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A Time to Shine gala highlights prominent leader in kidney community

(October 16, 2019) The kidney community will gather to celebrate A Time to Shine, an annual celebration to shine a light on the impact of kidney disease and celebrate the accomplishments of our renal community.  Emceed by CityTV’s Cristina Howorun, the event will pay tribute to Humber River nephrologist, Dr. Andreas Pierratos, a leader in the field of daily nocturnal hemodialysis.

“Dr. Pierratos has dedicated his career to improving the quality of life of dialysis patients, bringing new hope to Canadians living with kidney disease. His influence extends beyond this country, and he is recognized around the world for developing an effective alternative to conventional dialysis,” said Craig Kerr, President of The Kidney Foundation’s Ontario Branch.  

The approach Dr. Pierratos has championed with such passion, has led to significant advances in dialysis treatment. Patients can now opt to dialyze at home while they sleep, keeping their days free and gaining more control of their schedule. Longer overnight hemodialysis sessions are associated with better health and an improved quality of life.

David Brooks, a patient of Dr. Pierratos, has been on nocturnal dialysis for 25 years.  “I owe, in great part, my tremendous quality of life to Dr. Andreas Pierratos and the Home Team at Humber River Hospital,” said Brooks.

Dr. Pierratos will receive the George deVeber Distinguished Service Award. The late Dr. G. deVeber gave leadership to a dedicated group of people who brought The Kidney Foundation to life in Ontario in 1968.  Dr. deVeber founded the first chronic dialysis program in Ontario at Toronto Western Hospital. He made a tremendous impact on patients through his work in dialysis and transplant, advocating for improved treatment options and programs which supported their emotional wellbeing.

1 in 10 Canadians has kidney disease, and millions more are at risk. Kidney disease is a permanent life-changing diagnosis. The Kidney Foundation of Canada is the national organization dedicated to providing support to patients and their families by providing information and education. The foundation is a leading investor in research that will lead to improved treatments and a cure for kidney disease.

performance by Kim Davis.acoustic   or call 1-800-387-4474 ext. 4964. The event begins at 6 p.m. with a cocktail reception and the formal program will begin at 7 p.m. at the Palais Royale, 1601 Lakeshore Blvd, West. The event will include a silent auction and special www.kidneygala.ca. For more information and to purchase tickets visit

Record-breaking year for the Ontario Kidney Walks

 The kidney community came out in record numbers and raised a record-breaking $960,000 to invest in high-caliber research and crucial support programs.

“We are truly overwhelmed by the amazing support of our kidney walkers and their many donors” said Craig Kerr, President of the Kidney Foundation’s Ontario Branch. “It is truly inspiring to see so many families, friends and partners in renal care come out and show such tremendous support for their loved ones living with kidney disease,” he added.

The walks represent The Kidney Foundation’s largest community fundraising initiative and took place in 35 communities across the province throughout September. Nationally, the walk program has raised over $2 million this year.

The walks would not be possible without the commitment and dedication of our volunteers, many who take on a leadership role organizing the walks; arranging all the details from start to finish. Thank you to national partner Otsuka Canada Pharmaceutical Inc., national supporter Horizon and provincial media sponsor YESTV, and the many local and regional sponsors who supported the event through sponsorships and gifts in kind. 

You can find photographs from your Kidney Walk on our Flickr and Facebook


Volunteers Lift Our Community: 2018 Volunteer Award Winners Announced

This spring, The Kidney Foundation of Canada joined together to recognize the efforts of volunteers from across the province. Volunteers lift our community and make it possible for The Kidney Foundation to fulfill its mission of providing help and support to Canadians living with kidney disease. The awards recognize volunteers who showcase caring, leadership and philanthropy within their respective communities to benefit those touched by kidney disease.
Ontario Branch President Craig Kerr emceed the awards presentation as part of The Ontario Branch's AGM and Leadership Conference on April 27, 2019 alongside Sue Tkachuk, chair of the Ontario Volunteer Awards Committee.

See who our honorees were this year.

Celebrating our Wonderful Volunteers

This week we celebrate National Volunteer Week – yes, this means we are celebrating YOU!

The Kidney Foundation of Canada is fortunate to have volunteers who go above and beyond to lift our communities and raise kidney health awareness.  Your ongoing support, ideas, enthusiasm and advocacy, assists us in achieving our goals and to make strides in the kidney community.

Meet Asaph and Wendy, volunteers who truly lift our community.


The Kidney Foundation of Canada’s Inaugural Digital Fundraising Initiative Highlights the Impact of Kidney Disease During Kidney Health Month

The #SixDegreeChallenge Encouraged Canadians to Share Their Kidney Connection WhileRaising Funds for Kidney Disease

March 29, 2019 (Toronto, ON) - Earlier this week the Six Degrees of Kidney Disease campaign, The Kidney Foundation of Canada’s first digital fundraising initiative, culminated with over $31,000 raised for kidney disease research and patient support in Canada. In addition, thanks to Canadians across the country sharing their connection to kidney disease with the #SixDegreeChallenge hashtag, over 2 Millionpeople were reached and raised awareness online to eliminate the stigma surrounding kidney disease.

The #SixDegreeChallenge online campaign invigorated a conversation on the connection so many Canadians have to kidney disease. With nearly one in ten Canadians living with kidney disease, every person in the country knows someone living with this often invisible disease - a disease with no cure.  In an effort to highlight these connections, the #SixDegreeChallenge campaign encouraged Canadians to share a picture of themselves throwing “The Six” (holding up six fingers), captioning it with their own story and connection to kidney disease.

In addition to sharing online, Canadians across the country were asked to donate during the 24-hour day of giving on March 27 to support The Kidney Foundation in raising funds for research initiatives, patient support programs, and educational activities for their community.

The #SixDegreeChallenge campaign was led by The Kidney Foundation partners, Canadian musical icon Tom Wilson and 2014’s Miss Intercontinental Canada Delaney Holley. Two Canadians who had never met and yet were connected by the disease through their own personal backgrounds. In addition to Wilson and Holley, stories of connection were shared throughout the campaign by other notable Canadians including Bif Naked, Cristina Howorun, Kathleen Wynne and The Tenors.

Check out #SixDegreeChallenge on social to see other stories from Canadians shared throughout the campaign.

For more information on the #SixDegreeChallenge campaign, visit www.sixdegreechallenge.com.


 About The Kidney Foundation of Canada:  Excellent kidney health, optimal quality of life, and a cure for kidney disease - for over 50 years, this vision has guided The Kidney Foundation of Canada to be a collaborative, inventive and focused leader in the development of programs, services, research opportunities and awareness campaigns that have had a positive impact on the millions of Canadians living with, or at risk of developing kidney disease. The Foundation's national research program has grown to become one of the most important sources of funding for scientists conducting kidney-related research. The Kidney Foundation of Canada is also committed to providing education, information and support about kidneys, kidney disease and kidney transplants.

For more information, visit www.kidney.ca/ontario 







The Kidney Foundation of Canada announces 'Six Degrees of Kidney Diesease' Digital Fundraising Initiative

The Foundation Alongside Notable Canadians Tom Wilson and Delaney Holley Encourages Canadians to Share ‘The Six’ and Their Kidney Connection

  March 14, 2019 (Toronto, ON) - Today on World Kidney Day, The Kidney Foundation of Canada is kicking off its inaugural Six Degrees of Kidney Disease awareness and fundraising initiative. The social campaign aims to create a groundswell of conversation surrounding how prevalent kidney disease is amongst Canadians while raising funds to support The Foundation’s programs and research for those affected by the disease.

  One in ten Canadians lives with kidney disease. Which means that within just six degrees of separation, you can be connected to anyone in Canada through this often invisible disease.  Aiming to highlight this connection, participants are asked to join the #SixDegreeChallenge online by posting a picture of themselves throwing “The Six” (holding up six fingers), captioning it with their own story and connection to kidney disease.  They can then tag and nominate others to join the challenge and raise awareness leading up to a 24-hour day of online giving on March 27.

 Donations can be made by going online or by phone at 1.800.387.4474

 March is Kidney Health Month. The 2019 theme of World Kidney Day - ‘Kidney Health for Everyone Everywhere’ - spurred a conversation about building a community of support around those living with the disease. The Six Degrees of Kidney Disease platform was built from this and the story between the Foundation partners, Canadian musical icon Tom Wilson and 2014’s Miss Intercontinental Canada Delaney Holley. Two Canadians who have never met and yet are connected by the disease through their own personal backgrounds.  Wilson and Holley kicked off the social campaign earlier this week sharing their  #SixDegreeChallenge story with photos taken by celebrity photographer Matt Barnes.

 Through the #SixDegreesChallenge, The Kidney Foundation hopes to raise awareness of the high burden of kidney diseases worldwide. A report on the increasing out-of-pocket costs for Canadians with kidney failure has served as the cornerstone for many of The Kidney Foundation’s recent advocacy efforts by underscoring the financial hardships that kidney patients face every day. The Foundation has invested over $123M in kidney-related research since 1964 and continues to raise millions of dollars for research initiatives, patient support programs, and education activities each year.

 For more information on the #SixDegreeChallenge and to make your donation on March 27, visit www.sixdegreechallenge.com. All funds raised will benefit The Kidney Foundation, which offers programming and services to Canadians affected by kidney disease and funds kidney research.

 Follow along on social with the #SixDegreeChallenge to see other notable Canadians’ stories.


 About The Kidney Foundation of Canada
Excellent kidney health, optimal quality of life, and a cure for kidney disease - for over 50 years, this vision has guided The Kidney Foundation of Canada to be a collaborative, inventive and focused leader in the development of programs, services, research opportunities and awareness campaigns that have had a positive impact on the millions of Canadians living with, or at risk of developing kidney disease. The Foundation's national research program has grown to become one of the most important sources of funding for scientists conducting kidney-related research. The Kidney Foundation of Canada is also committed to providing education, information and support about kidneys, kidney disease and kidney transplants.

 Download Press Release




Ontario Kidney Walk Raises over $900,000


In thirty-five communities over four weekends in September, the kidney community joined together to take a giant step in the fight against kidney disease raising over $900,000. 

Individuals living with kidney disease, caregivers, family, friends, and health professionals united to fundraise and come together as a community to raise awareness and funds to support those affected by kidney disease through education, patient support programs, and by funding research to improve understanding of kidney disease and its treatments. 

Thank you to national sponsor Otsuka Canada Pharmaceutical Inc., provincial media sponsor YESTV, t-shirt supplier Entripy Custom Clothing and the many local and regional sponsors who supported the event through sponsorships and gifts in kind. 

The Kidney Walks are The Kidney Foundations largest fundraising event raising over $2 million each year.  

You can find photographs from your Kidney Walk on our Flickr and Facebook

Terry Young celebrates 45th Transplantiversary By Walking 45km at The Kidney Walks

Terry Young and his wife, Susan, will be getting their steps in this monthTerry at the Toronto West Walk as they walk 45km at seven different Kidney Walks this month to mark the 45th anniversary of Terry’s kidney transplant.

Forty-five years ago, on September 8, Terry gratefully received a kidney thanks to the decision a Winnipeg family made to donate their deceased loved one’s kidney.  “I am one of the lucky ones. The donated kidney I received 45 years ago gave me a chance to live a normal life,” said Terry.

In the early 1970’s, organ transplants were not a common form of treatment for kidney failure. Dialysis was provided to those who were well enough, and people were often required to relocate to larger urban centres where hospitals could deliver life-saving treatments three times a week.

Transplantation was in its infancy and rejection was common. In fact, within three years of transplant, only 26% of people still had their donated kidney. Today, the five-year survival rate for adults with transplanted kidneys is 82% from deceased donors.

“I am very fortunate, and I realize that,” says Terry. “However, like most transplant patients that I talk to, we all fear rejection. But given how fortunate I am, I also realize the need to give back whenever I can. I have been a volunteer with the Kidney Foundation for years. I enjoy the walks because it gives me an opportunity to talk to others who are affected by kidney disease, to hear their stories and, if I can, provide some hope and reason for optimism.

”For Terry, a diagnosis of kidney disease at age 15 while living in a small British Columbia town, meant the upheaval of his entire family as he and his mother moved to Vancouver for dialysis. His older brother stayed with friends to finish high school. Although overnight 10-hour dialysis treatments were life-saving, it wasn’t an easy road. “I had a shunt in my arm because more permanent fistula accesses were just starting then,” added Terry. “It was not uncommon to have the wound get infected, and occasionally the opening would get clogged and they would have to access a new site.”

One in 10 Canadians has kidney disease, and millions more are risk. More than 11,000 people in Ontario are on dialysis today and 1,100 are on the wait list for a transplant.  End-stage renal failure is a permanent, life-changing diagnosis. Undergoing dialysis treatments numerous times, a week takes its toll ... physically, psychologically, and financially, and can dramatically affect the patient as well as his/her family and friends.

“There are not many 45-year kidney transplant recipients around,” said Mr. Young. “Hopefully that will change. Through research efforts, funded in part by The Kidney Foundation of Canada, the success rate of a transplant has improved significantly in the past four decades.

Terry and his wife Susan joined by friends and family walked in Owen Sound, Barrie, Chatham, Toronto, his hometown of Brantford. They will finish their kidney walk tour next weekend in St. Catharines and Tillsonburg.

Didn't get a chance to participate in the walks? You can still make a difference by making a general donation to the walk, or supporting one of many walkers like Terry.

Perth Smiths Falls Walk Ambassador shares experience on dialysis

Despite the fact that Shelley has been “sick” most of her life, she has a remarkable positive attitude in dealing with kidney disease. It was in her early 20’s, when Shelley caught a virus that damaged her kidneys. Initially doctors thought Shelley’s kidneys may never fail completely, but about 10 years later her kidneys function declined and she began peritoneal dialysis (PD). Shelley recalled: it was a challenging time, as she balanced her daily treatments as well as raising three young children.

In 2003, Shelley was fortunate to receive a kidney transplant but it failed three years ago.  With her children now older and independent, Shelley opted for hemodialysis at the local dialysis unit.

“My experience this time on dialysis is much different,” said Shelley. When my children were smaller, PD worked, but I feel stronger this time on hemodialysis. The drawback according to Shelley is the time on the machine – time that she could be doing so many more things. “I do pretty well on dialysis, but four hours on the machine can be torturous, especially because I like to keep moving.”

Even though kidney disease consumes so much of her life, Shelley believes that the she has probably lived a richer life than most, because she knows just how fragile life is. According to Shelley, one of the biggest blessings and challenges for those on dialysis is the relationships you develop at the dialysis unit. “It can be hard. You get attached to those around you, and the loss, when someone passes can be really difficult. I am grateful for every day.”

Shelley is proud to be the 2018 Perth-Smiths Falls Walk Ambassador and attend her first Kidney Walk. “I was really honoured to be asked to be the Ambassador this year, by the nurse manager in my unit. I think it’s important to take part to help all those living with the disease, and support research.”

To those individuals newly diagnosed with kidney failure, Shelley offers this advice: Knowledge makes the fear go away. Look to your medical team for support. My lifeline was the nurses in my program. They talked to me, informed me, let me cry when I needed and reassured me. Look to your family and friends for support, just talking to others can help.

Register to join your Kidney Walk now www.kidneywalk.ca

Hamilton couple support of others touched by kidney disease at Hamilton Kidney Walk

For eight months last year, Mike Ferrante received peritoneal dialysis for 11 to 12 hours a night. It was a terribly difficult time for the father of 2 young children. “He was so sick, he couldn’t work,” his wife, Marianne recalls. “Sometimes, it felt like I was a single parent. He was only 40 and it was incredibly scary to see how rapidly his health declined.” 

In December, Mike received a kidney transplant from a living donor. “We were so fortunate to have incredibly supportive friends,” says Marianne. “It wasn’t a matter of finding someone willing to donate a kidney; his friends lined up to be screened as possible donors.” Since the transplant, Mike has returned to great health.

Despite his comparatively short time on dialysis, Mike and Marianne understand just how hard the life-sustaining therapy can be on the person with kidney failure, as well as on the entire family. Looking back on the experience, Marianne comments “you just don’t realise how important your kidneys are until they start to fail.” That’s why events like Kidney Walk are so important to the couple.

Mike and Marianne are very proud to be the 2018 Hamilton Kidney Walk Ambassadors. “It’s our first time at the walk. We were so lucky that Mike got a kidney transplant and we’re extremely grateful to the fantastic doctors at St. Joe’s. We really wanted to give back and support others affected by kidney disease.

”To those waiting for a donor kidney, Mike and Marianne offer this advice: don’t ever give up hope. And to everyone else, the couple suggests doing what all of Mike’s friends did following his surgery – register to be an organ donor.

Join Mike and Marianne at this year's Hamilton Kidney Walk on Sunday, September 23. Register today: www.kidneywalk.ca


Kidney Walk is a source of support for new dialysis patient

Sylvie with her team at the Cornwall WalkSylvie of Cornwall is new to the world of kidney disease. In fact, Sylvia began dialysis just a few weeks ago. After being diabetic for years, doctors told Sylvie her kidneys were damaged. While a change in diet and a focus on active living slowed the effects, Sylvie’s kidneys failed this past June.

