Southern Alberta News & Events


Welcome to the Southern Alberta News & Events page. Here you can find news and events from our branch. 

     Living well, newsletter, Southern Alberta news, Kidney news, 2016


Southern Alberta News RSS Feed
Making essential imaging tests safer for people at risk of acute kidney injury
12/10/2018

UCalgary team discovers how to better protect the kidneys

Every year millions of people undergo medical tests and procedures, such as coronary angiography, which use intravascular contrast dyes. “For the majority of patients, these are safe and necessary procedures. However, about eight per cent of those people experience the complication of acute kidney injury (AKI),” says Dr. Dan Muruve, MD, a kidney specialist and member of the Snyder Institute for Chronic Diseases at the Cumming School of Medicine (CSM).

“My kidney function was at 13 per cent when I was diagnosed with acute kidney injury. I easily could have ended up on dialysis,” says Sam Hannon, who underwent two angioplasty procedures after having a heart attack. “Anything that can be done to make all procedures safer for patients is great news. This research is vital.”

“People like Sam, who require complex procedures with large contrast dye volumes, or those with pre-existing diabetes or chronic kidney disease, have a much higher risk of acute kidney injury following these procedures,” says Dr. Matthew James, MD, PhD, also a kidney specialist and a member of the CSM’s Libin Cardiovascular Institute of Alberta and the O’Brien Institute for Public Health. “We have effective protocols to minimize that risk, but occasionally, in some high risk patients, these measures are insufficient to completely prevent kidney damage. This research has shown how the kidney responds to the contrast dye, and reveals new ways we could better protect the kidneys.”

This research is supported by Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and The Kidney Foundation of Canada.

“These findings are a great step forward for people living with kidney failure caused by injury,” says Elisabeth Fowler, national director of research, The Kidney Foundation of Canada. “Our goal in funding research is to work towards finding a cure, and to help translate fundamental discoveries from the lab bench into clinics and hospitals to ease the burden of kidney disease. We look forward to upcoming results of this promising work.”

James and Muruve are collaborators on a CIHR team focused on inflammation and kidney disease. In a recent study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, the team shows for the first time how contrast dye injures the kidney. Using specialized high-powered microscopes the University of Calgary scientists were able to map out in real time the dye’s progression through the kidney. The study, using mice, showed that in a fully hydrated kidney the dye flushes through, but in a kidney with low hydration the kidney absorbs the dye causing inflammation that can lead to serious damage. The new knowledge from this study is already translating to work with people.

“We did a small study testing human urine after contrast dye exposure. We saw the same markers in people as we do in mice. These results can help us add to the steps we currently emphasize to reduce the amount of contrast dye used and to hydrate the patient,” says James. “Despite this, some patients with kidney disease currently avoid these medical tests because of the concern about possible injury to their kidneys. This research could help make these tests even safer for them.”

The UCalgary research team is already working on a therapeutic intervention to help those patients who cannot be hydrated easily. “For some patients, with weak hearts, extra fluids are not recommended,” says Muruve. “Through this research we’ve discovered a drug that stops the kidney from absorbing the dye to prevent possible injury. We’ve tested a medication that is showing promising results. The next step is to translate these findings into clinical trials.” Muruve has since founded a spinoff company to design new medications for AKI.

"This study is important because it increases our understanding of how we might intervene to prevent acute renal injury or interrupt the progression of acute kidney injury to chronic kidney disease thereby reducing the burden of kidney disease among Canadians. As a practicing nephrologist, I look forward to learning more about how this research will be applied in clinical settings," says Dr. Norman Rosenblum, MD, scientific director of the CIHR Institute of Nutrition, Metabolism and Diabetes.

Media contact: Karen Thomas, Director, Community Relations, KFOC (SAB), 403.651.1112 (cell), karen.thomas@kidney.ca

RE/MAX PRESENTS: WHL SUITS UP WITH DON CHERRY TO PROMOTE ORGAN DONATION RAISES OVER $265,500
21/05/2018

WESTERN HOCKEY LEAGUE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE / MONDAY, MAY 21, 2018

Regina, Sask. – The Western Hockey League, in partnership with RE/MAX, is proud to announce that over $265,500 has been raised through the “RE/MAX Presents: WHL Suits Up with Don Cherry to Promote Organ Donation” campaign, hosted during the months of October and March during the 2017- 18 WHL Regular Season. 

