness for the disease and organ donation. You are a testament to the importance of family and continue to inspire us!

March is Kidney Health Month!

2013 flew by for all of us here at the Kidney Foundation and we’re gearing up for another Kidney Health Month which is right around the corner! This March we’ll be featuring the following initiatives to help raise funds to support programs, services, and research for the thousands of Manitobans currently affected by kidney disease. Building awareness is also key during Kidney Health Month. Kidney disease is known as the “silent killer” because symptoms rarely present themselves in early stages. Many people living with kidney disease are unaware that they are ill until 80% of kidney function has already been lost. Once diagnosed with end stage renal failure, the only options are dialysis and transplant. Help KFOC raise funds and awareness by getting involved in…

Our Door-to-Door Campaign
Throughout the month of March, volunteer canvassers will be going door-to-door in your neighborhood to collect funds for the Foundation. Every dollar donated gets us one step closer to improved prevention programs and advancements in kidney research. We encourage you to answer your door and consider giving to this important fund­raising initiative!

Wendy’s Great Chili Promotion
One of our largest corporate supporters, Wendy’s Restaurants in Winnipeg, will be taking part in Kidney Health Month once again this year. Throughout March, Wendy’s staff will be selling paper chili cup diskettes for $1 each to patrons. The restaurants will be donating a portion of proceeds from chili sales to KFOC, Manitoba throughout the entire month. With real Olympic spirit bronze, silver, and gold diskettes will also be sold for $5, $10, and $20, respectively.

World Kidney Day
On Thursday, March 13, 2014 Wendy’s and KFOC will be joining forces for the 12th year in a row in support of World Kidney Day. On this day, local media personalities and sports figures will join us over the lunch hour to serve you chili while raising funds and awareness for kidney disease. Wendy’s will donate proceeds from all chili sold at their seven Winnipeg locations on this day to KFOC.

Last year, Wendy’s staff went above and beyond our expectations, selling chili and diskettes, and accepting donations in KFOC coin boxes from patrons throughout March that totaled more than $36,000! To date, they have raised $168,000 to support those affected by kidney disease! We are eager to raise record-breaking funds once again this year but we can’t do it without your help! We invite you to visit one of the following participating Wendy’s restaurants in Winnipeg during the month of March and to meet the following local personalities on World Kidney Day (Thursday, March 13):

1609 Kenaston Blvd. - FAB 94.3’s Kelly Parker & Dug Joy
650 St. James St. - QX104’s Brody & Samantha
1710 Pembina Hwy. - The Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ Glenn January (#69) & Steve Morley (#62)
1230 St. Mary’s Rd. - CTV News’ Andrea Slobodian
1039 King Edward St. - CTV News’ Karen Rocznik
1420 McPhillips St. - The Winnipeg Goldeyes'  Brendan Lafferty
1040 Beaverhill Blvd. - CityTV Breakfast Television’s Jeremy & Drew

Nunavut Man Walks 112 km to raise awareness and funds for KFOC

Jackson Preso

Jackson Tagak Kablutsiak, 21, walked 112 km over four days from his home town of Arviat toward Maguse Lake, Nunavut at
the beginning of October. His goal was to raise awareness for those who, like him, have experienced dialysis and/or kidney transplantation. He didn't anticipate raising nearly $12,735!
The funds he raised through his trek will support research, programs, and services KFOC offers to Manitobans, including those who receive treatment for kidney disease here.

Kablutsiak, himself, currently receives treatment in Winnipeg
and also attended KFOC’s Kidney Camp for children affected
by kidney disease. He is the first and only person from Arviat to have had a kidney transplant.

We can't thank Jackson enough for his commitment to supporting others affected by kidney disease. He is truly an inspiration and we are thrilled to have been able to meet him and his mom, Mary, to hear all about his journey!

South Beach Resort & Casino Spirit Fund Donates $15,000 to Support Manitobans with Kidney Disease

Spirit Fund Cheque Presentation

We would like to send our sincerest thanks to everyone at
South Beach Casino & Resort and all those involved with the
Spirit Fund for their generous donation and wonderful
community spirit! Brad Furlan, Chair of the Resort & Casino's Spirit Fund, presented a cheque for $15,000 to KFOC
Executive Director, Val Dunphy at the end of October. The donation was made on behalf of South Beach Casino along with their Seven First Nation owners to assist Manitobans affected by kidney Disease.




Thank-you for your support, Carellan Sewing Centre!

Thank-you to the wonderful management, staff, and customers of Carellan Sewing Centre who raised over $450 in support of KFOC’s programs and services through a unique event.  Carellan recently held a “Stash Bash” where patrons could donate their unwanted fabric for others to purchase. Funds from the repurchased fabric were donated to KFOC and unsold fabric was donated to another local charity.  What a great way to recycle and support worthy causes in our community! Your support is truly appreciated.