“For the last few years, I have been dealing with the reality that I was probably going to go on dialysis. No one likes the stories we hear about dialysis, but, at the very beginning I was given the option of doing it at home and that option gave me hope.”

When Sylvie realized her kidneys were failing, she became involved with the Cornwall Kidney Walk as a way to raise awareness of the risk diabetes creates for kidney disease. Affecting 1 in 10 Canadians, kidney disease has few symptoms and people living with diabetes are encouraged to talk with their doctor about their increased risk of kidney failure. At the Walks, Sylvie was able to connect with others who had already started dialysis.

“There was encouragement from other people at the walk. I heard some good stories and that got me through the last year as well. Just hearing the stories about how people grow and process and deal with the reality of kidney failure or dialysis or transplant and that it can be done and that I’m not alone.”

As Sylvie began dialysis this past month, she reflects on why having a positive attitude (and a sense of humour!) can make a difference, “By the end of the [second hemodialysis training] day…it all of the sudden just hit me. It was a very low point and it brought me back to the day I learned I had diabetes. It is the fear of the unknown. I had a couple of pep talks and talked to a nurse who kind of shifted my point of view again. It’s not exactly as easy-peesey as I thought it might be…I will have to put on my big girl pants!”

Sylvie invites you to join her and the rest of the Cornwall kidney community this Saturday, September 22 to take a giant step in the fight against kidney disease. Join your local Kidney Walk today and register online www.kidneywalk.ca




Young Kingston Nurse Walks to Raise Awareness of Rare Kidney Disease

RachaelPreparing for her final year of nursing school at St. Lawrence College through Laurentian University, Rachael took a vacation out to British Columbia. Rachael lead an active and healthy life, and she was excited to go hiking on the west coast. She managed the hikes and enjoyed her trip, but, returning home, she had to admit that she felt tired and quite unwell; unlike her usual self. Before going back to school, Rachael repeatedly found herself in the emergency room in Kingston as she began feeling more and more unwell. Each time, however, she was sent home as bloodwork came back normal, and doctors told her that she was fine. 

Due to her condition worsening, Rachael’s mother brought her back to the hospital and she soon began retaining the IV fluids given to her. Soon after, all of Rachael’s bloodwork came back from the lab and indicated that Rachael’s body had experienced severe multi-organ clotting and was told that her kidneys had failed. 
“It’s all a blur. I remember them telling me that my kidneys were failing and then they transported me to a room to put a hemodialysis line in my chest, took biopsies of my kidneys, and put in a picc line...they tried many plasmapheresis treatments, and nothing was working to treat the breakdown and clotting of cells. It was confusing. No one in my family has any form of kidney disease. I’ve always taken care of myself. I didn’t know how [kidney failure] was possible.”

Physicians at the hospital were also perplexed by Rachael’s condition. While dialysis was keeping Rachael alive, no one could give her or her family definite answers. 

“At one point they were telling my family ‘we don’t know what is going on and we can’t guarantee anything,’ and when you hear all of these well-educated physicians so unsure, it is terrifying.”

Eventually, Dr. Jocelyn Garland (nephrologist at Kingston Health Sciences Centre) who had spent many hours working on Rachael’s case, seemed to believe that Rachael was experiencing a rare disease called atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (aHus), and started Rachael on a very expensive medication called Soliris (Eculizumab). Soliris is the only medication used to treat aHUS- and soon after beginning this medication for the first time, Rachael’s situation began to look up. 

Despite Soliris showing evidence of healing damaged kidneys in many other patients diagnosed with aHUS and the few other diseases that this medication is prescribed to treat; Rachael’s kidneys showed no signs of possible recovery as the damage was far too severe. After many months of doing dialysis in the renal unit, Rachael began home hemodialysis in order to allow her the freedom to go back to finish her final year of nursing school. With doing dialysis treatments 4 days a week, Rachael finished her final year of nursing studies and began working at Kingston General Hospital. 

After coming home from working at the hospital, and then finishing her 4-hour dialysis treatment, Rachael received a call that would send her packing for Toronto. On August 20, 2017, Rachael received a kidney transplant and now, is excited to have her life back and to return to the Kidney Walk in Kingston this fall. 

“I feel amazing and my energy is phenomenal. When I was first diagnosed, I lost a lot of my physical strength, and when ill, it was initially quite difficult to get my strength back. With a lot of hard work- I was able to continue to live an active lifestyle, and it was so nice to be able to participate in the 2016 Kidney Walk in Kingston. A lot of my family and friends joined me, and to be surrounded by such positive people, seeing the amazing support and hearing the stories of other people and families who have experienced similar health setbacks and have strived to overcome them as well- was so positive and inspiring! It means a lot to me to join again this year as the ambassador...It is a lot to be diagnosed with a rare disease and to live with kidney disease and I think that it is having the support of others and maintaining a positive mindset while you are going through that, which makes a big difference.”

Rachael encourages other families in the area to join her at this year’s Kingston Kidney Walk to take a giant step in the fight against kidney disease. On Sunday, September 30, walk with your kidney community. To join, register online today www.kidneywalk.ca 

To read more about Atypical Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (aHUS), please visit www.kidney.ca/kidney-health-a-to-z

Brockville mom and twelve-year-old daughter raise awareness for 2018 Kidney Walk

At two-years-old Brockville, Kidney Walker, Destiny, was diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease (PKD) during a precautionary screening. Because PKD runs in the family, Destiny’s parents made the decision to get their children tested in order to get in front of the disease, to learn more about it and to be able to better monitor for complications.

Now, at twelve years old, Destiny attends yearly appointments to get updated tests, including getting bloodwork done, which Destiny says is the most challenging part of her disease because she is no fan of needles. Dawn shares the most challenging part of Destiny’s diagnosis as a mom is not being able to fix it. “To hear your child is ill and not quite understand exactly what’s happening is tough.” Dawn wants other parents to know that they are not alone in their children’s diagnosis. There are support systems out there. When Destiny was first diagnosed Dawn felt alone, “going through a crazy diagnosis without knowledge or support” but she since has found help and support through loved ones, doctors, nurses and their community Kidney Walk.

For four years, Dawn and Destiny have created a team of loved ones to participate in the Brockville walk. This year, Destiny and her team are also preparing a float for their community parade to bring attention to kidney disease and organ donation. Dawn and Destiny want to raise awareness about the Kidney Walk and let people know the event isn’t just for kidney patients, it also acts as a support system for those in the community and raises awareness about organ donation and how important it is to become a donor.


Joining Dawn and Destiny at the walk again this year is Destiny’s best friend, who is also named Destinee. 


Join Destiny and Dawn at this year's Brockville Kidney Walk on September 8, 2018. Register online www.kidneywalk.caThe twelve-year-olds share a name and similar kidney stories. Destinee was born with a horseshoe kidney, meaning she would too have to monitor her kidney health and try her best to avoid any complications. Kidney disease can impact anybody at any age. As a mom, Dawn understands feeling lost in the diagnosis of kidney disease for your child, but she wants to remind everyone that you are not alone.




Sutherland family walk in memory of Don "Sudsy" Sutherland at Pembroke-Renfrew Kidney Walk

In 2006, Don ‘Sudsy’ Sutherland and his wife, Cathy, were stunned to hear that, Don’s kidneys failing and that he had a hereditary disease known as polycystic kidney disease (PKD). No one else in Don’s family had any kidney issues including his three daughters, Heather, Meghan and Colleen. A total mystery, Don and Cathy still had to face the reality of Don’s PKD which meant driving three days a week together to do dialysis in Renfrew. 

Cathy recalls taking their dog with them so she could walk while Don was doing dialysis and she laughs remembering that Don claimed she hit the same pothole in the road each trip. Early in 2008, both Cathy and one of Don’s sisters began testing to see if either of them could be a donor for Don. Both were a perfect match and on October 30, 2008 Cathy gave Don the gift of life. 

Throughout the ups and downs of life with kidney disease, Don continued to play slo-pitch baseball with his friends. In 2013, the Sutherland family came together for the inaugural Sutherland Slo-Pitch tournament benefitting The Kidney Foundation of Canada. “We’re trying to educate people [about kidney disease],” says Cathy. “Kidney disease is something that pulled us together and we all feel strongly about raising funds and awareness of kidney disease.”

After a lovely trip to Nova Scotia to celebrate Don’s 65th birthday, Don ‘Sudsy’ Sutherland quietly passed away. The Sutherland family, looking to continue celebrating the loving memory of Don, went ahead with their annual slo-pitch tournament, renaming the tournament in his honour. The Don ‘Sudsy’ Sutherland Memorial Slo-Pitch Tournament annually supports The Kidney Foundation and the Pembroke-Renfrew Kidney Walk. 

The Sutherland family goes out each year as ‘Team Sudsy’ to support their Pembroke-Renfrew Kidney Walk community and this year, Cathy and her family are the Ambassadors for the walk. Cathy invites you to join her, Heather, Meghan, Colleen, and those in the Pembroke-Renfrew community on September 23.“If you’ve been affected by kidney disease, keep going, keep trying and keep doing the things you do. Come and join us, it’s a beautiful walk! Bring your dog and your kids, we’d love to have you there.” Register online today www.kidneywalk.ca 



Jennifer Keating shares her strength with other families at Stratford Kidney Walk

In February 2009, when I transferred to a new work site in Stratford, I met Jamie Keating. Not long before we met, Jamie had received a kidney from his older brother and he was feeling great. As Jamie and I got to know each other we fell in love and then, we got married. Shortly afterward, Jaimie’s donor kidney began to fail. 

The kidney failure caused Jamie to be in and out of the hospital for the next few years which kept us on our toes as our family grew and we welcomed our baby girl home. On July 7, 2014, we were told that Jaimie’s transplanted kidney had failed and needed to be removed. Throughout these trying times, I was the only one able to work and raise our child. Thankfully, I had the help of our amazing family. Jamie started peritoneal dialysis, but, unfortunately, it wasn’t working for him. Jamie then switched from peritoneal dialysis to home hemodialysis and this made a huge difference in our lives. Despite having to do dialysis treatments every other day at home, Jaimie is happy and healthier. 

Wanting to do whatever possible to help Jamie through his kidney journey, I looked into donating one of my kidneys to my husband. Unfortunately, I was not a match, but, from there, I registered with the paired exchange program. I am hoping that one day my husband can get a new kidney and I can give one of mine to someone who also needs one. 
Throughout all of this, I went through some dark times. I was unsure where God was, as I felt hopeless and became depressed. It was my little girl who kept me going and helped me remain strong for my family. Raising my daughter, working, and caring for my husband is a lot but I love my family and will do whatever I can to keep us afloat.

I’m joining the Stratford Kidney Walk this September to support other families touched by kidney disease. I invite you to join me on Saturday, September 22 at Upper Queen’s Park with our kidney community as we take a giant step in the fight against kidney disease. www.kidneywalk.ca

Teenage transplant recipient and his mother share a message of hope at Ottawa Kidney Walk

Eighteen years ago Ottawa mom Bettina gave birth to Dawson, a baby boy born prematurely with underdeveloped kidneys. When Dawson was four years old, Bettina donated one of her kidneys to her son. This gift of life kept Dawson healthy until the age of twelve when he experienced chronic rejection and began dialysis treatment. 

Dawson was on the waiting list for a new kidney until June 27, 2018, the night before his high school graduation. Dawson was with some friends decorating their graduation caps when he got the call. “Everything changed within five minutes,” Dawson says of that night. Instead of his diploma, Dawson would receive a kidney the next day. 

There are a lot of challenges associated with kidney disease; dialysis treatments, restrictive diets and having to sit out from playing hockey are just a few that Dawson has endured, but he remained positive and hopeful throughout his experiences. He says the most positive aspect of his kidney journey is that the Facebook page 'Kidney for Dawson', and media appearances to find Dawson a kidney, lead to more awareness about organ donation for others. “It brings awareness to people who wouldn’t know anything about it, it opens up eyes and minds about kidney disease and donations,” which Dawson always aims to do. 

The last eighteen years have been a roller coaster of emotions for Dawson and his family but Bettina believes everything happens for a reason. “It is challenging as a parent seeing your child go through daily pain and not being able to make it go away,” Bettina says, “Dawson’s whole life has been all about medications, doctor appointments, hospitals, surgeries, and restrictions but that has never made him bitter and he never wanted people to feel sorry for him. He is a tough cookie and he makes me a tough cookie too.” 

Dawson and Bettina are walking in the Ottawa Kidney Walk to raise awareness about organ donation, kidney disease and to provide support to others in similar situations. Kidney disease is not just for the elderly, it can impact anyone. Dawson knows all too well that getting the call does take time, but he advises others waiting to not give up, he says “stay positive and keep going one day at a time, it does take time but never lose hope.” 

Kitchener Waterloo Kidney Walk honours memory of Dr. Tom Liu

As many of you know, my dad, Dr. Tom Liu was a pioneer in kidney care in Waterloo Region. Although Dad left us all too soon in November 2016, The Kidney Foundation continues to “battle on” in his memory and is dedicating the annual Kitchener-Waterloo Kidney Walk in his honour.

When Dad moved to Kitchener and started working at what was then called K-W Hospital, he made it his mission to bring dialysis to the region. He brought a cadre to Queen’s Park with the hopes of persuading the provincial to fund a local dialysis unit. Today, that unit has grown to 74 hemodialysis stations and accommodates 500 patients who require life-sustaining treatment.  Beyond that, the program provides the full continuum of renal services to the surrounding Waterloo-Wellington communities. It has become an example of collaboration and quality of care for patients living with chronic kidney disease.

Dad also helped establish the local chapter of The Kidney Foundation, and often wrangled in the family to help with various events. I have vivid memories of little bags of jelly beans and kidney-shaped buttons scattered around the house, likely left over from various Foundation events. One of my earliest memories is of my Mom, braving the elements, canvassing the neighbourhood and showing her support. 

When the team at the Waterloo Wellington & District Chapter of The Kidney Foundation asked if they could hold the walk in our Dad’s honour in 2017, our family was touched.  In Dad’s final years, the walk was very special to him, and he made a point to help out as much as he could – arranging for refreshments, including the freshly squeezed orange juice that he so loved, to be part of the festivities.  When The Foundation proposed to make this an annual dedication, we were delighted. I can’t think of a more thoughtful and fitting gesture! It provides our family an opportunity to remember him while supporting a cause that was so near and dear to his heart. From what I’m told, our local walk had its best attendance ever last year. I hope that we can continue to break both attendance and donation records, and support the wonderful work that The Kidney Foundation chapter staff and volunteers do to support patients with kidney disease. 

I hope you will join our family, enjoy a beautiful walk in Waterloo Park, and share some memories of Dad, all in support of The Kidney Foundation on Sunday, September 23rd!


Marissa Liu-Glaister, on behalf of the Liu Family


Join Marissa, her family, and the Kitchener-Waterloo kidney community at this year's Kidney Walk and register online today kidneywalk.ca

Windsor student keeps hope alive by joining Windsor-Essex Kidney Walk

My name is Nate. I am twenty-six years old and, four years ago, my kidneys failed. When I was born, my dad was living with a successful kidney transplant. When my dad’s transplant failed, he resumed hemodialysis. No matter the difficulties though, both my parents raised my sister and me with a lot of love. My father was the kindest person that I have ever known. 

As kids, both my sister and I tested negative for kidney disease. However, when I turned eighteen, doctors found protein in my urine. I was prescribed medication to lower my rising blood pressure and I went on with my life. Four years later, following a routine checkup, I was told that I needed to begin emergency dialysis. 

A month after my kidneys failed, on April 8, 2014, my dad passed away at just 49 years old. Still in the hospital after watching kidney disease get the best of my dad, I feared I might end up just like him. 

The first six months of dialysis were hard. I did my best to stay strong for my family, but, I was losing hope. After a particularly scary stay in the intensive care unit, I realized I was terrified that kidney disease might keep me from living a full life. Surrounded by my loved ones, I began to focus on getting healthy and active. 

Today, I am an active volunteer with The Kidney Foundation and the Ontario Renal Network, and I am grateful to be the Ambassador for the Windsor-Essex Kidney Walk. I walk for all families affected by kidney disease and for a future filled with hope. If you have been recently diagnosed with kidney disease, I hope you will keep your head up and be brave, because there is light in this life.

I invite you to join me on September 23 at the Windsor Kidney Walk. Register your team today: www.kidneywalk.ca 



Brantford Kidney Walk team join forces to support four-year-old Lucas

A few weeks into her pregnancy, Delhi mom, Amber, went in for an ultrasound to learn the gender of her coming child. On the way home though, she received an unexpected call. The ultrasound tech had concerns about her baby’s kidneys.

After many trips to Mount Sinai hospital, McMaster Children’s Hospital and to SickKids, Amber learned that her unborn son had posterior urethral valves. A posterior urethral valve, or PUV, meant that Amber’s baby would have life-long kidney problems and needed surgery to have a bladder shunt put in, while in utero.

The surgery went well for both Amber and her son, but afterward, during an amniotic infusion, Amber’s water broke. After ten days of bed-rest in the hospital, Amber went into emergency C-section and her son, Lucas, was born at twenty-five weeks.

 “It was challenging for us, dealing with not only his prematurity but, the fact that he had what was going to be a chronic disease,” says Amber.