WHL fans embraced the new program through the purchase of special Don Cherry suit-themed jerseys and by registering to be organ donors at CanadaDonates.ca. The $265,500 raised is the Kidney Foundation of Canada’s largest public awareness and fundraising campaign for organ donation.

Don Cherry, WHL Commissioner Ron Robison and Jeremy Cossette of RE/MAX of Western Canada presented a cheque for $265,500 to Kurtis Krug of the Kidney Foundation of Canada prior to Monday’s contest between the WHL’s Swift Current Broncos and OHL’s Hamilton Bulldogs at the 100th Mastercard Memorial Cup in Regina.
 
“The WHL and our Western Canada-based Clubs are proud to partner with RE/MAX of Western Canada and their agents to help promote the importance of organ donation and support for local Kidney Foundations,” commented WHL Commissioner Ron Robison. “Thanks to our fans purchasing specially designed Don Cherry suit themed jerseys, RE/MAX and the WHL are in a position to make a significant contribution to local Kidney Foundations in Western Canada.”

During the months of October 2017 and March 2018, 17 WHL Clubs played host to themed game nights, complete with a variety of promotions for fans in attendance. Special-edition Don Cherry bobbleheads were given to fans, along with limited-edition Don Cherry trading cards. 

“I knew the people of the Western Hockey League would come through, and they came through in spades,” said Don Cherry, on behalf of the Kidney Foundation. “We couldn’t have done it without RE/MAX, our sponsor. $265,500 is the most we’ve ever raised and when you see something like that, it makes you very proud to be a Canadian.” 
On the ice, WHL member Clubs sported unique Don Cherry-themed uniforms, which were then put up for auction, with proceeds designated towards local chapters of the Kidney Foundation of Canada. 

“Being involved with the Cherry family and the Kidney Foundation was a very exciting opportunity for us,” said Elton Ash, Regional Executive Vice President for RE/MAX of Western Canada. “As long-time supporters of organ donation across Canada we hope this partnership has increased the awareness about how critical it is to be an organ donor. Many lives can be enriched and saved when you register as a donor.”

During the month of October, “RE/MAX Presents: WHL Suits Up with Don Cherry to Promote Organ Donation” was hosted in Brandon, Calgary, Kootenay, Lethbridge, Moose Jaw, Prince Albert, Regina and Vancouver. 

During the month of March, “RE/MAX Presents: WHL Suits Up with Don Cherry to Promote Organ Donation” was hosted in Edmonton, Kamloops, Kelowna, Medicine Hat, Prince George, Red Deer, Saskatoon, Swift Current and Victoria.

The Kidney Foundation is a cause close to the Cherry family. Don’s son, Tim, received a kidney transplant from his sister Cindy. With close to 4,500 Canadians awaiting organ donation today – 76 per cent whom require a kidney – the Cherry family, RE/MAX and the WHL have come together to create this awareness campaign in support of the Kidney Foundation.

For more information on “RE/MAX Presents: WHL Suits Up with Don Cherry to Promote Organ Donation” or to sign up to be a donor, visit CanadaDonates.ca.

About RE/MAX of Western Canada
RE/MAX was founded in 1973 by Dave and Gail Liniger, with an innovative, entrepreneurial culture affording its agents and franchisees the flexibility to operate their businesses with great independence. Over 115,000 agents provide RE/MAX a global reach of more than 100 countries and territories. RE/MAX is Canada’s leading real estate organization with more than 21,000 Sales Associates and over 922 independently-owned and operated offices nationwide. RE/MAX, LLC, one of the world’s leading franchisors of real estate brokerage services, is a subsidiary of RE/MAX Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:RMAX). With a passion for the communities in which its agents live and work, RE/MAX is proud to have raised more than $150 million for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals® and other charities. For more information about RE/MAX, to search home listings or find an agent in your community, please visit www.remax.ca.