Thank-you to the wonderful management, staff, and customers of Carellan Sewing Centre who raised over $450 in support of KFOC’s programs and services with a unique event.  Carellan recently held a “Stash Bash” where patrons could donate their unwanted fabric for others to purchase. Funds from the repurchased fabric were donated to KFOC and unsold fabric was donated to another local charity.  What a great way to recycle and support worthy causes in our community! Your support is truly appreciated.

St. Vital Centre's Behind Closed Doors Event supports The Kidney Foundation!

Behind Closed DoorsTickets are now on sale for the hottest shopping event of the year!

On November 16 St. Vital Centre will host Behind Closed Doors, an after-hours evening of wall-to-wall sales throughout the Centre! Join us for a night of all-you-can-shop fun from 7:00pm - 10:30pm. Tickets are $5 each.

When you purchase your ticket from The Kidney Foundation, 100% of the proceeds will support programs, services, and research for more than 4,000 Manitobans affected by kidney disease.

Purchase your ticket today! For more information please contact Erica at 204.989.0804 or or visit

Tickets are also available at St. Vital Centre Customer Service while supplies last or visit our booth in the food hall on October 27.

Limited number of tickets available; entrance to ticket holders only. Doors open at 7:00pm. Tickets not available at the door.

The Power of One Person: Taking an Important Message Across Two Countries

Bison Trailer LaunchFrom L to R: Val Dunphy, Executive Director of KFOC-MB; Garth Pitzel, Director of Safety and Driver Development at Bison Transport Inc.; Dr. James Zacharias, Nephrologist and President of KFOC-MB Board of Directors; Jim Penner, KFOC volunteer and Bison Transport Trucker

A very special new addition to the Bison Transport fleet has officially hit the open highways carrying an important message. The unique truck trailer will showcase the KFOC and Organ Donation logos as it travels throughout Canada and the United States, and it’s all due to the dedication of one man.
Jim Penner, a 40-year trucking veteran, has supported Manitobans affected by kidney disease by putting in hundreds of hours of volunteer work with The Foundation over the past 20-plus years. Recently, he melded his two worlds when his idea to have a ‘moving billboard’ sharing a special message became reality.

“Because of Jim’s dedication to The Kidney Foundation, and his affiliation with a wonderful company that supports causes that are dear to their employees’ hearts, we will be able to spread an invaluable message of awareness for the Kidney Foundation and organ donation across two countries, along thousands of kilometres, and to millions of people,” says Val Dunphy, Executive Director of KFOC’s Manitoba Branch.

Jim says he is just happy to help. "I really hope that higher visibility will translate into more awareness of the need for organ donations," says Jim.  "If this increases the number of organ donations and the amount of financial donations, we will have made a difference for those affected by kidney disease and those waiting for organ transplants."

The truck will be on the road for the next 10-15 years and is a prime example of how one person can truly make a significant difference - in this case, for more than 4,500 Canadians currently awaiting organ transplants of all types and many more affected by kidney disease. Many thanks to Jim Penner and Bison Transport Inc. for their invauable support.

2013 Kidney Ride, Glide Stride event raises over $66,000!

Many thanks to all who joined us at this year's Kidney Ride, Glide, Stride event held on September 8 at St. Vital Park. Because of you, we were able to raise more than $66,000 to support Manitobans affected by kidney disease through research. Approximately 300 participants walked, ran, cycled, and rollerbladed to support kidney research, programs, and services for more than 4,000 Manitobans currently affected by kidney disease!

Participants collected pledges leading up to the event and joined us for a 2km walk, 5km run or 10km bike ride. The annual family-oriented 'fun run' is geared toward people of all ages and abilities with a shorter route available for those with physical limitations.

We extend our sincerest appreciation to our sponsors; The Canadian Medical Laboratory Technologists of Manitoba, Giselles Professional Skin Care & Spa on Meadowood, Manitoba Egg Farmers, QX104, Remax, Shaw, the Vickar Community of Auto Dealers, & The Winnipeg Free Press. We would also like to thank our Food & Drink Sponsors; Cora's Breakfast & Lunch, Corpell's Water, Harvest Bakery, and Sozo Coffee and all those who donated prizes.  A big thank-you to Rachel Lagace of CTV for joining us as our M.C. for the third consecutive year!

We hope you all enjoyed the 2013 KRGS and can't wait to see you out next year!

The Chamois raises more than $10,000 through KFOC's 'Buy-a-Bean' Program

Chamois Buy a BeanDuring the month of July, the three locations of The Chamois Carwash and Detail Centre were busy, once again, selling Beans to support programs and services for Manitobans affected by kidney disease through our Buy-a-Bean Program.