Four months after his birth, Lucas was discharged from the hospital and just a few weeks later, Lucas’ Legion was out in full force at the Brantford Kidney Walk.

“We brought him on his oxygen and all of his monitors and that was the first year we participated. Before then, I barely knew kidney disease existed. I thought it was something that only affected elderly people.”

The team that rallied around Lucas and his family that first year continues to grow. Now four-years-old, Lucas and his legion are this year’s Brantford Walk Ambassadors. The team grows each year with Lucas’ big, loving family joined by family-friends like Ken. Lucas calls Ken ‘Poppa’ and this past April, Ken celebrated his one-year kidney transplant anniversary. 

A major supporter of the team, Ken and his wife Bernice are key members of the team supporting Lucas.

“We make it a great experience for him,” Amber shares. “Last year Spiderman was at the Walks and that was great for him! For us, we’re happy to meet other families, raise awareness for the cause, and support kidney research for a future where kids like Lucas don’t have to grow up knowing kidney disease.”

Lucas, his big-brother Nathan, Amber, Ken, Bernice, and all of Lucas’ Legion invite you to join them for the Brantford Kidney Walk on Sunday, September 23. Register today: www.kidneywalk.ca




Relay Swim Organizers Become Hope Heroes
Alliston family feels financial strain of kidney disease
Dialysis Diet Puts Pressure on Finances
The Kidney Foundation of Canada-Ontario Branch Volunteers Honoured at 2018 Awards Night

Meet the Ontario volunteers honoured at this year's Volunteer Awards Night 

New Peer Support Group in Scarborough

During Kidney Health Month 2018, the Ontario Branch of The Kidney Foundation along with The Scarborough and Rouge Hospital have partnered to launch a new peer support group for anyone touched by kidney disease. 

Peer support groups are not new to the Ontario region with dedicated group members already meeting in many other communities across the province. The development of a kidney peer support group in Scarborough, however, marks a new and diverse opportunity to improve the lives of Canadians affected by a diagnosis of kidney disease. 

Kidney Connect peer support groups are a place where patients, their families, and their caregivers can all receive education from fellow patients who have been there too. Through participation in support groups, those touched by kidney disease can: take an active role in managing their kidney disease, increase their knowledge of common treatments and techniques, learn coping skills, and become a member of the larger kidney community. 
Many who have connected through Kidney Connect find they learn from other patients’ experiences and receive the emotional support they need from others who understand. 

With the Scarborough Hospital, The Kidney Foundation invites those from the Scarborough community to join the new Kidney Connect Support group. Group sessions in Scarborough are held once a month in the afternoon and evenings. Whether you are recently diagnosed, on dialysis, working toward a transplant, a donor or a loved one, Kidney Connect is the place to find others just like you. 

Can’t make it to your local Peer Support Group? Connect with peer support volunteers by telephone or online by visiting www.kidney.ca/ontario/peer-support 

Suppor Group Meetings


ORN one of several KRESCENT partners: Application deadline Feb. 1

KRESCENT Application Deadline Feb. 1

The KRESCENT research program, supported by a number of valuable partners, including the Ontario Renal Network, is accepting applications until Feb. 1, 2018, from candidates for three-year awards to pursue kidney-related research.

The Ontario Renal Network partnership with KRESCENT is focused on projects which are, among other things, aligned with the ORN, have a health policy focus, and are related to the Ontario CKD population.

Other partners currently supporting KRESCENT include Alberta Innovates, which will build capacity in the kidney research field in Alberta, and Can-SOLVE CKD Training program, which supports projects that involve a significant component related to patient engagement and participation.

Complete details on the KRESCENT partnerships and applicant requirements can be found in the 2018 Competition Guidelines.

New to the program this year is the fact that patient partners will be adding their input to the peer review process.

Top Tips to Minimize the Clutter - Kidney Clothes Can Help
Nominate a Volunteer for an Ontario Branch Award

The Kidney Foundation is proud to be a national volunteer driven organization. Our volunteers take on many roles in the organization and come from many walks of life. From event volunteers, to office volunteers, Board and Committee members, we are fortunate to have a dedicate group of friends working together to make life better for those living with and affected by kidney disease.

The Ontario Volunteer Recognition Program is an opportunity to recognize the contributions and achievements of our Branch / Provincial volunteers.  All nominations will be reviewed by the Volunteer Recognition Committee and the recipients will be chosen.  The presentation for most of these awards will be on the evening of Saturday, April 28, 2018.

Award descriptions and nomination forms are available on our website at: http://www.kidney.ca/ontario-volunteer-recognition-program .

Submit all your nominations online or fill in the paper forms and send to Carol Kostoff on or before Tuesday, February 20, 2018.
Email: ckostoff@kidney.on.ca
Mail: The Kidney Foundation of Canada
           201-1599 Hurontario Street
           Mississauga, ON L5G 4S1

Kidney Car celebrates 25 years of providing hope and support to Canadians living with kidney disease

The Kidney Foundation of Canada launched its first Kidney Car program back in 1992, Kidney Carafter learning that The National Kidney Foundation south of the border was running a car donation program to help raise funds. What started as a small pilot in Ontario has grown nationwide and is an important revenue source for The Kidney Foundation to fund its mission. Today, Kidney Car is widely considered the most trusted name in car donation having handled hundreds of thousands of vehicle donations.

Donated vehicles, otherwise known as Kidney Cars, are either recycled or sold, and the proceeds are invested back into activities to help the 1 in 10 Canadians living with kidney disease. The funds support vital kidney research, efforts to provide hope and support to help patients and their families, as well as public awareness initiatives to help raise awareness of kidney health and organ donation.

“We are grateful to the thousands of donors and corporate partners, who have helped make Kidney Car such a success,” said Greg Robbins, Kidney Foundation, Ontario Branch President.  “Donating a car is no small gesture, yet over the years thousands of Canadians have given their car a lasting legacy that does make a difference in the fight against kidney disease.”

Donors like Harvey Thomson laud the program for its ease and simplicity. “It’s one of the easiest things I’ve done in relation to an automobile,” says Thomson, a volunteer and Kidney Car donor. “It took one phone call to have my car picked up, the plates removed and to sign over the registration.”

Cars can be donated online at kidneycar.ca or by calling toll-free 1.866.788.CARS (2277). Kidney Car provides free towing available within 48hrs and donors receive a charitable tax receipt for their donation –a minimum of $300. Newer models, in road worthy condition may qualify for a significantly larger tax receipt.

“It’s a win-win for The Kidney Foundation and for the donors,” said Robbins. “Kidney Car takes care of everything and donors are confident their car donation has been recycled in an environmentally friendly manner and has also helped patients and their families affected by kidney disease.”

There is no cure for kidney disease. Patients are treated either through dialysis, a process by which blood is cleaned through a machine, or transplantation. In Ontario, there are over 1,000 people currently waiting for a kidney transplant, representing approximately two-thirds of the entire organ donation waiting list.

The Kidney Foundation of Canada is the national volunteer organization committed to reducing the burden of kidney disease through funding and stimulating innovative research; providing education and support; promoting access to high quality healthcare; and increasing public awareness and commitment to advancing kidney health and organ donation.

Learn more: KidneyCar.ca

A Time to Shine Gala celebrates career of distinguished nephrologist, Dr. Marc Goldstein

Dr. Marc Goldstein

This fall, the kidney community will gather for A Time to Shine, an evening highlighting the caregivers and leaders within the kidney community. The Kidney Foundation of Canada will recognize a lifetime of achievements from eminent nephrologist, Dr. Marc Goldstein at A Time to Shine, happening at Palais Royal on Thursday, October 19.

“The legacy of Dr. Goldstein’s exemplary commitment to patient care and his leadership in the nephrology community will impact us for years to come,” says Ontario Branch President, Greg Robbins. “A Time to Shine is about recognizing the impression compassionate caregivers like Dr. Goldstein have on patients and critical research advances. We’re thrilled to come together to shine a light on his lasting contributions.”

The evening program will also include a special tribute to nephrology pioneer, the late Dr. George deVeber, founder of The Kidney Foundation in Ontario.

“As we shine a light on the kidney community, it seems fitting that we recognize the outstanding impact of Dr. deVeber and are pleased to name an award in his honour – the Dr. George deVeber Distinguished Service Award,” said Robbins.

A Time to Shine is an opportunity to share stories and successes in the community to support future advances in research and patient centred programs. With 1 in 10 Canadians living with kidney disease today, serving those touched by the illness and pursuing a future of improved kidney care is critical. Contributions, partnerships and funds raised at the event help The Kidney Foundation fulfill its mission as the national volunteer organization committed to providing hope, support, empowerment and encouragement to Canadians living with kidney disease. 

“He was amazing to me,” recalls Dr. Goldstein’s former patient, Catherine Bell. “Of course we named our baby after him. My son is Marc, spelt with a c, like Dr. Goldstein. I now have a grandchild, Sullivan, and I never would have had that without Dr. Goldstein’s care.”

The event begins at 6:00 p.m. with a cocktail reception and the formal program will begin at 7:00 p.m. For more information and to purchase tickets visit www.kidneygala.ca or call 1-800-387-4474 ext. 4963. 

Volunteer's positive spirit drives Kingston Kidney Walk

maureen kingston kidney walk ambassador 2017For Maureen, her first family trip to Camp Dorset was more than a vacation. Time spent at the resort in Muskoka gave her a chance to reconnect with her grandchildren and rekindle the positive spirit that has gotten her through the past four and a half years on dialysis. A summer camp supported by The Kidney Foundation, Camp Dorset gave Maureen and her family a vacation free from the everyday realities of kidney disease. After creating many new memories at Camp Dorset, Maureen is planning on going again this summer, this time with all six of her grandchildren.

When her diabetes led to kidney failure in 2013, Maureen felt overwhelmed by the weekly dialysis treatments. Being on dialysis and going through numerous medical setbacks made her feel as if her body was a “prison.” She never allowed anything to stop her from doing the things she loved like gardening and baking. With her husband, Jim, Maureen ran a bakery called Schoolhouse Bakery in Oshawa for a number of years. Even during the time she was limited to a wheelchair, Maureen was dedicated to both the success of her business and to staying optimistic. To this day, she is well known for her positivity and delicious apple pies.

In spite of the many ups and downs over the course of her renal journey, Maureen encourages others affected by kidney disease to remain motivated, “Enjoy life the way it is and be positive every morning. It is important for [patients] not to give up because there are so many things that come out of your life that you need to be positive about.”

One thing Maureen says keeps her motivated is being able to give back to her community. She does this through her avid volunteer work as a member of the Volunteer Leadership Group with the Kingston Chapter of The Kidney Foundation. During the 2016 holiday season, both Maureen and Jim personally delivered basil plants along with kidney-friendly recipes to fellow patients within their dialysis unit.

“Maureen is an incredible part of our team,” says Rachel de Waard, Senior Community and Fundraising Manager for the Eastern Ontario Branch of The Foundation. “Her enthusiastic dedication to those around her is truly inspirational.”

Maureen has also been a strong advocate for the Kidney Walks in Kingston for the past three years and is this year’s Kidney Walk Ambassador.  Even when she was unable to physically finish the Walk, Maureen participated.  She feels it is important to join with her community and support The Foundation’s efforts to send more people to Camp Dorset and improve research for the future.

“Without support from [the Walks] we don’t have research. Research is so important and hopefully, we will one day find a cure or something that makes [kidney disease] easier. Maybe someday down the road it will help someone else not have to go through this,” says Maureen.

Never one to give up, even in the face of new adversities with her health, Maureen continues to strive to make a difference in the lives of those affected by kidney disease. Along with her children, grandchildren and fellow volunteers, Maureen encourages others to join their local Kidney Walk in an effort to be active and to cheer on others who have been affected in similar ways by kidney disease.

Maureen walked with her kidney community in Kingston on Sunday, September 24. Join your community at your local Kidney Walk and register today: www.kidneywalk.ca

Kitchener-Waterloo community honours memory of Dr. Tom Liu at annual Kidney Walk

Written by Kimberly Johnson.

This year’s Kitchener-Waterloo Kidney Walk will be held in memory of Dr. Tom Liu. Dr. Liu was the first nephrologist in the Kitchener-Waterloo area, a pioneer and advocate in the fight against kidney disease and a long-time friend of The Kidney Foundation.

Dr. Liu joined the Grand River Hospital staff after the opportunity to develop the hospital’s renal program was presented to him in the mid-70s. He was responsible for bringing the first dialysis machine to the area, training many renal technologists, nurses, and doctors, helping to create what is, today, one of the top kidney health care facilities in Ontario.

Dr. Liu also helped establish what is now known as the Waterloo, Wellington & District Chapter of The Kidney Foundation of Canada. He was an enthusiastic supporter and patient advocate, an endeavour that often dipped into his family life. His daughter, Marissa Liu-Glaister, recalls times where her mother would be out canvassing the neighbourhood on behalf of the chapter. To this day, the Liu family is actively involved in the annual Kidney Walk.

While Dr. Liu remained passionate about kidney care, he was also a dedicated family man. Dr. Liu loved spending time with his family, playing tennis with them in their backyard. Marissa recalled fondly, “As kids we would ride our bikes around the tennis court we had in our backyard. Mom and Dad had this rivalry going on, and Dad always narrated their matches… Tennis was something my dad and I shared even when I was an adult. He used to make me laugh with the way he would narrate [our game].”

Dr. Liu was also known for always coming up with new ideas for teaching and research in support of the renal program.  He would often bounce these ideas off his family members. “We would laughingly roll our eyes, but Dad was always trying to find new ways to do things. He was just so passionate about patient care and the relationships he built within the renal program.”

Dr. Liu was described as an amiable person who liked talking to people. Over time, his persistent determination compelled many others to care about kidney health.

“Last year, Dad fielded a team for the [Kitchener-Waterloo] Kidney Walk. So many people participated just because of who he was. They saw his passion and they wanted to support him,” said Marissa. In past walks, the Liu family brought together a team of neighbours to raise funds and participate.

Even after his retirement, Dr. Liu frequented the Grand River Hospital renal dialysis unit, now named in his honour.

 “He was still in the hospital, finding out what his colleagues were doing, trying to contribute to the program, and in the end, just being there to see the people that he had talked to and influenced over the course of his career.” Marissa notes, “He would sit in the Tim Horton’s lobby flagging people down, to catch up with them. He was so personable. It’s part of what made him a good doctor.” 

Till the end, Dr. Liu was the very embodiment of what The Kidney Foundation of Canada strives to accomplish. Improving the lives of those living with kidney disease was his life’s work, and his determination and focus is what will always be remembered.

In honour of Dr. Liu, please join the Kitchener-Waterloo community on Sunday, September 24, at Waterloo Park.

Join the Kitchener-Waterloo Kidney Walk.    

City Councilor and living organ donor joins Guelph Kidney Walk

Phil Alt Guelph City Councilor portrait photograph Guelph Kidney WalkIn February 2000, Greg Allt of Guelph, Ontario was diagnosed with kidney disease as a result of his diabetes. With support from his family members and changes to his diet and exercise routine, he was able to stave off dialysis for much longer than his doctors had originally anticipated. In 2015, however, Greg’s kidneys went into failure and he began home dialysis.

Greg was in need of a donor. Thankfully, his older brother, Phil Allt, was a perfect match and he was able to donate the better of his two kidneys. Both brothers went through extensive testing to ensure they were physically fit for the procedure and mentally ready for the changes it would bring.

According to Phil, doctors and psychologists made certain that he was not feeling pressure or obligation to donate and asked if there was any coercion, bribery or promises made that factored into his decision.

“They really wanted to make sure that there was no ‘God complex’ and wanted me to understand that an organ donation was like a Christmas gift, once given, it was the other person’s to do as they wished.”

The surgery took place in December 2016 and recovery was relatively smooth for both brothers.

Because of the experience with his brother’s health, Phil, currently a city councillor for Guelph, works closely with the Trillium Gift of Life Network as an organ donation ambassador. In this role, he has had the opportunity to talk about his experience donating an organ at public events, including at last year’s Guelph Kidney Walk.

Today, only 31 per cent of eligible donors have any plans to donate in Ontario.  With an aging population, the need for donors will increase.

Through his experience with his brother, Phil has seen firsthand the incredible impact organ donation can make in bettering the lives of those living with kidney disease. As this year’s Guelph Kidney Walk Ambassador, he encourages everyone to look into organ donation, to register to become a donor and to share your wishes with your loved ones. “[Being a donor] definitely creates a connection you otherwise might not have had.”

The Kidney Foundation of Canada supports kidney donation by providing support for both kidney donors and recipients. The Kidney Walks are a great reminder that the simple act of registering to be a donor and sharing those wishes with your family can go a long way in improving the lives of Canadians in need of a transplant.

Phil, along with his community in Guelph, will be joining together in an effort to raise awareness for lifesaving research and regional programs that support those affected by kidney disease.

Join Phil and all our Walkers for the Guelph Kidney Walk this Saturday, September 16th, 2017 at the Guelph Country Club. 

Learn more about the Guelph Kidney Walk. 