About the Western Hockey League
Regarded as the world’s finest development league for junior hockey players, the Western Hockey League (WHL) head office is based in Calgary, Alberta. The WHL consists of 22 member Clubs with 17 located in Western Canada and five in the U.S. Pacific Northwest. A member of the Canadian Hockey League, the WHL has been a leading supplier of talent for the National Hockey League for over 50 years. The WHL is also the leading provider of hockey scholarships with over 350 graduates each year receiving WHL Scholarships to pursue a post-secondary education of their choice. Each season, WHL players also form the nucleus of Canada’s National Junior Hockey Team.

About The Kidney Foundation
The Kidney Foundation of Canada is a national volunteer organization committed to improving outcomes of people with kidney disease. Since 1964, The Kidney Foundation of Canada has contributed over $115 million to medical research projects to ensure that treatment options and patient results continuously improve.

-30-

For further information, please contact:

Taylor Rocca

Manager, Communications
Western Hockey League
roccat@whl.ca 

Wade Paterson
Sr. Coordinator, Communications
RE/MAX of Western Canada
wpaterson@remax.net

Download release.

Kidney March Mini Marchers kick off 1st kilometre
06/05/2018

On Sunday, May 6, 2018 a small but mighty crew embarked on a 1 kilometre journey to kick off 100k’s in 100 days.
Kidney Marchers and the media met the mini-marchers at 11 am at the St Patrick’s Island playground.

Sam McKail, the original mini marcher, completed 100 kilometres last year when he was just two years old. He walks to raise awareness for kidney disease and organ donation and to honour his grandma Marianne Janz – an anonymous kidney donor – as well as several other family members impacted by kidney disease.

Five year old Michael McGraw is joining Sam this year and helping lead the mini marchers. His mom Sheri Forbes has been marching and crewing in Kidney March since it began in 2010. A renal nurse at AHS, Sheri is also a dedicated volunteer in Calgary and overseas to help reduce the toll taken by kidney disease on the lives of her patients.

Media contact: Kirstin Lehmann, Sam’s mom, a passionate volunteer for the kidney cause and founder of the Mini March. Minimarchers@gmail.com
Download mini marcher poster.

Mother and pre-schooler cut the ribbon at Kidney Walk to celebrate gift of life
20/04/2018

NEWS RELEASE
(Lethbridge, AB) Kidney Walk is personal for single mom
Elicia Fortin of Lethbridge and her three-year-old son Kaidyn. When they cut the ribbon on Saturday, May 12, they will be celebrating Elicia giving Kaidyn the gift of life. In the summer of 2016, Kaidyn was rushed to the Alberta Children's Hospital (ACH) in Calgary after he tested positive for ecoli 0157 H7. It had transformed into a life-threatening disease known as Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (H.U.S.) and started attacking Kaidyn's organs. Doctors immediately put him on dialysis. "My son had a unique case on a very dangerous downward spiral. We almost lost him too many times,” says 28-year old Elicia, with tears welling up.

They soon learned Kaidyn's kidneys would not recover and he would need a kidney transplant. That was when Elicia started the screening process to become his living donor. He spent 15 months fighting for his life, undergoing dialysis, 14 surgeries and a series of complications including heart failure, landing him in the ICU at ACH for four months. Kaidyn’s journey also included a hospital stay in Edmonton where specialists told Elicia her son’s heart function was down to 17 percent. “It was the scariest, and most traumatic time of our lives. We were not sure he was going to make it,” she says. “I am so thankful for the medical team at Alberta Children’s Hospital for all of their hard work and dedication in saving my son’s life. I am also very thankful for my parents, and his step-family who were with us all the way.”

Last summer, Kaidyn got a kidney from his mom. “After his kidney transplant, his heart is back to normal, and he is doing so well,” she says. “People need to know that organ donors change the ending to someone's story, and make miracles happen. I don’t feel any different and only have a small scar on my tummy,” she laughs. Elicia and Kaidyn have become volunteers for the Kidney Foundation of Canada to spread the word about kidney disease and the life-changing power of organ donation. “We are super excited to kick off Kidney Walk in Lethbridge, and walk three kilometers – no matter how long it takes us,” she smiles.