This year, they took their generosity a step further by hosting a "double-down" weekend where each $1 bean purchased was matched with a $1 donation from The Chamois.

KFOC would like to thank the wonderful staff, management, and patrons of The Chamois Reenders, The Chamois St. James, and The Chamois Waverley for your continued support!


Visit us at APTN's Aboriginal Day Live & Celebration on Saturday, June 22!

Join us as APTN presents Aboriginal Day Live and Celebration on June 22, 2013 at The Forks. Visit our booth, located in Tent 4, where we’ll be providing free information about kidney disease. The site opens at 11 am and festivities kick-off at noon.

Thank-you for supporting The Hope Affair!

R to L: Dr. James Zacharias (President, KFOC-MB Board of Directors, Dr. David Rush (honouree),
& Val Dunphy (Executive Director, KFOC-MB)

We would like to extend our sincerest appreciation to everyone who attended our inaugural gala event, The Hope Affair, on Friday, April 12. With your support we raised $47,000 to support KRESCENT, and local programs and services for those affected by kidney disease.  Many thanks to our partners and sponsors, organizing committee, everyone who joined us, and those who purchased items from our live art auction.
We would also like to congratulate Dr. David Rush who was presented with the Kidney Foundation’s Founder’s Award at the event. The Founders Award, originally presented to Dr. Ash Thomson, Branch Founder, honours those who exemplify outstanding compassion for patients.

Manitoba Business Leaders Helped Make Shoe Drive a Success!

In December 2012, we made a plea to community members to help us gather 100 pairs of gently-used running shoes for the elementary school children of Garden Hill First Nation. We never imagined that several members of Manitoba's local business community would come together to donate funds for 100 pairs of brand new shoes!

The initiative was driven by Paul Jacuzzi, President/CEO of Waterite Technologies, Inc.(left of centre). 

Donors and Shoes

Photo Credit: Chronic Creative 

Robin Jacuzzi, VP Operations, Robinair Aviation (far left), and Pam Plaster, Director and Regional Director of Roynat Capital (right of centre), two of the generous donors, are pictured with Mr Jacuzzi and Val Dunphy, Executive Director of The Kidney Foundation of Canada, Manitoba Branch on Tuesday, January 28, 2013 as Perimeter Aviation prepares to ship the shoes to the remote community of Garden Hill at no expense to KFOC.

In addition to the above mentioned donors, the following individuals also donated funds to our running shoe drive:

Anne Bolton, Lawrence & Bea Cherniak, Jo-Anne Duncan, Connie Ewald, Gavin W. Law, Anne McGarry, Chrys Pappas, Patricia Smith, Christa Walkden, Waterite Technologies, Inc.and Don Whitmore.

Many thanks to you all!

Perimeter Airway Plane, donors

 Photo Credit: Chronic Creative 



Remembering Dr. Ash Thomson, Father of Nephrology in Manitoba

It is with both sadness and fond memories that we remember Dr. Ashley Thomson, known by many as the “Father of Nephrology” in Manitoba.

After graduating top of his class from medical school at the University of Manitoba in 1945, Dr. Thomson received a grant to research the effects of sodium on WWII Veterans who had served in the tropics which took him to Britain in 1948. His research focused on how heat-related illnesses affected the kidneys of veterans who had adapted to changes in environment and temperature after serving in warmer climates.  This research would peak the doctor’s interest in kidney function, eventually leading him to become a pioneer in the area of hemodialysis treatment and technology in Manitoba. Dr. Thomson would treat hundreds of Manitobans with kidney disease throughout his impressive career. 

Dr. Ash ThomsonAfter returning to Winnipeg, with the assistance of a technician, Dr. Thomson would go on to build Manitoba’s first dialysis machine with spare parts, including washing machine motors. He was instrumental in teaching in-home ‘self-care’ dialysis to his patients before the concept was even documented. In 1971, Dr. Thomson founded The Kidney Foundation of Canada, Manitoba Branch after working with representatives from Montreal to form a nation-wide organization to support those dealing with kidney disease. 

“Dr. T”, as many referred to him, was always able to intrigue and inspire KFOC staff, who he educated on the importance of the kidneys, with his many stories and the vast experiences he shared with them. In 2002, the Manitoba Branch was thrilled to honour Dr. Thomson with the inaugural “Founders Dinner.” In 2004, the Branch established an endowment fund held at The Winnipeg Foundation in his honor to fund experienced researchers with relevant projects in Manitoba.  In 2011, Dr. Thomson, himself, presented the first grant from this endowment fund.

Always a strong advocate for patients, First Nations people, and organ donation, his home prominently displayed signage to support Organ Donation.

The caring ways of “Dr. T” were always appreciated by staff and supporters of the KFOC, Manitoba Branch.  Peace and rest have come to this brilliant and remarkable man but his compassion, focus, and spirit will live on within our Branch.