Meet Kidney Walk Ambassador - Tracy Patrick

Tracy & KellyAfter a skiing injury lead her to the operating table, Kelly Patrick learned about kidney disease for the first time. Following the pre-surgery medical tests, Kelly’s doctors told her she was dangerously close to kidney failure. With no symptoms, Kelly could hardly believe kidney disease would change her life, and the life of her sister, Tracy.

Little by little, symptoms of Kelly’s near kidney failure began to show. A visit to a nephrologist at Toronto General Hospital finally had her face the striking reality: if Kelly did not receive a kidney transplant in the next few months she would have to start dialysis treatments. Luckily for Kelly, her family stayed strong with her and rose together to support her. While many people in Kelly’s life stepped up for the organ donation testing, it was her sister, Tracy, whose kidney was the perfect match.

At the prospect of being Kelly’s donor, Tracy says, “I was super excited and just willing to help. Knowing that I had this great kidney for Kelly, of course it was simple.”

Tracy successfully gave the gift of life to her sister, Kelly, on March 22nd, 1999 and now, 18 years later, the two sisters are doing well and staying strong together. They celebrate their Transplant Anniversary nearly every year by travelling together. In the past, the two sisters have gone to Montreal, Mexico and Jamaica, but some years they choose to stay in Sault Ste. Marie and visit with family instead. When they do go out of town to celebrate together, they are sure that they spread the message about organ donation with everyone they meet and connect with.

From personal connections, Tracy has mentored and coached others who are contemplating going through a live donation, just like she did.

“I always tell them that nothing really changes and the only thing is that they wouldn’t recommend playing football! That always makes me laugh because, oh yeah, football, I do that every day! Once you give the kidney, everything goes back to normal. We don’t have to do anything, we just have a little scar that reminds us of the wonderful thing we did.”

Beyond spreading awareness of kidney disease and organ donation on her travels Tracy is also a dedicated volunteer with the kidney community in Sault Ste. Marie. Tracy has been to nearly every Kidney Walk in Sault Ste. Marie and has supported The Foundation since the Sault Ste. Marie Chapter began. With the Kidney Walks, Tracy hopes to continue to spread awareness and grow the kidney community in her area alongside The Kidney Foundation.

“Every year we see new faces and hear new stories and it keeps everyone positive like we’re one big family,” says Tracy. “That sense of community really comes through at the Kidney Walk. It’s a fun day for families all around.”

With support from family and friends in both Sault Ste. Marie and Toronto, Tracy walks with her family each year for a future free of kidney failure. You can join Tracy, Kelly and their family on September 9 for the annual Sault Ste. Marie Kidney Walk by registering now!

Learn more about the Kidney Walk.




Local champion for organ donation honoured at Stratford Kidney Walk

After years of living with diabetes, Jay Moon of Stratford was faced with a new reality. As his kidneys were failing, Jay would need to begin dialysis to survive. Instead of focusing on the negatives, however, Jay was grateful to have treatment options.

“You have to learn how to adapt or things aren’t going to be very pleasant. We tried to stay positive,” says Jay.

Jay’s optimistic outlook and determination to take back control of his own health lead him to start getting active. Beginning with short walks around his neighbourhood, Jay continued his exercise routine even after he began dialysis. Over time, Jay lost enough weight to qualify for the transplant wait list.

Although he left his job to accommodate his dialysis schedule, Jay was anything but bored. He decided to get more involved with his local community and focus on his health. As Jay grew in familiarity with the community, his work as a public speaker, promoting organ donation awareness, and his past participation in Kidney Walks brought him to volunteer with The Kidney Foundation.

While at another community event fundraiser for the Local Community Food Centre in Stratford, Jay got the call that a deceased donor kidney was ready for him. After years of active preparations and dialysis treatments, Jay drove with a group of his fellow community volunteers to the hospital for his transplant.

“I have this individual’s [kidney] and I will never know who they are, but every day I got them,” Jay gratefully notes. “I have a lot of good in my life and it’s not all directly related to my transplant but the enjoyment I get out of every day is because I’m not having to worry about diabetes or dialysis, so I’ve got that person. Whoever they might be.”

Always an advocate for positive change, Jay is back to work now and continuing to champion organ donation awareness in the Stratford region. This year, Jay is the Walk Ambassador for the Stratford Kidney Walk. He looks forward to meeting up again with the Stratford kidney community and to raising awareness about resources available from The Foundation.

jay moon stratford kidney walk

“Dialysis can be a frightening thing sometimes. There are a lot of people that can benefit from the services being made available to them through The Kidney Foundation. I’m excited and looking forward to [the Walk]. It lets people know what’s available to them out there,”

Jay will be walking with the Stratford kidney community on Saturday, September 23. To register to join your local Kidney Walk or support a Walk, please visit: www.kidneywalk.ca

Six Swimmers to Relay Across Lake Muskoka in 2nd Annual Organ Donor Swim

On Saturday July 29, six swimmers will relay-swim across Lake Muskoka (30km) to raise awareness for organ donation. In its second year, the swim, in partnership with The Kidney Foundation of Canada, is also raising funds to send kids who have had organ transplants to Camp Kivita, a summer camp in the Muskokas.

“This swim and initiatives like it are important efforts in raising awareness of organ donation overall,” said Greg Robbins, President of the Ontario Branch of The Kidney Foundation of Canada. “We appreciate their commitment to this cause, and congratulate the swim organizers and swimmers on their amazing fundraising efforts this year. The team has surpassed their 2016 total and at last check have raised over $18,000.”

Six current and former competitive triathletes including a Toronto Police Officer who is the first Canadian female open water swimmer to compete in the 2012  Summer Olympic Games will complete the swim starting at Gravenhurst Wharf.

The Organ Donor Swim, a relay-swim, as opposed to one person swimming the entire Lake Muskoka distance, is intended to represent the collective effort of many participants in the organ donation process even though in the end it is the two individuals - donor and recipient. 

 “An overwhelming majority of Canadians support organ donation but less than 20% have made plans to donate” said Ricky Jacobs, swim organizer. “One organ donor can benefit many people and save a number of different lives.”

According to The Kidney Foundation of Canada, the statistics are startling. There are, “more than 4,500 Canadians on the transplant waiting list, of which more than 76% are waiting for a kidney. Transplantation is the best available treatment offered for those living with kidney disease.

Also a swimmer in this relay, organizer Jacobs has a personal connection to organ donation. His father who first experienced kidney failure in 2010 received a donor-match from his wife, however a setback has placed him back on the waiting list for a deceased organ donation. Ricky’s long-time friend Gini Buckman has been living with type 1 diabetes for her entire life, and is now, at 43 years of age is in need of a kidney and a pancreas to help her live a balanced life giving back to  others through her horse therapy business. 

For more information about the relay swim and to donate to help send kids to camp, please visit www.kidney.ca/organdonorswim

Learn how to protect your family from bacteria and e.coli infection in the summer months
Ontario Kidney Foundation Volunteers Honoured at 2017 Awards Night

On May 5, the Ontario Branch of The Kidney Foundation of Canada gathered together to celebrate the remarkable work of Foundation volunteers from across the province. The Annual Branch Volunteer Awards Night, which took place at the Kingsbridge Conference Centre in King City, was emceed by Ontario Branch Board Past President Terry Young. Recipients were honoured for their positive impact in their greater kidney communities, their creativity, and their leadership.

Recipients were: 

Benson Sy, Excellence in Leadership Award
Benson Sy is a business entrepreneur and an active member of the Chinese kidney community. Having amassed a strong business network throughout his career, Benson has garnered ample support for The Kidney Foundation, raised awareness of kidney health within the Chinese community, and run the highly successful annual Greenfield Golf Tournament benefitting the Foundation.


Aaron Martin, Excellent Fundraiser Award 
Aaron Martin is a leadership and physical education teacher from Windsor, Ontario. For the past 13 years, Aaron, and his school, Riverside Secondary School, have raised over $43,000 for The Kidney Foundation through the annual Halloween Fun Run. This event engages the community and brings awareness to the importance of kidney health and research. 


Rick Orser, Excellent Fundraiser Award
Rick Orser works tirelessly as a London board member to bring awareness to The Kidney Foundation’s initiatives. He is the top local fundraiser among those who are not medical professionals. Because of his work, Orser has raised over $100,000 towards both patient programs and research initiatives.


Christopher Pennington, Excellent Fundraiser Award
At 12 years old, Christopher Pennington is a passionate fundraiser. Over the past two years, Pennington and his friends—dubbed Christopher's Crew—have raised over $20,000 for The Kidney Foundation at both the Owen Sound and the Goderich Kidney Walks. Additionally, Pennington has partnered with local businesses and held community events to help promote the importance of kidney health and research.

Entripy Custom Clothing, Award of Merit for Outstanding Partners
Entripy Custom Clothing is a leading supplier of custom printed t-shirts. In 2016, Entripy provided The Kidney Foundation’s Ontario Branch with over 3,400 t-shirts to support kidney communities at over 40 Kidney Walks. This donation represented a significant cost saving to the event and helped direct more funds to the cause.

Longo’s, Award of Merit for Outstanding Partners
In recent years, Longo’s has partnered with The Kidney Foundation through a gift card incentive pilot in Hamilton and across the GTA for the Kidney Walks. A generous sponsor of the annual Kidney Walks over the years, Longo’s has donated $35,000 to date. In addition, Longo’s has set aside proceeds from its annual golf tournament for the Foundation in support of Lion’s Camp Dorset. 

Northleaf Capital Partners, Award of Merit for Outstanding Partners
Over the past six years, Northleaf has been a supporter of the Ontario Branch of The Kidney Foundation through volunteer Michael Flood. Northleaf has donated over $25,000 towards Foundation gala events and to Camp Kivita.  

Michael Schlater, Leadership in Philanthropy Award
Over the past three years Michael Schlater, CEO of Domino’s Pizza, has been a generous supporter of Windsor District Chapter Kidney Foundation events. Partnering with the Foundation to provide food and drinks at evening fundraising events, Michael continues to match top volunteer fundraising donations at local events. 

Camp Kivita, Programs & Services Award
Camp Kivita is an outdoor camp that provides children who have received transplants and those living with organ failure a chance to make wonderful new memories. Campers participate in fun activities within a community of friends with shared experiences. Through the stories of past and present campers, friends of The Kidney Foundation have seen the powerful, positive impact of the work done by the leadership at Camp Kivita.

African Caribbean Kidney Association, Brampton, Brant County, and North Bay Chapters, Chapter of the Year
In 2016, the African Caribbean Kidney Association held its first gala. The event was an absolute success with close to 400 people in attendance and approximately $28,000 raised to benefit The Kidney Foundation. Brampton, Brant, and North Bay volunteer-led chapters have had extraordinary Kidney Walk events, breaking both revenue and attendance records. Collectively, they have generated $65,000 for The Kidney Foundation. All four Chapters also were recognized for reaching their 5th anniversary years.

Susan Tkachuk, Outstanding Volunteer of the Year
For over 20 years, Susan Tkachuk has been an enthusiastic volunteer at The Kidney Foundation. During this time, she has worked as a Peer Support volunteer and in a leadership role on a number of committees and Boards. Susan is a knowledgeable and experienced volunteer who is a true ambassador of The Kidney Foundation.

Dr. Harvey Thomson, President’s Award
A pioneer in the field of organizational psychology, Dr. Harvey Thomson has worked extensively with The Kidney Foundation. He has served as a leader on a number of the Foundation boards and committees and is currently the president of the Waterloo-Wellington and District Chapter. During his tenure, Harvey has inspired and influenced countless employees and volunteers at the Foundation to strive for excellence. 

So much of what is done as an organization would not be possible without the exemplary work of volunteers. The Kidney Foundation is grateful to work with such a passionate group of people, including those ones honoured this year.

Volunteers continue to play an incredible role in improving the lives of people living with kidney disease. For more information on how you can get involved, please see our volunteer opportunities



Kidney Clothes 5th Anniversary

This Earth Day, rejoice in a healthy planet with Kidney Clothes! Instead of sending your unwanted clothing to a landfill, do well by our planet and recycle it with Kidney Clothes. Not only will you be doing your part to help our earth, but you will be supporting the 1 in 10 Canadians with kidney disease.

“April 23rd also marks the 5th anniversary of Kidney Clothes,” said Program Director Sylvia Krampelj. “We want to extend our thanks to the many donors, partners, staff and volunteers who have made Kidney Clothes a success, and invite you and your family to join the celebration.”

Celebration events will be held in three communities beginning on April 22, Earth Day.

Residents are invited to join in the festivities with their families to revel in local entertainment, giveaways, and fun prizes! Instead of letting your old clothes and other cloth-based items like towels, draperies and fabrics end up in landfills for generations to come, bring them along with you to the festivities and put them to good use by recycling them to benefit The Kidney Foundation.

On Saturday, April 22, Earth Day, you can find celebrations in Barrie at 570 Bryne Drive from 9 AM -1 PM and in Sault Ste. Marie at 424 Pim St. Unit #2 from 9 AM – 1 PM. Since Sault Ste. Marie will also be celebrating the grand opening of a brand new location, attendees will get to indulge in a free barbecue from M&M’s!

On Sunday, April 23, celebrations with locals will be held in Brantford at 106 Winniett Street from 10 AM – 2PM where there will be cake and hot dogs for the first 100 people to arrive!

Come out and celebrate the 5th Anniversary of Kidney Clothes this Earth Week with us!

Saturday April 22:

Barrie (9AM-1PM) 570 Bryne Drive

Sault Ste. Marie (9AM-1PM) 424 Pim Street Unit #2

Sunday April 23:

Brantford (10AM-2PM) 106 Winniett Street


5 Ways to Identify and Manage your Depression

 Couple lean towards each other, smiling.

Spring is a time of new life and growth. Everyone is preparing for better weather, getting outside and refreshing themselves. After a long winter, though, it is a good idea to ensure you are renewing your mental health as well. Depression can affect anyone. For those living with kidney disease, the signs of depression can often go unrecognized as they mimic the symptoms of reduced kidney function.

Depression can affect anyone. For those living with kidney disease, the signs of depression can often go unrecognized as they mimic the symptoms of reduced kidney function. Attending to your mental health needs is an important part of managing your kidney disease.

Some of the signs and symptoms of depression can include: fatigue, loss of appetite or overeating, a lack of interest in activities that were previously enjoyable, isolating behaviour such as skipping time with family and friends, feelings of sadness or anger, and often a combination of these signs. A person who is depressed has no need to feel ashamed, embarrassed or weak. The important thing to remember is that depression can be effectively treated.

Try the following 5 activities to manage your mental health:

  • Write out your thoughts and feelings. Consider what is making life difficult for you and write out how you are feeling about these concerns. Consider sharing your writing with others in an online community like Kidney Connect.

  • Talk to someone. Reach out to those you love, your social worker or your counsellor and share what you are feeling. Consider connecting with others with similar experiences and join your local peer support group.

  • Check in with your doctor. It’s important to review your mental health with your doctor. Consider asking the following questions at your next check-up:

      • Is my diet affecting my mood? Do I need to make changes?
      • Are my medications affecting my mood? Do I need to make changes?
      • How can you help me if I am feeling sad or depressed?
      • Why are the types of treatment available for me?
      • What has helped others?
      • What should I do if I don’t feel like living?

  • Make a plan. Create a list of short-term and long-term goals you want to achieve. Keep busy throughout each day and take breaks when you feel tired. Decide which activities are important to you and do things you enjoy.

  • Start exercising. Get moving, even if it’s only for a little while. No matter the activity, spend at least 15 minutes a day outside enjoying the fresh air. Engaging in physical activity plays a significant role in your overall mental health and wellbeing.

Whether you are a person living with kidney disease, or you are supporting someone who is, there are services available to help you take charge of your mental health. Understanding depression is the first step to getting your life back.

If you are struggling with depression or displaying symptoms of depression, reach out and talk to someone from your healthcare team or through the peer support program: 1 866 390-PEER (7337) or use our online form


Walk with us to win 2 tickets to the Junos!

The Kidney Foundation of Canada, Ontario Branch, has two tickets to give away to this Sunday’s Juno Awards. For the second year running, The Kidney Foundation of Canada is thrilled to have been selected to partner with Universal Music Canada; The Kidney Foundation will be featured as the charity of choice at Universal Music Canada’s Junos Party in celebration of their 2017 Juno nominated artists.

That means a lucky person could win a pair of tickets to the Juno awards ceremony on Sunday, April 2 in Ottawa, hosted by Bryan Adams and Russell Peters!

Everyone who fills out our 2017 Kidney Walk pre-registration form will automatically be entered into the draw to win a pair of tickets! Winners will be contacted on Friday, March 31. Travel, accommodation or other expenses not included. Kidney Walks are a great way to join the kidney community in raising awareness for organ donation and kidney disease while raising funds to support research and patient programs.

If you were thinking about registering this year or asking a friend or work colleague to register with you, now is the time! Don’t miss this chance to see the best of Canada’s music in our country’s capital city! What better way to celebrate Canada 150! Register your intent to join the Ontario Kidney Walks by filling out our pre-registration form by 3 p.m. Friday, March 31, 2017: Our contest is now closed.