Media are invited to interview Elicia and Kaidyn on Friday, April 20, between 11 am and 1 pm at the Kidney Foundation of Canada Lethbridge office at 507 – 740 4th Avenue South. Reporters can also interview Mike Brodie, Manager of Community Programs, about Kidney Walk.

Kidney Walk takes place at Henderson Lake on Saturday, May 12, 2018 at 10 am. Mayor Chris Spearman will help Elicia and Kaidyn with the kick off. The Walk brings the kidney community together and raises funds for life-saving research and support programs for patients. Designed for runners, walkers, and strollers, Kidney Walk is perfect for families, children and pets.  For more information, visit facebook.com/kidneywalkab. To register, click here.

Media contact: Karen Thomas, Director, Community Relations, KFOC (SAB), 403.651.1112 (cell), karen.thomas@kidneyfoundation.ab.ca
Download advisory.

Kidney Foundation of Canada across Alberta launching campaign to increase organ donation as Kidney Health Month begins
28/02/2018

NEWS RELEASE
The statistics are well-known, especially to Canadians waiting for a transplant: there are 4,585 Canadians on the list, and, in 2016, 260 Canadians died while waiting. “It is unacceptable that people are dying as they wait on a list - especially when research tells us 90% of Canadians support organ donation,” says Joyce Van Deurzen, Executive Director, Kidney Foundation of Canada (Southern Alberta). “Today, we are proud to formally launch our More Transplants campaign across Alberta to raise the profile of organ donation on behalf of those who are waiting.”

“Our goal for this campaign is to engage as many patients as we can. We invite Albertans to visit our new website, moretransplants.ca, register your intent to donate, and join us in calling for more donations and more transplants,” says Flavia Robles, Executive Director, Kidney Foundation of Canada (Northern Alberta). “If you want to be an organ donor, please sit down at the supper table tonight and talk with your family. This is even more important than registering your intent to donate.”

Eleanor Hollenbeck is one of those people who is waiting. Diagnosed with kidney disease when she was 11 years old, Hollenbeck received a kidney from her father when she was 13. That kidney lasted just under 3 years, failing in 1985. She spent the next decade on dialysis until she received a kidney from a deceased donor in 1995. That kidney failed in 2010, and forced Hollenbeck back onto dialysis. “Although I am only 47 years old, my body feels like I am 94,” she says. “I have refused to allow my illness to hold me back until now, but this year my health has been deteriorating. It takes all of my energy to get ready for my workday, and when I get home, I am exhausted,” she says.

Hollenbeck’s two kidney transplants mean she has 100% antibodies, making it difficult to find a donor who will match. “I am on three lists because my chances are so slim. Finding a matching donor would be like winning the lottery,” she says. “But being on those lists is a lifeline of hope for me, and my husband.” 
National statistics show there were 2,835 transplant procedures performed in 2016. “But we still have more than 4,500 people waiting for a transplant,” says Van Deurzen. “Our goal is that one day soon, everyone who needs a transplant will get one.” Hollenbeck agrees, wondering “when so many Canadians support organ donation, why are there so few transplants?"

Advocating for organ donation has led the Kidney Foundation to break new ground. Starting in the fall of 2017, thousands of Canadians from Victoria to Brandon have been attending a series of special hockey games focused on organ donation. The Kidney Foundation of Canada’s western branches have partnered with the Cherry family, the Western Hockey League, and RE/MAX on a series of 17 games. 

This is a cause close to the Cherry family as Don Cherry’s son, Tim, received a kidney from his sister Cindy. The series – RE/MAX presents - WHL Suits Up with Don Cherry to Promote Organ Donation – includes organ donors and recipients dropping the puck. Each WHL Club has also selected unique Don Cherry-themed jerseys worn by the players, and auctioned off to fans with 100 per cent of the proceeds going to local chapters of the Kidney Foundation.