GOAL MET: Thank-you to everyone who donated running shoes to the Children of Garden Hill

We are thrilled to announce that a group of local business owners, who wish to remain anonymous at this time, have come together to provide 100 pairs of brand new running shoes to the elementary school children in Garden Hill First Nation. The group has donated $2,000 to supply new runners to children in this community and have even arranged shipment of the shoes for the Foundation. We cannot express the gratitude we feel toward this wonderful group of Winnipeg business owners for such a selfless act of kindness.

Thank-you to everyone who helped us reach our goal by donating new and gently-used running shoes to our shoe drive! We are incredibly overwhelmed by the generosity you have shown us and the children who will benefit from your good-will.

Thank-you! Winnipeg Foundation Makes 2012 Kidney Camp Possible

We extend our sincerest thank-you to The Winnipeg Foundation for funding our 2012 Kidney Camp. The grant is in part due to a generous donation from the Moffatt Family Fund. Without the support of The Winnipeg Foundation children who are on dialysis, who have had a kidney transplant, or who are in varying degrees of kidney failure would not have had the opportunity to enjoy this week at camp.

In August of this year 16 children, who wouldn’t normally have had the opportunity to enjoy a camp experience due to chronic illness, joined Nephrologists and Renal Nurses at Camp Stephens in Kenora. Through Kidney Camp, these very special Manitoba children had an opportunity to meet others affected by kidney disease, enjoy the outdoors and take part in various camp activities under the watchful supervision of medical professionals.

The Kidney Foundation is grateful to The Winnipeg Foundation for providing the children who attended this year’s camp an opportunity to form positive childhood memories and enjoy being kids.


Help the Children of Garden Hill, Donate Running Shoes

The Kidney Foundation of Canada, Manitoba Branch (KFOC) is asking for your assistance in gathering new or gently-used shoes for children ages 8 to 12 (grades 3 to 6 and approximate shoe sizes children’s 3 to adult’s 8) from now until Friday, December 28, 2012.

“We develop and support a healthy, culturally appropriate curriculum in partnership with the Kistiganwacheeng Elementary School in Garden Hill First Nation. Many of the children there must do gym class in their socks,” says Val Dunphy, Executive Director of the Foundation’s Manitoba Branch. “We want to help these children get the proper footwear so they can fully partake in healthy habits that may help to prevent Chronic Kidney Disease.”

Please drop-off new or gently-used running shoes at either of the following locations in Winnipeg between the weekday hours of 8:30am and 4:30pm:
•    The Foundation’s office at 1-452 Dovercourt Drive (near Waverly and Scurfield)
•    The NADA downtown office at B1-90 Garry Street (just south of Broadway)
Note: These offices are closed on December 25 and 26.

The shoes will be delivered to the children of Garden Hill in January 2013, in time for their new school term. This important initiative will help KFOC promote healthy habits such as physical activity to children of this community.

Aboriginal peoples are more likely to be diagnosed with Type II diabetes which makes them more susceptible to Chronic Kidney Disease. KFOC hopes to empower Aboriginal children to grow up strong and free of chronic health issues as much as possible.

Healthpartners & KFOC present Brigitte Sandron

The 11th Annual Renal Ride Glide and Stride raises over $83,000!!

We had a very successful turn out on  Sunday September 9, 2012 with over 300 participants who walked, ran and biked through St Vital park. 

Such an accomplishment would not have been possible without the dedication of participants raising pledges, volunteers keeping us safe and fed and of course the corporate support of the business community who sponsored the RRGS.  A big thank you to: 

Manitoba Egg Farmers
Vikar Community Chevrolet
Giselles Professional Skin Care & Day Spa
College of Medical Laboratory Technologists of Manitoba
Bikes & Beyond
NCI Spirit of Manitoba
Manitoba Pork Council
South Beach Casino
Canadian First Aid
CTV Winnipeg
Valeant Pharmacuticals

Together we are making a difference in the lives of kidney patients.


Donate Your Car, Boat, Trailer, Motorcycle...To Kidney Car

Look around.  Is there an old unwanted vehicle sitting in a field, garage, alley or parking lot of your life?  Instead of sitting there going to rust, give that old car a new life by donating it to Kidney Car.  We are looking all type of vehicles. trucks, motorhomes, motorcycles ATV’s even farm equipment!

The benefits of this program are unique.  Just give us a call and we will come on out and tow your vehicle for free.  Plus, we will give you a tax receipt for the value of recycling all its parts.  We do the work, you clean up your environment and save on your taxes too!




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Manitoba Branch - 1-452 Dovercourt Drive, Winnipeg MB R3Y 1G4 - Tel.: (204) 989-0800 / 1-800-729-7176 
Charitable Registration Number: 107567398RR0001