We’re so excited for this amazing opportunity to raise awareness about kidney health and organ donation! Look for us at the Junos Party on our social media channels. If you haven’t already done so, follow us to keep up with posts from artists and pictures from the event!
Facebook: facebook.com/KidneyOntario
Twitter: twitter.com/KidneyOntario
#kidneyontario   #kidneycanada

Kidney Foundation celebrates the Junos with Universal Music Canada

OTTAWA, ON - The Kidney Foundation of Canada will join Universal Music Canada in celebration of its Juno award nominees and winners at their Juno Awards Party for the second year running this Sunday. The spotlight will be on raising awareness for organ donation and kidney health. April is Be A Donor Month in Ontario and also marks National Organ & Tissue Donation Awareness Week mid-month. 

It only takes a few minutes for Canadians to register the life-giving gift of hope for the more than 4,500 Canadians waiting for an organ transplant. Of those, 76% are waiting for a kidney transplant. Registry information for all provinces can be found at www.kidney.ca/beadonor

Once Canadians make the decision to register their wishes, the next step is for people to tell their loved ones about their wishes. The Kidney Foundation will invite artists to encourage ongoing conversation about this important decision. One organ donor can save up to eight lives.

At the Universal Music Canada Junos Party, artists will meet Foundation representatives who have been personally impacted by kidney disease, including people who are kidney donors and transplant recipients, and those who provide medical care and support to those living with this life-changing disease. Universal Music artists will autograph a guitar to be auctioned off at a later date, with proceeds benefiting the work of The Kidney Foundation.

Together, with Universal Music Canada, The Kidney Foundation of Canada is inviting Canadians to make a positive choice about organ donation and, to take the important second step by telling your loved ones so they may honour your wishes. To find out more, visit www.kidney.ca/beadonor

The Kidney Foundation of Canada is the national volunteer organization committed to reducing the burden of kidney disease through funding and stimulating innovative research; providing education and support; promoting access to high quality healthcare; and increasing public awareness and commitment to advancing kidney health and organ donation. Since 1964, The Kidney Foundation’s has invested in research and delivered programs for individuals affected by kidney failure.

Universal Music Canada (UMC) is Canada’s leading music company, engaged in recorded music, music publishing, merchandising, and audiovisual content. Home to the most comprehensive catalogue of recordings and songs across every musical genre, UMC is committed to artistry, innovation and entrepreneurship in broadening opportunities for our artists on both the domestic and world stages as well as creating new experiences for fans. UMC is a unit of Universal Music Group, the world leader in music-based entertainment in more than 60 countries.

Contact: Wendy Kudeba
Director, Marketing & Communications
The Kidney Foundation of Canada
1-800-387-4474 Ext. 4980
Mobile 416-735-8408


Recognize an Outstanding Volunteer - Nominations for Volunteer Awards Are Open
Human Touch Awards Nominations Open Now

Nominations are now open for the 2017 Human Touch Awards. The award recognizes and celebrates the unsung heroes on the front lines of cancer and kidney care.

This year, there will be 10 awards handed out in total. Three of those awards will be given to kidney care professionals and practitioners, and two awards for kidney care volunteers.

This marks the eleventh year of the Human Touch Awards, and the fifth year that kidney care awards will be handed out.

If you know of someone who has worked tirelessly to provide the true ‘human touch’ to cancer and kidney care patients across Ontario, you may nominate them for the Human Touch Award until Feb. 10.

Please visit the Cancer Care Ontario website for full details and to access the nomination form.

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New Year's Resolutions that Help Make a Difference
Celebrating the volunteer spirit on International Volunteer Day
Remembering Dr. George deVeber

Dr. George DeVeberThe Kidney Foundation of Canada is saddened by the passing of Dr. George deVeber and offers condolences to his family.

Dr. deVeber gave leadership to a dedicated group of people who brought The Kidney Foundation to life in Ontario in the late 1960s, expanding the efforts of a group of Montreal-based volunteers who had started The Kidney Disease Foundation in the late 1960s, as it was then known.

Once established, Dr. deVeber spent 20 years in various leadership capacities, including a role as President in the 1980s. He continued to stay connected to the Ontario Branch, offering historical support with documents and photographs during the Foundation’s 40th anniversary in 2004, and being a guest speaker at the 50th anniversary celebration in 2014.

He made a tremendous impact on patients through his work in dialysis and transplant, advocating for improved treatment options and programs which supported their emotional wellbeing.

The family will receive friends at the Humphrey Funeral Home A.W. Miles – Newbigging Chapel, 1403 Bayview Avenue (south of Davisville), Toronto, from 4-8 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 28. Funeral service will be held at Rosedale United Church at 11 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 29, followed by a celebration of his life from 1-3 p.m. at the Toronto Lawn Tennis Club.

For more information and to leave your condolences online, click here.


Qidni Labs Founder Credits Kidney Foundation's KRESCENT Program with Setting Career Path
It’s a treat to celebrate Halloween Fun Run Partnership with Riverside Rebels
The Kidney Foundation Remembers Dr. Tom Liu

The Kidney Foundation of Canada is saddened by the passing of Dr. Tom Liu and sends its condolences to Dr. Liu’s family.

Dr. Liu was instrumental in founding The Kidney Foundation’s Waterloo Wellington & District Chapter 40 years ago. In the many years since, he was an active member of the Chapter’s Leadership Group, working diligently to improve the lives of kidney patients. He was a true friend of The Kidney Foundation and we will be forever grateful to him. His dedication, drive and enthusiasm for improving kidney care was a gift to all that knew him.

Dr. Liu was the founding nephrologist of the Grand River Hospital’s renal program and served as regional medical lead for the Ontario Renal Program.

Dr. Liu has left a tremendous legacy and he will not be forgotten.

The family will receive friends and family on Friday, November 11 at the Henry Walser Funeral Home, 507 Frederick Street, Kitchener. Visitation will be from 2-4 p.m. and 7-9 p.m., with parish prayers at 8:30 p.m.  A memorial service will be held in the chapel of the funeral home on Saturday, November 12 at 10 a.m., with reception to follow.

You may also leave a condolence online. Click here.

Wefindyourcar.ca launches new Kidney Car campaign

(Milton) The Kidney Foundation of Canada and Wefindyourcar.ca are pleased to announce a new promotion that is working to support people with kidney disease.

From November 5-December 31, Wefindyourcar.ca is ramping up their support for thousands of Ontarians living with kidney disease. All Kidney Car donors receive a valuable tax receipt when they make their car a Kidney Car, but for those who donate through Wefindyourcar.ca during this special campaign, they’ll also receive a $300 credit towards a car purchase through wefindyourcar.ca  and best of all the company will make a $150 cash donation to The Kidney Foundation of Canada to support camp experiences for kidney patients.

“We’re proud to help spread the word about Kidney Car and their innovative fundraising program which benefits those living with kidney disease.  Being in the pre-owned business we see a lot of vehicles that have lost their retail value yet still hold an emotional value for some. Encouraging customers to donate that vehicle for a good cause seems a natural fit for us and it gives the owner a chance to give their car a meaningful send-off” said Vince Ieluzzi, Sales Manager.

The team at wefindyourcar.ca is keen to support camp experiences for kidney patients.  “The memories I’ve built vacationing with my children are priceless to my family and to be able to provide that opportunity to other families who are limited due to illness is simply an experience I feel these children and their families deserve.”

Together, with the support of our partners, The Kidney Foundation is working to ease the burden of kidney disease.  “Businesses are looking for innovative ways to become involved with organizations like ours,” said Melissa Palladino, Kidney Car Development Officer. “This campaign is a great way to increase exposure of Kidney Car, the largest charity car donation program in Canada and raise additional funds to support our mission.”

There is no cure for kidney disease. Patients are treated either through dialysis, a process by which blood is cleaned through a machine, or transplantation. In Ontario, there are over 1,000 people currently waiting for a kidney transplant, representing approximately two-thirds of the entire organ donation waiting list.

The Kidney Foundation of Canada was created in 1964 and has helped Canadians living with kidney disease for over 50 years. It is the national volunteer organization committed to kidney health and improved lives for all people living with kidney disease

Value Mobile is Giving Back to The Kidney Foundation as the Holiday Season Approaches

Mobile phones are expected to be one of the hottest items under the Christmas tree this year and one local retailer is helping turn sales into hope for kidney patients.

Value Mobile, an authorized retailer for Chatr Mobile, Fido and Wind Mobile, is generously making a donation to The Kidney Foundation of Canada for every activation during the month of November. The Kidney Foundation provides programs and services for the one in ten Canadians living with kidney disease and invests in research to work towards a world without kidney disease.

“We understand the significance of kidney disease and how prevalent it is becoming across the country, so we wanted to do something to give back,” said Bobby Maker, president of Value Mobile. “We’re proud to support such an important cause. Kidney disease affects everyone and people of Asian, South Asian, African/Caribbean and Hispanic descent are at greater risk, so this is a cause that’s especially important here in the Toronto area.”

Value Mobile has a long history of working with The Kidney Foundation, as Maker’s father had kidney disease. This fall, they were involved in bringing Indian music superstars Salim-Sulaiman to Mississauga for a special benefit concert in support of The Kidney Foundation and they provided annual donations to the Foundation as part of their holiday giving efforts.

“It’s a great organization and one that is near to our family’s heart,” Maker said. “The programs they offer are comprehensive and all-encompassing, providing benefits to not just patients, but their families and people that are at-risk but haven’t yet been diagnosed.”

The unique initiative represents an exciting opportunity for the future of fundraising, according to Anthony Tirone, Director of Philanthropy and Community Development for the Ontario Branch of The Kidney Foundation.

“More businesses are looking for innovative ways to become involved with the organizations they support,” Tirone said. “This campaign allows us to build new relationships with customers and employees alike, so it’s exciting for us. Raising awareness about kidney disease is a huge plus.”

There is no cure for kidney disease. Patients are treated either through dialysis, a process by which blood is cleaned through a machine, or transplantation. In Ontario, there are over 1,000 people currently waiting for a kidney transplant, representing approximately two-thirds of the entire organ donation waiting list.

The Kidney Foundation of Canada was created in 1964 and has helped Canadians living with kidney disease for over 50 years. It is the national volunteer organization committed to kidney health and improved lives for all people living with kidney disease.


Ontarians raise over $750,000 in fight against kidney disease

The Kidney Foundation of Canada is thanking the generous spirit of Ontarians this fall as the organization’s annual Kidney Walk raised over three-quarters of a million dollars to help those touched by kidney disease.

Walks were held in forty communities across the province over four weeks in September and October. Thousands of participants came together to fundraise and help create a future without kidney failure.

The Kidney Foundation of Canada can now report the event raised over $750,000, surpassing its goal by over $10,000.

“We are thrilled by the outpouring of participants and by the generosity of people across the province in helping us exceed our goal with the Kidney Walk this year,” said Greg Robbins, president of the Ontario Branch of The Kidney Foundation. “Kidney disease is a growing problem across the country, and I think this shows a commitment to helping those already diagnosed, and funding research to help improve the outcomes for those living with and most at risk of kidney disease.”

Currently, one in ten Canadians has kidney disease. Millions more are at risk, and that number is expected to grow given increasing rates of diabetes and hypertension among Canadians. In addition to raising money, the walks shine a light on kidney disease and provide the opportunity for those affected to share their lived experience.

“Unfortunately, many Canadians don’t fully understand the realities of kidney disease or the risks associated with it until it personally affects their life,” Robbins said. “These walks help start that discussion. More Canadians need to be aware of kidney disease; the risk factors and warning signs for the disease.”

The money raised through the Kidney Walk will provide important programs and services for kidney patients and their families including education and peer support, as well as investments in kidney research.  The Kidney Foundation is proud to be a leading investor in kidney research in Canada.

“All of the funds raised from this event go directly into helping kidney patients, those who are living with it today and those who will be diagnosed in the future,” said Robbins. “We want to thank everyone who walked, donated or volunteered.”

There is no cure for kidney disease. Treatment options include dialysis, a process whereby a patient’s blood is filtered and cleaned, or transplantation. According to the Trillium Gift of Life Network, there are over 1,000 people on the waiting list for a kidney transplant in Ontario.

The Kidney Walk is an annual event that takes place in Ontario every fall. Other walk events occur across the country throughout the year.

MORE: Watch our wrap-up video for this year's Kidney Walk on YouTube.

Salim-Sulaiman concert a dream come true for one family

For Arti Bhasin, a Mississauga concert is a dream come true for two reasons. She’ll be able to catch one of her favourite bands while also supporting Canadians living with kidney disease, like her father.

This Sunday, Salim-Sulaiman are teaming up with The Kidney Foundation of Canada for a special benefit concert. Salim-Sulaiman are well-known superstars from India, who have won eight international music awards, been judges on Indian Idol and helped produce the anthem for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. The concert will raise funds for The Kidney Foundation, to help support the 1 in 10 Canadians living with kidney disease. 

People living in Canada of South Asian descent are at a higher risk of developing kidney disease. Arti’s father was diagnosed eleven years ago. He has been back on dialysis for five years after his body refused a kidney transplant from Arti’s aunt. He was diagnosed 11 years ago.

“It was all pretty shocking. It started off he had swelling in his legs and he had a fall a few months before so he thought there was just lingering pain and swelling. But the swelling increased and everything expedited and it was such a sudden crash, we didn’t even realize what the kidney disorder would be. What that means for your body,” she said. “You understand the basic concept of what your kidneys do, but how that can affect everything else we had no idea.”

In addition to raising money for the Foundation, the concert also hopes to raise awareness about kidney disease among South Asian communities.

“I think it’s very important to raise awareness. I think many people don’t realize the other things like if you have high blood pressure, if you have diabetes, you’re more prone for a kidney disorder,” she said. “I think people should be educated so they can learn to work on their diet and control those other things that may lead up to have a kidney disorder.”

Arti says her family is grateful for the support that The Kidney Foundation provides not just to patients, but caregivers and the people around them.

“We appreciate what The Kidney Foundation does for everyone because it’s not just one person who has the disorder that’s affected, it’s every single member of the family whether that’s emotionally or physically trying to keep up and take care of them.”

Kidney Walk Participants find Unique Ways to Fundraise - Meet Melanie, Christopher, Cathy and Tracy

One in every 10 Canadians is touched by kidney disease and The Kidney Foundation of Canada helps these families through numerous services and life-saving research. The Kidney Foundation cannot do it alone though and relies on the fundraising efforts of volunteers from across Canada. Some volunteers have gone the extra mile and gotten a little creative with their charity! Check out how these dedicated supporters have reached out to their communities:

Melanie has always known kidney disease. She grew up visiting her grandmother and then her mother at the dialysis clinic before she found out that she too, had polycystic kidney disease. When she was young, she helped The Kidney Foundation by selling candies and peanuts. As she dealt with her own disease, she wondered at the treats she was selling-which often cannot be enjoyed by kidney patients themselves. So Melanie thought back to a favourite childhood activity. She remembers on rainy days at the cottage, she would fill in large colouring sheets with her family. Now, Melanie is designing her own adult colouring posters and donating a portion of the proceeds to The Kidney Foundation.

“I’m trying to promote positive change and pay it forward and help people who are going through the same situations that I have been in,” says Melanie.

Christopher at the WalkChristopher
Christopher could not agree more. Christopher was diagnosed with kidney disease at age 10. Now 12, Christopher looks for support from his local community to fundraise for The Kidney Foundation.

 “There are times that it is very challenging for Christopher and he becomes ill, but he continues to remain positive and active,” says Christopher’s mother, Cathy. “He is looking forward to working alongside The Kidney Foundation to find a cure for kidney disease,”

 Despite only having one kidney, Christopher continues to play the sports he enjoys, including baseball and hockey and he works hard to reach out to others. “I like it because I get to help other people with their kidney disease,” Christopher says. Christopher has gone on local radio and television to spread awareness of kidney disease and travelled by bus with his baseball team, the Brussell Tigers, to support the Owen Sound Kidney Walk last year. This year, Christopher is the Walk Ambassador for the Goderich Kidney Walk.

 “Kidney disease affects all of us at some point,” explains Christopher’s father, Mark, “We fundraise for positive research so he never has to be on dialysis or have a transplant or that there are more options down the road because we’re hoping for a better life for him,”

 CathyTeam Sutherland
Cathy and her family are also big baseball fans, and they’ve turned their love of the game into a community fundraising event that draws a large crowd every year. In 2005, when Cathy’s husband, Don, was diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease, the entire family was shocked. Cathy and Don travelled into town together with their dog three times a week for Don’s dialysis treatments. Cathy was determined to support her husband further and began the testing that would lead her, in October 2008, to give Don one of her kidneys.

 Now, Cathy and her family host an annual charity Slo-pitch ball tournament in their area. With 12 other teams, Cathy, Don and their daughters, Meghan, Colleen and Heather, play hard ball against kidney disease.

 “Personally, I just feel like we are giving back. If The Kidney Foundation didn’t exist, I wouldn’t have been able to give a kidney to my husband,” Cathy explains.