The call to action at the games: talk with your family about your wishes, and register your intent to donate. Upcoming games include: Edmonton Oil Kings and Kamloops Blazers on March 2, Medicine Hat Tigers, Swift Current Broncos and Prince George Cougars on March 3, Victoria Royals on March 9, as well as the Red Deer Rebels, Saskatoon Blades and Kelowna Rockets on March 10. Visit CanadaDonates.ca for details.

Calgary newsrooms are invited to a media availability on Thursday, March 1, 2018 at 10 am at 621 - 13th Avenue SW, featuring interviews with Joyce Van Deurzen, and Eleanor Hollenbeck. Visuals include demonstrations of a nocturnal dialysis machine.

Calgary media contact: Karen Thomas, Director of Community Relations, Kidney Foundation of Canada (Southern Alberta), 403.255.6108 x28 (work), 403.651.1112 (mobile), Karen.thomas@kidneyfoundation.ab.ca

Edmonton media contact: Manuel Escoto, Communications & Special Projects Coordinator, Kidney Foundation of Canada (Northern Alberta & the Territories), 780-451-6900 x 233, manuel.escoto@kidney.ab.ca
Download release.

Local family to drop the puck to celebrate organ donation at Medicine Hat Tigers hockey game
27/02/2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
When Cassidy Creasy drops the puck at the Tigers game on Saturday March 3, her mom, who is also her kidney donor, will be at her side. Sandy Creasy donated a kidney to her daughter three years ago after Cassidy’s kidneys were damaged by e-coli when she was seven years old. The Medicine Hat family is celebrating Sandy’s kidney donation to Cassidy at a special Tigers game to shine the spotlight on organ donation. Cassidy is now 18 years old, and a first year engineering student at the University of Calgary.

The game is part of a 17 game series in the Western Hockey League to raise awareness about the gift of life. The Kidney Foundation of Canada has proudly partnered with the Cherry family, the Western Hockey League, and RE/MAX to promote the importance of organ donation. The Kidney Foundation is a cause close to the Cherry family as Don Cherry’s son, Tim, received a kidney from his sister Cindy. With 4,585 Canadians awaiting organ donation today – 76 per cent of whom need a kidney – the Cherry family, RE/MAX and the WHL have created the campaign: WHL Suits Up with Don Cherry to Promote Organ Donation – Presented by RE/MAX.

“We are grateful to the Cherry family, the Western Hockey League and RE/MAX for teaming up with us to highlight the importance of organ donation,” says Joyce Van Deurzen, Executive Director (Southern Alberta & Saskatchewan), Kidney Foundation of Canada. “Our thanks also go out to the Creasy family for dropping the puck and sharing their heartwarming story.”

Fans will receive a free limited-edition Don Cherry trading card as they arrive to cheer on the Tigers. And 1,000 Tigers fans will receive a special-edition Don Cherry bobble head. Everyone is invited to visit the Kidney Foundation booth to learn about organ donation, and take pictures with a life-sized cutout of Don Cherry.

On the ice, Tigers players will wear unique Don Cherry-themed plaid jerseys. The limited-edition jerseys will be auctioned off in a live auction and silent auction during the game with 100 per cent of the proceeds going to the local chapter of the Kidney Foundation.

For more information or to sign up to be an organ donor visit CanadaDonates.ca

For interviews with the Creasy family, contact Karen Thomas, Director, Community Relations, Kidney Foundation (SAB), 403.255.6108 x28, 403.651.1112 (mobile), karen.thomas@kidneyfoundation.ab.ca

For interviews with the Medicine Hat Tigers, contact Adam Jones, Media Services Manager, Medicine Hat Tigers, 403.526.2666, ajones@tigershockey.com
Download release.

Kidney March ... an unforgettable adventure
25/01/2018

Kidney March is September 7 - 9, 2018 • 3 days – 100 kilometres – K-Country to Calgary

The Kidney Foundation of Canada is proud to host its 9th annual Kidney March from September 7 - 9, 2018.  400 Marchers and Crew will make the unforgettable 3 day, 100K walk from Kananaskis Country to Calgary.
This breathtaking adventure begins at the Millarville Race Track, passes through K-Country and Bragg Creek, and ends at Canada Olympic Park in Calgary. Marchers are drawn together because their lives have been impacted by kidney disease - patients, loved ones, doctors, nurses and scientists.