Wheatley WizzersTracy also hosts a large community event to raise funds and awareness for The Kidney Foundation. Tracy was diagnosed with kidney disease when she was 18. Her family have been incredibly supportive of her and she received her first transplant from her sister in 1996 before receiving a second through a paired exchange with her niece in 2011. Grateful for her gift of life, Tracy decided it was her turn to support others with kidney disease. Tracy and all of the members on her Kidney Walk team, The Wheatley Wizzers, work together to plan an annual pig roast with door prizes and dancing. Although Tracy enjoys the feast, her favourite part comes shortly after:

“My favourite is after dinner is over and they start to dance. I like to watch the kids, they play games and dance and I think to myself, ‘I hope these kids have a future without having to worry about this kind of thing,’”

Kidney disease affects many Canadians and their families. The Kidney Foundation is striving for a future without kidney failure and the efforts of people like Melanie, Christopher, Cathy and Tracy all help. These star-fundraisers know that supporting each other and their kidney community is important and they hope their stories will inspire others to great creative and get active.

“Go for it! Do it!” Melanie encourages, “The Kidney Foundations needs the people who it helps to help right back. We need to stand together and work together and help each other.”


Make your mark online for this year’s Kidney Walk!

 The Kidney Walk is just weeks away, but we don’t want to stop the momentum. We still want more Walkers to join and friends and family to keep donating.image of a male with kidney walk border

Most importantly, we want you to have fun and celebrate your participation!

That’s why this year, we have made it easy for you to celebrate the spirit of the Walk on social media. We are introducing Twibbons that can be added to your profile picture on Facebook or Twitter to show off your support to all of your family and friends.

Easy-to-use, Twibbons will add the Kidney Walk logo and the phrase, “I walk for 1 in 10 Canadians with kidney disease” onto your social media profile pictures.

To add a Twibbon yourself, please visit http://twibbon.com/Support/kidney-walk. Click on “Add to Twitter” or “Add to Facebook” and follow the instructions. Then voila! Admire your new photo.

When you want to remove the Twibbon, simply change your profile photo on Facebook and Twitter and it will disappear.

We look forward to seeing you soon!


Meet Mississauga Walk Ambassador, Ruchi
Meet our 2016 Kitchener Kidney Walk Ambassador Alice Stewart

Growing up, I always knew that I’d need a transplant. I was born with reflux that severely damaged both my kidneys.

In 2013, at the age of 21, I had both kidneys removed and was put on dialysis. Six months later I luckily received a new kidney from my mother.

Unfortunately, the transplant did not go well. A mere 3 years later my new kidney had an episode of rejection. Already, I am forced to look for a new kidney again. Otherwise I will have to go back on dialysis.

Chronic Kidney Disease has interrupted my life time and time again. When I was six years old, I had to stay in the hospital for a long time while I had my ureters re-implanted.

I’ve had to drop out of college twice. Once from a severe lack of energy, ability to concentrate in class and difficulty in having a memory decent enough to handle the coursework. The second time I dropped out. I made it through the first semester while on dialysis. But after my transplant there were far too many medical appointments that interrupted my ability to keep up with my classmates. CKD has been a severe inconvenience to me simply trying to live my life.

Chronic fatigue and countless doctor appointments have been a constant in my life. Chronic fatigue makes it difficult to concentrate and nearly shuts down my motivation. A lack of energy also makes it difficult to keep up with friends and family. Sometimes when friends are out having a good time, I just need to stay home and have a sleep. I tend to push myself, but I still have limits others do not.

I am currently back to having stage 4 kidney failure with 21% kidney function, 6% away from being at stage 5 and being in absolute need of either a transplant or dialysis.

I hope to raise awareness about CKD to help others who suffer from this disease and those it affects. It’s not just the people that have CKD themselves that are impacted. It also affects their family, friends and others close to them.

However, it is important to know that CKD can be fought: it’s not at all an unbeatable disease and the more support received by those who have Chronic Kidney Disease the easier it is to fight.

JOIN US - Together we can create a future without kidney failure. www.kidneywalk.ca



Meet Heather, Justin and Lucas our Windsor Kidney Walk Ambassadors

Heather St. Pierre was two months pregnant when she received aThe St Pierres shocking diagnosis that would change her life. After a routine prenatal blood test came back with irregular results, Heather discovered she had chronic kidney disease.

In an effort to care for her child, Heather’s entry into the world of dialysis was intense. Six days each week, Heather endured a six hour dialysis treatment.

The grueling regimen paid off when, in April 2013, Lucas was born. Lucas’ healthy arrival did not stop Heather’s battle with kidney disease, however. Heather continued in-centre hemodialysis and later switched to peritoneal dialysis. The treatments left her exhausted. Unable to work and needing help to care for her newborn, Heather fought to stay strong and get through each day.

A few weeks after her initial diagnosis, Heather found a community that continues to motivate and support her.

In September of 2012, Heather and her family went out to their first Kidney Walk in Windsor. The community she found there made Heather feel hopeful. She strove to give back to this community by participating on Kidney Walk committees, organizing fundraising events with her husband, Justin, and speaking with other patients who were new to dialysis.

After nearly three years on dialysis, Heather answered a long awaited call. On August 19, 2015, Heather received a kidney transplant.

Now, nearly ten months after her transplant, an energetic Heather feels honoured to be this year’s Windsor Heather at home after transplantKidney Walk ambassador; an honour she shares with her husband and young son, Lucas.

The Kidney Walks are important to the St. Pierre’s, but this year holds new meaning to Heather and her family as they will be celebrating her recent, successful transplant. The Kidney Foundation has become a part of Heather’s journey with kidney disease and she believes her story will spread a message of hope to other Canadians.  

Heather encourages others to register to join the Kidney Walks and support The Foundation.

 “The nice thing about the Kidney Walk is you can go and make it what you want,” Heather says. “You can go with a group of people to support people that are going through the same thing that I have been through in my life. It has become a great family activity with lots of events beyond the walk that make it a lovely morning for everyone involved,”


Meet Scarborough's 2016 Walk Ambassador, Craig Lindsay

When Craig Lindsay of Scarborough developed kidney failure in 2009, his first concern was that his treatments were going to get in the way of spending time with his eight-year-old son, Spencer. After he began dialysis, Craig felt overwhelmed. While he felt better following his at-home-peritoneal dialysis he struggled with the responsibility of feeling healthy enough to continue to be a father. With help from his family and the peer support group at the Scarborough Hospital, Craig focused on staying positive and healthy. 

In May 2014, Craig was stunned when the pager the hospital had given him beeped. It felt surreal to be talking about receiving a transplant after almost five years of waiting. 

For Craig, the successful kidney and pancreas transplant from an unknown donor was “the gift to be a part of my community and family that I hadn’t been as engaged with in a few years”.

Craig is now actively giving back as the Chair of the Scarborough Hospital Peer Support Program as well as participating in the Scarborough Hospital Community and Patient Advisory Council and the Regional Ontario Renal Network’s Patient and Family Advisory Council. His experiences with the peer support committee at the Scarborough Hospital have been tremendously positive. 

While participating in the Scarborough regional dialysis program, Craig looked up to other active and positive members in the program who understood what he was struggling with. On being a peer support volunteer himself Craig says, “I think that everything you go through you hope it means something. The first moment when a patient came up and said that it had made a difference for him to speak with me, I would say that for me was the biggest moment.”

This year, Craig is also the Walk Ambassador for the Scarborough Kidney Walk, an event he feels inspires a brighter future for Canadians affected by kidney disease.

“I feel an obligation to the people who are going to be diagnosed tomorrow, next year and thirty years from now. They have a right to better treatments and I have a part to play in that,”

This is Craig’s fifth year being a participant and he urges others to register for the Walks as they are a “fun, engaging active way to be a part of the bigger community”. The Walks are held across the province in September and offer the chance to get involved and play a role in benefiting those touched by kidney disease both today and in the future.

Guelph Walk Ambassador, Karen, is Walking to support many family members touched by kidney disease

My awareness of kidney disease started at the age of 3 when my dad died from polycystic kidney disease (PKD). Back then, there was no treatment, no hope for him; he was sent home to die. My family was devastated and my mother was left with 5 children and very little resources to care for us. As devastating as my dad’s death was to all of us, we had no idea the significant impact his disease would continue to have on all of us. 

My oldest brother Allan was the first to loose function in his kidneys, but was so blessed to receive a kidney from his wife 18 years ago.

I was lucky to escape the polycystic kidney disease gene so naturally when my sister Sharon’s kidneys began to fail in 2002, I moved forward with donating my kidney. After receiving my kidney, my sister was able to travel, visit and live free from dialysis.

People talk about the gift of life, but for me it was so much more.

It was the opportunity to give Sharon’s children a gift, something that had been taken away from me so many years earlier with my own dad. It was the gift of time and the chance to really get to know their mom. Over the next 7 ½ years her children were able to grow into adults and got to appreciate their mom for the exceptionally kind and incredible woman she truly was. Unfortunately, we lost my sister in 2010 as a result of complications that she just couldn’t recover from.

At the time of my Sharon’s death, my middle brother Hugh had just been notified that his kidneys were also failing and he was scheduled to start dialysis on the day that ended up being our sister’s funeral. Hugh has been on nocturnal hemodialysis for 6 years and is still on the waiting list for a kidney today.

As overwhelming as kidney disease has been to my family, I can’t help but see the incredible improvements in the treatment of kidney failure and how it has changed over the generations.  Now my nieces and nephews have even more treatments available to them in the form of new medications that may mean the delay of end stage kidney disease or dare we hope prevent it completely. The improvements in treatments I’ve witnessed in my very own family are phenomenal and most importantly they bring hope.

These advancements in treatments are a direct reflection of the incredible work of so many including The Kidney Foundation of Canada and all the volunteers that rally together to make a difference. I’m here to say, you ARE truly making a difference, in the lives of those with kidney disease and for all those that love them.  Thank you!

Meet Keanna - Our London Kidney Walk Ambassador
Dad is Son's Real Life Superhero - Meet Kidney Walk Ambassadors Chase and Dana

Chase, Dana and Sheri

While some children idolize their favourite hockey star, musician or comic book character, Chase has the welcome benefit of living with his hero. Last year, Chase had a successful kidney transplant after his father, Dana, volunteered as a living donor.

Diagnosed with Alport Syndrome at the age of three, Chase’s kidney function had reduced to 25 percent by 2014. He began peritoneal dialysis, but by May the following year, he was moved to hemodialysis. Chase and his family had to move from their home to London, where Chase could receive treatment at the Children’s Hospital of Western Ontario. Just over a month later, Dana and Chase successfully completed their transplant.

Now Chase and Dana are back in Sault Ste. Marie. Dana has resumed work as a heavy machine operator, and Chase is enjoying his days with a newfound energy, playing with friends and exploring the outdoors.

“He has a more positive outlook, now that he is able to go out and do things he’s always wanted to and always enjoyed,” Dana says.

Dana says he had no hesitations about testing to see if he was a match and, once he was approved, he just wanted to get the procedure done as fast as possible.

Now that he’s helped to give Chase a new lease on life, the two are learning to adjust together, which has made it easier on both of them. With Chase’s newfound energy, Dana’s biggest challenge now is keeping a close eye to make sure he gets enough water.

“Staying hydrated is obviously key, and him being a 13-year-old boy now, chasing him around to get him to drink as much as he can, can be a bit of a challenge,” Dana says.

Dana is grateful for the support they received from The Kidney Foundation, and that’s partly why he and Chase became Kidney Walk Ambassadors this year.

“We’ve experienced it first hand and we’ve benefitted from others’ contributing and helping us out along the way,” says Dana. “So anything we can to help or raise awareness, we definitely want to be a part of that.”

Dana and Chase will be at the Kidney Walk in Sault Ste. Marie on September 10. Come out and support them and all Canadians living with kidney disease.

Learn more about the Kidney Walk

 Watch the Video

Ontario Branch Volunteers Efforts Recognized

This spring, the Ontario Branch of The Kidney Foundation of Canada came together to celebrate the efforts of valuable volunteers from across the province. The awards ceremony took place on May 14 and was hosted at the Kingbridge conference centre in King City. Volunteers are the heart of The Kidney Foundation. The awards presented recognized community members who displayed exemplary examples of caring, leadership and philanthropy to benefit those touched by kidney disease across Canada.

Craig Kerr, a member of both the Ontario Board and the Hamilton Leadership Group, announced the recipients of the awards over the course of the evening, along with Ontario Branch President Greg Robbins.

National AwardsJuly Dorland
The National Fund Development Award, which recognizes the efforts of a significant fund development effort on behalf of The Foundation, was presented to one of the youngest ambassadors of the Foundation, July Dorland. When July was six years old, she received a kidney transplant from her father. Three years later, in 2012, July turned a school fundraising assignment into a yearly initiative celebrating her transplant anniversary. July’s efforts have raised $49, 000 to date to benefit The Kidney Foundation.

The second national award presented was the Mary Lou Karley Patient Award. The award honours the late Mary Lou Karley and recognizes superb volunteer dedication to The Kidney Foundation of Canada’s Patient Services programs or activities. Roger Wharmby, a Kidney Foundation Peer Support volunteer and transplant recipient, was honoured with this award for his compassion and strong commitment to those touched by kidney disease. Roger is an invaluable member of The Kidney Foundation, serving as a leader in the Kidney Foundation’s Peer Support network, a member of the Lakeridge Patient Council, and a participant in the Kidney Walk.

Anne BrinkmanThe National Special Appreciation Award is given to an individual or group whose involvement and contribution has had a significant impact on the Foundation. This year, The Kidney Foundation of Canada recognized the tremendous achievements and contributions of Anne Brinkman. Anne was the national manager of the Kidney Connect Peer Support Program for a number of years. During her time with the Foundation, Anne empowered thousands of Canadians living with kidney disease through her efforts with the Kidney Connect program. Additionally, Anne offered program support and governance with her social work training to multiple Kidney Foundation chapters across Ontario.

Lynn Caskie

Ontario Awards
Two members of the Ontario volunteer community were honoured with Outstanding Volunteer Awards for their devoted support of the Foundation. The first was Lynn Caskie, an outstanding volunteer who has been a great asset to The Foundation’s Program Department since 2011. Lynn’s enthusiastic assistance has been instrumental in providing support materials to patients, physicians and renal units throughout Ontario. 

Pauline Cernigoj

Pauline Cernigoj was also honoured with an Outstanding Volunteer Award at the awards ceremony. Pauline has been a valuable member of the Foundation’s volunteer network for 27 years. Well known throughout the renal community in Thunder Bay, Pauline just celebrated her 25th anniversary as a transplant recipient and continues to support the Foundation with her amazing spirit and dedication. 


 The Excellence in Leadership Award is intended to recognize an individual who exemplifies the spirt of volunteerism through exceptional commitment, service, creativity and leadership. This year’s recipient of the Excellence in Leadership Award was dedicated nephrologist Dr. Norman Muirhead. As a leading member of the renal community in London and the current president of the London and District Chapter of the Foundation, Dr. Muirhead takes every opportunity to provide care to those affected by kidney disease.

David E. White

This year, The Kidney Foundation of Canada recognized two generous partners that have made significant contributions to fundraising efforts. The first was David E. White, an integral member of the annual London Celebrity Men in a Fashion Event. David’s enthusiastic involvement in the annual event is vital to its success. David goes above and beyond each year, providing music, choreography, outfits for the models and suits for the silent auction.

Peter Wilkins
The Kidney Foundation of Canada presented the second Outstanding Partner award to The Sarnia Golf and Curling Club. In August 2005, The Sarnia Golf and Curling Club first partnered with The Kidney Foundation of Canada and the Sarnia Organ Donor Awareness Group for their charity Pro Am golf tournament. Each organization received $7,500 in the first year. In 2015, both groups celebrated their 11th year participating in the annual Pro Am. The outstanding successes of the annual event exemplifies the benefits of local partnerships.

The dedicated volunteers of Sarnia’s Friendly Visitor Program provide assistance and a friendly ear to dialysis patients at the Bluewater Health Dialysis Unit. Both patients and staff look forward to the Friendly Visitors’ weekly visits. The positive impact on the lives of kidney patients made by this exceptional team was recognized with this year’s Programs and Services Award. Current members of the Friendly Visitor team include Gord Kuglin, Peter Neuhart and Paul Sloane.

Two awards were presented at the awards ceremony to recognize Excellence in Fundraising, an essential contribution to the Foundation. The Sutherland family from Pembroke were given the first Excellence in Fundraising Award of the evening. Don and Cathy Sutherland

The Sutherland family, including Don, Cathy and their three daughters, Colleen, Meghan and Heather, participated in their first Pembroke Walk in 2012, four years after Don received a kidney transplant from Cathy. Since then, the family has become an essential part of the renal community in Pembroke. Their efforts benefit the Pembroke Walks and have greatly increased both the number of attendees and the funds raised each year.

Erin Stimac has dedicated her valuable time to help with the London Celebrity Men Fashion Event since its inception. Erin’s vibrant personality is an essential part of the success the event achieves each year. The team behind the London Celebrity Men Fashion Event is consistently motivated by her hard working spirit and dedication. For her unwavering commitment to The Foundation, Erin received the second Excellence in Fundraising Award presented this year.

Jed Dadson
The awards for Leadership in Philanthropy aim to recognize the philanthropic nature of individuals and corporate partners which allows The Kidney Foundation to assist Canadians touched by kidney disease. Jed Dadson, Vice-President of National Sales and Marketing and Bellco Canada Inc. was the first creative contributor honoured for his philanthropic leadership. Since 2013, Jed has secured over $90,000 in corporate support for events and activities across the province. In 2015, he joined the Ontario Branch Gala Committee and continues to bring invaluable insight, humour and enthusiasm to The Foundation. 

Dr. Faisal Rehman was also recognized for his philanthropic leadership with The Kidney Foundation. A kidney specialist and staunch supporter of the Kidney Foundation, Dr. Faisal puts his heart and soul into every charitable event in which he is involved. These include implementing the annual “Showdown in the Downtown” fundraising event in London. The black tie gala initiated by Dr. Rehman has evolved over the years to include entertainment from boxing demonstrations to performances by artists Jim Cuddy and Jann Arden.

Richard Bernreiter and Marion Harms
The award recognizing this year’s Outstanding Chapter went to the Northern Superior Chapter, which is centred in Thunder Bay. The Northern Superior Chapter’s efforts have generated a new record for both participation and revenue generation in their 2015 Walk, raising $17,000. As well, the Chapter has engaged the renal community in Thunder Bay through numerous activities including activities on World Kidney Day at the Thunder Bay Regional Hospital and an expansion of the local Kidney Connect Support Group.

Wendy Kudeba
Finally, the President’s Award is presented to a recipient personally selected by the Branch President. This year, the significant award recognized Wendy Kudeba, Ontario Branch Director of Marketing & Communications, who has assisted in advancing work that supports the vision and mission of The Kidney Foundation.


It is through the compassion and dedication of volunteers and partners such as those recognized at this year’s Ontario Branch award ceremony that the Foundation is able to provide these tremendous services. Volunteers are the roots of The Kidney Foundation and they play a crucial role in improving the lives of those affected by kidney disease. 

Click here to learn how you can become involved as a Foundation volunteer.

Kidney Clothes Raises Awareness through Social Media Contest

This April, the Kidney Clothes donation program celebrated the fourth anniversary of the program to benefit the efforts of The Kidney Foundation of Canada. This year, however, marked the first time that Kidney Clothes took to social media to promote their fundraising efforts. Throughout the month of April, supporters of this worthwhile cause took an extra moment to post creative photographs of  their contribution to the program. Each person who submitted a photograph over Facebook of  their generous donation of gently used clothing or other cloth-based items was entered into a contest to win a weekly prize of $100.

Winners from each week were selected for their fun and engaging pictures. A few of the most inventive photos featured exciting and fashionable accessories such as the heart-shaped sunglasses worn by week three winner Benoit in Hanmer, Ontario to crafty containers like these smiling donation bags, donated from Jose in Pickering.

The grand prize winner was drawn at random from the numerous submissions. Victoria from Wahnapitae, Ontario earned the title and $750 for her popular photograph of her son surrounded by several bags ready for donation. The proceeds from Kidney Clothes benefits The Kidney Foundation of Canada to help Canadians living with kidney disease.

Created with flickr slideshow.
Celebrity Men bring fashion and fundraising together

Eight years ago, a team of dedicated volunteers in London banded together to create an event that celebrated local talent while supporting a worthwhile cause. The event brought together the community for an entertaining evening that raised funds to support The Kidney Foundation of Canada.

This year, the popular Celebrity Men in a Fashion Event continues to benefit Canadians touched by kidney disease. Five Celebrity Men events are taking place across Ontario and each features the talents of local celebrities. The funds raised from these events help The Kidney Foundation of Canada provide valuable programming and services for those affected by kidney disease.

The Celebrity Men in a Fashion Event is an evening of fun, fashion and over-the-top entertainment. The evening is filled with popular events such as the live auction, music, cocktails and the main attraction, a fashion show featuring local celebrities and styles. The community-based event has been a huge success over the years and continues to grow across the province.

Windsor is holding its first annual Celebrity Men event this year at the Water’s Edge Event Centre. The Windsor edition of the Celebrity Men in Fashion Event will have City Councillor Fred Francis, firefighters Adam Kunder and Kenneth Unwood and the chair of the Downtown Windsor BIA, Larry Horwitz, walking across the catwalk to support The Kidney Foundation.

The Sarnia event is bringing together locals such as Dr. Blake Pearson, Kim Gladwish of RBC Dominion Securities, and Paresh Thakkar of Personal Touch Eatery and Catering, to name a few, onto the stage. The popular trip to Italy will once again be the highlight of the auction.

Kitchener’s own wildly popular Celebrity Men event will be held this year at THEMUSEUM. Regional celebrities such as committee member and dedicated supporter Ron Caudle, Kitchener’s ChefD and boxing champion Fitz ‘The Whip’ Vanderpool will be modelling during the evening.

London and Ottawa’s Celebrity Men events will be taking place in the fall. Watch the website for updates on the model line-up and event details.

Celebrity Men has proven to be a fun night of entertainment in support of The Kidney Foundation. The events, held across the province each year, would not be possible without the assistance and dedication of local volunteers. The models, clothiers, sponsors and event planners all play a valuable role in the success of these charitable events.

One in ten Canadians have or are at increased risk of developing kidney disease and The Kidney Foundation of Canada continues to provide support through investments in kidney research, education and programs that help ease the burden of kidney disease. Events such as Celebrity Men and the volunteers who make them possible, are an invaluable support to The Kidney Foundation, kidney patients and their families across Canada.


Impressions Gala brings together the African Caribbean Kidney Community to honour Dr. Remi Ojo & Dr. Tabo Sikaneta

On Saturday, May 7, over three hundred people gathered for The African Caribbean Kidney Association’s first Impressions Gala.  The event, organized by a dynamic volunteer committee, was both a celebration and tribute to the work of Dr. Ojo and Dr. Sikaneta, but also a wonderful opportunity to highlight the important work of The Kidney Foundation in the African Caribbean community.

 Impressions is the premier event paying tribute to Pioneers, Innovators, Leaders and Caregivers; individuals who have placed their unique fingerprint into their contributions and have left an indelible mark on the kidney community.

 Dr. Tabo Sikaneta, a Nephrologist at The Scarborough Hospital and a member of ACKA, delivered a keynote presentation on Understanding and Preventing Kidney Disease, and a patient spokesperson shared her own journey with kidney disease to add a personal perspective.

  The African Caribbean Kidney Association strives to be a conduit within the African Caribbean community to provide supportive programs to individuals living with or at kidney disease who are in need, and to implement strategies to raise public awareness of risk factors, and prevention of complications from kidney disease.

Unsung heroes on the front line of renal care honoured with Human Touch Award

 The Ontario Renal Network’s Human Touch Awards recognize healthcare professionals, providers and volunteers who demonstrate compassionate patient care in renal and cancer care. The awards, initiated ten years ago by Cancer Care Ontario, are an opportunity to emphasize the extraordinary and compassionate patient care and the role that it plays in a patient’s overall treatment experience and well-being. 

On April 21st a special recognition ceremony took place in Toronto. Congratulations to the following individuals recognized for their outstanding contributions to renal care in Ontario.
Dr. Michelle Hladunewich, nephrologist at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
Anthony Conti, RN, Health Sciences North, Nephrology Program
Holly Freill, Renal Dietitian, Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre
Gary Buchanan, Volunteer, Peterborough Regional Renal Program

Learn more about the honorees.

Earth Day- Don't forget to clear the clutter from your driveway too!

This Earth Day help clear the clutter you’re your driveway and donate it to Kidney Car.  You will receive a valuable tax receipt for your donation while helping those living with kidney disease.

The process is simple. Donations can be made by visiting www.kidneycar.ca or calling 1-866-788-CARS (2277). Kidney Car will pick up used cars, trucks, -- free of charge often with 48 hours. You’ll receive a valuable tax receipt for a minimum of $300, but best of all, your donation will help ease the burden of kidney disease, through research investments and support programs to help the 1 in 10 Canadians living with kidney disease.

For over 20 years, Kidney Car has helped removed thousands of used vehicles from the road. All donated vehicles are either recycled or sold to be reused. Donating that unwanted car is a simple way to recycle and reuse this Earth Day.

“It’s a win-win for The Kidney Foundation and for the donors,” according to David Cybulski, Kidney Car Senior Manager. “We take care of everything for our donors and they are confident their donation has helped patients and their families living with kidney disease.” Donors can be assured that their cars are recycled in an environmentally friendly manner.

Federated Health Charities Kick Off Annual Charitable Giving Campaign

Federated Health Charities Corporation kicked off its 2016 Annual Campaign today with a goal to raise a record amount of funds for up to 16 Canadian health charities, including The Kidney Foundation of Canada.  The campaign will run through to July involving members of the OPS to pledge funds through payroll deductions, donations and special events. 

 Federated Health Charities Corporation is a coalition of provincially-based charities in Ontario that began in 1983 and is dedicated to raising funds for its members within the Ontario Public Service that will support health education and awareness, medical research, and client and patient services.

 “In 33 years we have raised more than $42.5 million for these charities, and help make a difference in the lives of thousands of people,” said Helen Angus, Chair of the Federated Health Charities Annual Campaign and Deputy Minister, Ministry of Citizenship, Immigration and International Trade. “We are proud to come together as a group to raise funds for our 16 health charities, and to reaffirm that the OPS has a tremendously generous heart.”

 Every year all government ministries across Ontario as well as some government agencies get enthusiastically involved with unique events and charitable giving activities. In 2015, a total of 7,260 people generously donated raising a total of $1.8 million dollars.

All members of the OPS can donate to Federated Health through payroll pledges, one-time donations, lottery tickets and special events. People outside of the OPS are also welcome to donate to Federated Health.

 Visit the Federated Health website at www.federatedhealth.ca for more information.

Nominate a Kidney Foundation Volunteer for an Ontario Branch Volunteer Award

The Kidney Foundation of Canada, Ontario Branch presents the Ontario Branch Volunteer Recognition Program annually. Recognition is given to individuals, groups, corporate, health and community partners who have made significant contributions to the Foundation’s vision and mission.

Nominations can be made by Kidney Foundation volunteers, members, employees and supporters.  Nominations must be made in writing, sent electronically by email to ckostoff@kidney.on.ca, online or via fax  905-271-4954.

Questions about the process or awards may be made  to Carol Kostoff. Deadline for the  award nominations is Monday, March 7, 2016.

All nominations will be reviewed by the Volunteer Recognition Committee and the recipients will be chosen.  The presentation of these awards is still to be determined. 

Artilicious comes to Kitchener on World Kidney Day! Tickets available now!

The Kidney Foundation of Canada’s Waterloo Wellington and District Chapter is proud to introduce its first ever Artilicious Event!  Celebrate World Kidney Day 2016 on March 10, 2016 at this exciting event that will take place at the Kitchener Market, Upstairs Marketplace. Participants will be able to enjoy local restaurants, local microbreweries and local artisans’ offerings all under one roof!

Artilicious is open to people of all ages.  With exciting activities like food and beverage sampling and a silent auction, it will be an event you don’t want to miss! Get your tickets here now!


5 Tips for Renal Patients to treat the common cold and flu

Each year millions of Canadians suffer from the common cold and winter flu; kidney patients are no exception. Having an annual flu shot and washing your hands frequently are the best lines of defense. However, if despite your best efforts, you are feeling the symptoms of the common cold or flu, the following tips may help you treat the symptoms.  While many medications are good for your kidney health, some medications can put you at risk of further kidney damage or may build up in your body causing undesirable effects.

1. For most people with kidney disease, acetaminophen (Tylenol®) is safe to use for headache, pain and fever.

2. Cold and flu medications that contain decongestants may increase blood pressure. In addition, avoid cough and cold medications that contain ASA or NSAIDs (Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications) such as ibuprofen (Advil®, Motrin®) or naproxen (Aleve®). If you have to use a decongestant, use a nasal spray or nasal drops. (Note: these nasal sprays are habit forming. If you use them more than three days in a row, the blood vessels in your nose can become dependent on the spray.)

3. Sore throat? Many cough syrups and throat lozenges contain sugar. Make sure you read the label to check the ingredients list, prior to use. Some sugar free or sucrose-free products are available on the market. Gargling with salt water may also be an effective way to soothe a sore throat.

4. Avoid herbal remedies. Herbal medications and products are not regulated in the same way that pharmaceutical products are. Therefore, the list of ingredients is not always accurate and some herbal medicines have been found to contain pesticides, poisonous plants, hormones, heavy metals and other compounds that are potentially dangerous. Some herbal medications also include diuretics, high levels of potassium, and/or other ingredients that can affect the kidneys or interact with your prescription medications to change their effectiveness.

5. Vitamin C is not the answer.  High doses of vitamin C (500 mg or more) can cause damage to kidneys. There is a specially formulated multivitamin for people with kidney disease that has the right amount of vitamins that your kidneys can handle. Ask your healthcare team about this.

Questions?  Your pharmacist and members of your kidney health team are the best source of information. Ensure you read the label, even on over the counter medications that you’ve taken before, as ingredients do change from time to time. If you have severe symptoms that are lasting longer than 7 days, you should see your doctor.

http://www.bcrenalagency.ca/healthcare-professionals/pharmacy-formulary/non-prescription-medications  (accessed December 17, 2015)
http://www.kidneyhealth.ca/wp/wp-content/uploads/coughcoldflu.pdf (accessed December 17, 2015)
www.kidney.ca The Kidney Foundation of Canada,  Living with Kidney Disease Patient  Manual

Is there a tax receipt in your driveway?

No one wants to think about tax season during the holiday season, especially when finances may be stretched to the max, but there may be a charitable tax receipt sitting in your driveway that would help you with your 2015 taxes.

Before shoveling around that unwanted car that is taking up precious space in the driveway, consider making your car a Kidney Car. One easy call to Kidney Car, and that vehicle can be towed for free within 48 hours* by one of the largest vehicle donation programs in Canada – Kidney Car.

Donors receive a charitable receipt for a minimum of $300 and newer cars may qualify for a higher receipt amount. Cars are recycled in an environmentally manner, or in some cases, may be resold at public auction.

Funds raised from Kidney Car help fund kidney research, education and programs that help ease the burden of kidney disease in our communities. It’s a win-win!

Interested in learning more? Visit www.kidneycar.ca or call our car donation experts at 1.866.788.CARS (2277).

Kidney Foundation volunteers and staff lauded for their contributions to patient health and advocacy

Congratulations to two of our amazing Kidney Foundation volunteers, Debbie Hodgins and Angie Tuovinen, who were recently honoured by the Canadian Association of Nephrology Social Workers (CANSW).

Debbie was awarded the 2015 Mary Lou Karley Mentorship Award for her strength, determination, and precise attention to detail. Debbie has been in Nephrology Social Work for many years and has contributed extensively to the administrative workings of CANSW. According to information provided by CANSW, in all of her positions as Regional Rep, Treasurer, Conference Planner, and committee member, Debbie is known for bringing forward important issues and continuing to monitor them to ensure that a solution or resolution is found.

Debbie sits on many committees with The Kidney Foundation of Canada, including the Psychosocial Wellness Committee, Ontario Government Relations Committee. Most recently she has been the Director at Large for the Ontario Board.

Angie Touvinen received the 2015 Jane Dicks Award which recognizes a contribution of excellence in the field of Nephrology Social Work. Angie has been a strong advocate for the profession since she stepped into her role of Nephrology Social Work at the Windsor Regional Hospital, according to CANSW. Her volunteer work with The Kidney Foundation was recognized last year when she was presented with the Volunteer of the Year award. Angie has now left the renal field but continues to participate on the Windsor Essex Chapter Advisory committee for The Kidney Foundation.

Anne Brinkman was also honoured by CANSW on her retirement from The Kidney Foundation where she worked for over 20 years as a Program Manager and provided development and oversight of the Kidney Connect Peer Support Program. Anne was celebrated for her contributions to patients, and for her advocacy work related to the patient and family perspective, as well as for being a voice for patients in the nephrology world throughout her career.

Congratulations to you all!

Peer Support Survey - Tell Us How You Connect

A diagnosis of kidney disease can be emotionally as well as physically challenging, which is why The Kidney Foundation of Canada provides support through the Kidney Connect Peer Support Program. The program is here to help anyone touched by kidney disease. The Peer Support program lets you speak with someone who truly understands what it's like to live with kidney disease and who is willing to share their own experiences with you.

The Kidney Foundation of Canada and the Ontario Renal Network are asking Ontarians with kidney disease to share their experiences with peer support. A survey has been developed to help us improve the support available to you and others affected by kidney disease.

If you are a person living with kidney disease, a caregiver, a kidney donor or recipient, we’d like to hear from you, whether or not you have received peer support in the past. Your input is important!

 Share your voice and help improve support for people affected by kidney disease. Click here to take the survey.

Ottawa Transplant Celebration a Success

On October 21st over 300 people gathered at The Kidney Foundation of Canada Transplant Celebration held at Ottawa's Hellenic Meeting & Reception Centre. Emcee Rabbi Bulka, chair of the Trillium Gift of Life Network and the Bertram Loeb Organ-Tissue Donation Institute was supported by event co-chairs, Phil and Sean Downey from Royal LePage Gale Real Estate. 

The event brought together those who treat patients and the very people whose lives have been transformed by a kidney transplant. The evening featured a number of heart-warming stories. Marianne Graham donated a kidney to her husband in a true act of love and devotion; Bettini Iraci, together with her teenage son, Dawson, shared the challenges they face as Dawson waits for a kidney donor. Capping these presentations was a powerful one by Gord and Kathleen Stringer whose daughter, Rowan, died as a result of a serious concussion. Rowan's organs were donated and the Stringers spoke of those organ and tissue recipients who reached out to them in thanks. Honoured at the event were the late Dr. Jerry Posen, an Ottawa nephrologist and Dr. John Dossetor who coordinated the first kidney transplant in the Commonwealth in 1958.  

Over $42,000 was raised from the event and an additional donation of $25,000 was received from a group of Ottawa neprologists. Funds raised will support a KRESCENT Award at the foundation. KRESCENT stands for Kidney Research Scientist Core Education and National Training Program and the award will ensure the training of new investigators focussed on prevention of end stage renal disease and improving the the health of those living with kidney disease.

The event included a number of prominent sponsors including Trillium Gift of Life Network (beadonor.ca/kidneyfoundationofcanada) and the Bertram Loeb Organ-Tissue Donation Institute.

Tickets still available for the Masked Soiree!

On Thursday, October 29, The Kidney Foundation of Canada will host its annual gala at the Fairmont Royal York in Toronto. This year’s Gala theme – Masquerade – promises to be an exciting evening. If you cannot attend the Gala, you can still join the excitement later at our Masked Soiree! The after-party features a host bar, hors d’eouvres, silent auction and a performance by Aion “Voyce” Clarke.

The Kidney Foundation’s annual Gala is an appreciation night to bring together and recognize the Foundation’s many supporters. The evening will feature a special tribute to the late Dr. Carl Saiin phoo, and includes some special announcements. The Foundation is proud to have Dr. Robert Ting as this year’s Gala chair. The staff nephrologist at Scarborough General Hospital and a senior volunteer at The Kidney Foundation of Canada, Dr. Ting has served on the Ontario Association of Nephrologists in several positions, including both Vice Chair and Chair.

With the assistance of Dr. Ting, as well as our generous sponsors and dedicated volunteer committee, this year’s Masquerade will be a great night. The evening includes a cocktail reception, delicious dinner and performance by Aion Clarke.

The Foundation is grateful to its many sponsors, including Platinum Sponsor Patrick & Barbara Keenan Foundation, Bellco, Werger Holdings Inc., Cocktail Reception Sponsor Cresa, Masquerade Memories Sponsor Janssen, and Table Sponsors Great West Life-London Life-Canada Life, Otsuka, Al G. Brown & Associates, the Feldman Family, Northleaf Capital Partners, Boehringer Ingelheim, Astellas, Rogue and Fresenius Medical Care.

For tickets to this exciting event, or to make a donation, please visit www.kidneygala.ca.


Olympic athletes and London celebrities are strutting their stuff to fight kidney disease

Olympic gold medal figure skater Scott Moir is trading in his skates for more stylish footwear for a walk down the runway at this year’s London Celebrity Men in a Fashion Event. Taking place Thursday, October 22, at the London Music Hall, the event promises to be an evening of fashion and fun in support of The Kidney Foundation of Canada.

Moir will take to the runway alongside other local celebrities and notable community members including fellow Olympian and Pan Am Games record holder Damian Warner. Other models taking to the runway include London’s own Mayor Matt Brown, FM96’s Jim Kelly, LHSC Transplant Surgeon Alp Sener, LHSC Foundation Senior Advisor Dan Ross, Nephrologist Faisal Rehman, Canadian Mixed Martial Artist Sam Stout, UWO’s Vice President of Research John Capone, McKenzie Lake Partner David Arntfield, and Nephrologist Lakshman Gunaratnam.

"The Celebrity Fashion Event is without a doubt the most fun you will ever have at a Charity Event!” says David E. White, clothing sponsor for the event. “Twelve of London's finest ‘Super Stars’ in their fields will set the stage on fire at the 7th Annual Kidney Foundation Celebrity Fashion Event. Lifesaving surgeons take center stage with world champions...they are out of their element and that is what makes this show the must attend event."

The evening begins at 6:30 p.m. with a silent auction, cocktails and hors d’oeuvres followed by the main event and live auction starting at 8 p.m. The value of the event goes well beyond entertainment, as funds raised by the event will go towards the important work The Kidney Foundation supports, including research, education and patient support programs.

For more information or to purchase tickets click here.

Active Living for Life – The Kidney Foundation needs your input!

The Kidney Foundation of Canada is introducing a pilot program called “Active Living for Life” to help kidney patients increase their physical activity. As part of the program the Foundation has launched a survey and is asking for participation from Ontarians living with kidney disease.

Patient feedback is essential to create a successful program that will motivate and inspire participants. This is why patients in these communities are being asked to fill out this short survey. Their feedback will assist the Foundation with the program development.

The goal of The Kidney Foundation’s Active Living for Life program is to create a free, community-based active living program to get patients with CKD moving again and enjoy some of the physical activities that many may have given up as a result of the disease. For some, active living may mean being able to participate in sports or get back to the gym. For others, it may mean just having the freedom to do everyday activities such as going for a walk or shopping. Tell us what it means to you.

If you are a kidney patient in Ontario, please take a few minutes to fill out the survey and help The Kidney Foundation help Canadians living with kidney disease stay active and healthy!


Kidney Walks need your support

Our 2015 Kidney Walks are well underway as participants across the province take steps to raise awareness and raise funds to help the 1 in 10 Canadians living with kidney disease! Many Kidney Walk participants have been personally affected by kidney disease; others walk in support of loved ones and friends. Renal health care workers also support our cause as they walk in support of patients. Each weekend this month, Kidney Walkers hit trails and park pathways to help support the research that may one day help us create a future without kidney failure.

Participants in the Kidney Walks will only walk a few kilometres, but each step provides hope for those touched by kidney disease. It’s not too late to join or to donate. Your support makes a difference. Visit www.kidneywalk.ca and become part of Canada’s largest community event dedicated to raising funds for kidney research and programs to help support Canadians living with kidney disease.

Thank you to everyone who has participated so far! The Walks have reached over 40 per cent of the goal and there has been a fantastic turnout for the events that have already taken place. We are looking forward to good weather and great fun throughout the remaining Fall Walks. remember, even if you've already walked you can still keep fundraising and help get us to our goal of $850,000!

For more great reasons to get involved with Kidney Walks watch Terry tell us why he walks here!

A Man on a Mission

Bill Karmiris is a man on a mission, a mission to give back to the community and show gratitude for all he says he has been blessed with.
  However, some people might find it difficult to be so positive after facing all that Bill has.

As a boy in growing up in Greece Bill developed rheumatic fever, a disease that can cause many complications when left untreated including kidney damage. This was many years ago when Greece was caught in the throes of civil war, when a doctor was almost impossible to find, and when treatments were just not available. Many years later in the early 80’s, after Bill had moved to Canada, a routine physical would reveal the damage that had been done to his kidneys years earlier.

In 2012 Bill’s kidneys failed, he left his successful career in real estate and began home hemodialysis.  Bill says he is grateful to have the opportunity to do hemodialysis at home as it gives him flexibility in his schedule and he is able to enjoy his home comforts like watching Greek TV during treatments.  Last year he underwent heart surgery to clear some build-up from his arteries and his medical team was able to bring his dialysis machine into his hospital room. Bill was then able to continue his treatments without having to move while in recovery.

Through it all, Bill has maintained a very positive attitude. He doesn’t dwell on the negatives but feels that he “has been gifted with so much” and wants to give back. Being a part of The Kidney Foundation’s Brantford Kidney Walk is one way for him to accomplish this. This year Bill is being honoured as the ambassador for the Brantford Walk. He has been a top fundraiser for years, even managing to raise $6,000 in 2014 after his heart surgery left him with just a few weeks to fundraise.

Bill has set an ambitious goal for 2015 to raise $10,000. He doesn’t hesitate to ask for support. He says, “The worst thing that can happen is they say ‘no.’” And he has only ever heard a blunt “no” in response to a donation request once or twice. Bill encourages other to join the Kidney Walk or make a donation. As he says, “It’s not for me, but for future generations.”



Meet Guelph Kidney Walk Ambassador Barb Owens

Barb Owens, Guelph Kidney Walk Ambassador
I am a typical wife and mother with a busy life. I have always had regular health checkups.  I was tired, but figured that I was just busy and that is just the way it is.  It was through routine blood work that indicated my hemoglobin was low and this was monitored over a few months and not getting any better.  Upon further investigation we found that my creatinine levels were way above normal and rising rapidly.  I was diagnosed with renal failure January 2014 and within three months I was undergoing peritoneal dialysis at home. This is one of the reasons that I feel a responsibility to get my story out there.  It is so important to have regular checkups and be screened for kidney function as often there are no noticeable symptoms until the disease is quite advanced. 

I have been on the transplant list for about a year and a half and anxiously await the phone call to tell me there is a kidney available with my name on it.  It humbles me that someone out there has registered to become an organ donor and I will be forever grateful when this day comes.  I think The Kidney Foundation has made great strides in getting the word out there for the need for organ donation but there is so much more that can be done.  I have such great support from my family, friends, the health community and The Kidney Foundation.  I, along with family and friends, take part in the annual Kidney Walk.  This wonderful event not only allows me an avenue to get the word out there regarding the impact of kidney disease, but it is also a chance to meet new people and enjoy a lovely walk with those dear to me.

Join the Kidney Walk.


Kidney Car Donation Honours Memory of Brenda Szabo

Memorial donations are one way people pay tribute to the lives of their loved ones. It’s a simple yet powerful way to make a difference and support a cause close to the heart.  But did you know that you can make an unwanted car a memorial tribute?
“Each year, Kidney Car receives close to 200 cars in memory of loved ones, and that number seems to be growing,” said Dave Cybulski, Kidney Car Manager. “The process is easy from start to finish. A phone call with our Kidney Car team and your unwanted car will be towed away in a few short days.”
Last month, Larry Szabo made the decision to donate his late wife’s car to the Foundation. “I think it was only fitting – Brenda dedicated many years of work life to The Kidney Foundation and was very passionate about supporting the needs of kidney patients and raising awareness about organ donation,” said Larry, “so when it was time to let go of her car, donating the car in her memory, made a lot of sense.”
Brenda Szabo was the Executive Director of the former Greater Ontario Branch. She worked for The Kidney Foundation for many years at the Chapter and then Branch level.  Brenda was recognized nationally in 2001 with the Bresinger Award of Excellence, presented to a staff member who has made a significant contribution to the development of the Foundation nationally.
A family vehicle can hold many memories shared with love ones, which is why it can be difficult to say goodbye. Donating a vehicle in memory of a loved one helps to create a lasting legacy. For information about Kidney Car, call 1.866.788.2277 or visit kidneycar.ca. For those wishing to donate a car in memory of a loved one, a special acknowledgement can be sent to the next of kin.

Walking for awareness in Sault Ste. Marie UPDATE!


UPDATE: Marci received a deceased donor transplant on June 20th. She is still recovering but doing well and looking forward to getting back home to Sault Ste. Marie soon!

Marci was only 16 when she learned that a birth defect in her bladder was causing her kidneys to fail. Marci was lucky – she spent only a month on dialysis in 1990 before a donor kidney was found and she received a kidney transplant. After her recovery, she was committed to helping raising awareness and support for kidney health and organ donation.

That transplant allowed Marci to live a fairly normal life for nearly 23 years. Two years ago, in 2013, Marci learned that her kidney failed. She began dialysis and is back on the waiting list for another kidney.

Marci and many others on dialysis face a host of challenges, not the least of which is lack of energy. With what energy and time she does have, she makes it her mission to raise awareness of kidney disease and is doing her part this year to get the Sault Ste. Marie community involved in the Kidney Walk.

"One of the biggest misconceptions is that people hear ‘kidney disease’ and they think that it’s the end of the world. What they don’t realize is that there’s so much being done to make living with kidney failure better. It’s not the end of the road. There isn’t a cure, but treatment can enable you to live a mostly normal life” said Marci.

Marci recently received the call that patients awaiting a transplant hope for: a donor kidney had been found! Unfortunately, due to a small infection on her finger, she was unable to undergo the transplant surgery. Even the smallest infection decreases the odds of transplant success and disqualifies a person from receiving the available kidney. Although devastated at the time, Marci’s remains hopeful that a kidney transplant will be in her future. She is looking forward to regaining her failing strength. The difference after her first transplant, Marci says, was like night and day. “I had a whirlwind of energy.”

This year Marci will participate in the Sault Ste. Marie Kidney Walk. The Kidney Walk raises funds for kidney research and services and support for individuals living with and at risk of developing kidney disease.

“I’m grateful to have the opportunity to participate in the Kidney Walks. My life could have ended at 16, but here I am.”


Grand River Hospital unveils the Dr. Tom Liu Dialysis Unit

Grand River Hospital has honored a pioneer of kidney care in the Waterloo Region.

Pictured with Dr. Liu under the new sign for the dialysis unit is current chief of nephrology Dr. Gerald Rosenstein

Dr. Tom Liu was recognized for more than 40 years of caring for area patients with the naming of the dialysis unit at the hospital’s KW Site in his honour.

Dr. Liu began his nephrology practice in Waterloo Region in 1974. Two years later, he was a key player in establishing the first dialysis unit in Waterloo Region to support patients whose kidneys had failed.

Since then, Dr. Liu has been instrumental in the growth of the renal program. He has served in medical leadership roles, including both chief of nephrology and medical director for many years. In addition to Grand River Hospital’s renal clinic and dialysis services at the KW Site, satellite dialysis services are in place at GRH’s Freeport Site as well as Guelph and Palmertson.

Patients are also benefitting from growth in home dialysis services to better support their health and quality of life.“Dr. Liu’s commitment to patients with kidney disease and their families has been exceptional,” said Malcolm Maxwell, GRH’s president and CEO. “He has helped advance exceptional kidney care. He has also developed a renal program that is among the top performers in the province.”Family, friends and colleagues joined Dr. Liu on Wednesday May 20th to celebrate the unit’s naming and thank him for his dedication through more than four decades of care.

 (Pictured with Dr. Liu under the new sign for the dialysis unit is current chief of nephrology Dr. Gerald Rosenstein.)


Kidney Foundation volunteers among those lauded with Human Touch Awards

Among the recipients of this year’s Human Touch Awards, were two individuals who volunteer for The Kidney Foundation of Canada. Human Touch Awards are presented annually by Cancer Care Ontario to those who provide support in the areas of cancer and kidney care. This is the third year in which those involved in kidney care have been honoured.
Two individuals who volunteer for The Kidney Foundation of Canada re among this year’s renal care recipients. Among his many roles, Michael McCormick, a dialysis patient himself, is part of the Kidney Foundation’s Independent Dialysis Decision-Making Support Volunteer program. Kidney Foundation Ontario Board Member Shirley Pulkkinen was also honored with a staff award for her work in patient advocacy. She is also The Kidney Foundation representative for the Ontario Renal Network’s North East Region Steering Committee. Click here to find out more about Shirley and Michael’s contributions and the other award winners

March Drive Canvassers Raise Funds and Awareness

Over 8,000 Kidney Foundation volunteers will begin knocking on doors in communities across Ontario beginning March 1, 2015. Their goal is to help those living with kidney disease and those at risk by raising awareness about the disease and raising funds to support the Kidney Foundation’s mission.

Kidney Foundation volunteer Cathy McIntosh of Windsor has been a March Drive volunteer for 17 years and each year goes the extra mile in her effort to support The Kidney Foundation. 

“I have seen first-hand the incredible advances in kidney care,” McIntosh explains. “My husband’s father passed away at age 37 from kidney failure back in 1950s, leaving his young family behind. There was no treatment for kidney disease.”  She compares that outcome to the experience of her brother, who faced a similar diagnosis many years later. “Thanks to research and the advances in kidney care, my brother had dialysis treatments and had a much better quality of life.” 

End-stage kidney failure is a permanent, life-changing diagnosis – there is no cure. Undergoing dialysis treatments numerous times a week takes its toll ... physically, psychologically, and financially, and it can dramatically affect the patient as well as his/her family and friends. Kidney transplants do represent the best available treatment option, but the waiting list is long, and some people – because of other health conditions – may not be eligible for a transplant.

The Foundation’s goal is to support those affected by kidney disease through education, patient support programs like the Kidney Connect Peer Support program and Kidney Community Kitchen, advocacy, and by funding research to improve understanding of kidney disease and its treatments.  

“Awareness is a critical factor in the success of the March Drive campaign,” said Anthony Tirone, Director, Philanthropy and Community Development. “Not only awareness of the campaign itself, but also the opportunity it gives us to educate the public about kidney disease and their risks for developing this life-changing diagnosis.” 

For more information or to make a March Drive donation, visit www.marchdrive.ca or contact The Kidney Foundation of Canada at 1-800-387-4474 ext. 4964.



Ontario Branch - 1599 Hurontario Street, Suite 201, Mississauga, ON L5G 4S1 - Tel.: (905) 278-3003 / 1-800-387-4474
Charitable Registration Number: 107567398RR0001