Kidney March is the only event of its kind on Earth.

1 in 10 Canadians has kidney disease, and each day 15 people learn their kidneys have failed. The money raised at Kidney March supports prevention, lifesaving research, patient programs, kidney kids camp, and organ donation.  Sign up as a Marcher or Crew member today! Come to Kidney March Expo April 22, 10 am at the Delta Calgary South for training tips and more.

Visit KIDNEYMARCH.CA to be inspired.

On Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: @KidneyMarch
Email: info@kidneymarch.ca
Call: 1.866.956.2724

Media contact:Karen Thomas, Director, Community Relations, KFOC (Southern Alberta)403.255.6108 X28403.651.1112 (mobile), karen.thomas@kidneyfoundation.ab.ca
Download PSA

WHL SUITS UP WITH DON CHERRY TO PROMOTE ORGAN DONATION – PRESENTED BY RE/MAX
22/09/2017

Calgary, Alta. – The Western Hockey League is proud to partner with RE/MAX to present WHL Suits Up with Don Cherry to Promote Organ Donation – Presented by RE/MAX – a series of events across WHL markets to promote the importance of organ donation and to generate further support of The Kidney Foundation of Canada.

During the months of October and March, WHL Clubs in 17 Canadian markets will play host to their very own WHL Suits Up with Don Cherry to Promote Organ Donation – Presented by RE/MAX theme night, complete with a variety of special promotions for fans in attendance. The first 1,000 fans in attendance will receive a special-edition Don Cherry bobblehead and while other fans will receive a limited-edition Don Cherry trading card, courtesy of Upper Deck.

“Thanks to our longstanding WHL sponsor RE/MAX, we are proud to partner with Don Cherry and his family in promoting organ donation and support for local Kidney Foundations,” commented WHL Commissioner Ron Robison. “Our WHL markets in Western Canada provide an ideal venue to promote important causes such as this and we look forward to working with our friends at RE/MAX to raise further awareness of the importance of organ donation."

On the ice, WHL Clubs will sport their own unique and specially-designed Don Cherry-themed uniforms. Fans will have the opportunity to bid on the limited-edition jerseys, with 100 per cent of the proceeds going to local chapters of The Kidney Foundation. In addition to game-worn uniforms, fans will have the chance to bid on one Don Cherry-autographed jersey in each participating WHL market.

“Creating awareness surrounding the importance of organ donation in Canada is both close to my heart and paramount to helping people across this beautiful country of ours,” said Cindy Cherry, daughter of Don Cherry and Fund Development & Marketing Associate for The Kidney Foundation of Canada. “It makes you wonder why everyone hasn’t registered to be an organ donor like I have. I’m grateful to both the Western Hockey League and RE/MAX for coming together on this important initiative in support of The Kidney Foundation of Canada.”

The Kidney Foundation is a cause close to the Cherry family as Don’s son, Tim, received a kidney transplant from his sister Cindy. With close to 4,500 Canadians awaiting organ donation today – 76 per cent whom require a kidney – the Cherry family, RE/MAX and the WHL have come together to create the WHL Suits Up with Don Cherry to Promote Organ Donation – Presented by RE/MAX awareness campaign in support of The Kidney Foundation.

“RE/MAX of Western Canada is excited to partner with the Cherry Family and the WHL to help promote the importance of organ donation,” said Elton Ash, Regional Executive Vice President, RE/MAX of Western Canada. “These themed games will be fun for fans, and will help generate support for The Kidney Foundation of Canada."

During the month of October, WHL Suits Up with Don Cherry to Promote Organ Donation – Presented by RE/MAX will be hosted in the following WHL markets: Brandon, Calgary, Kootenay, Lethbridge, Moose Jaw, Prince Albert, Regina and Vancouver.

During the month of March, WHL Suits Up with Don Cherry to Promote Organ Donation – Presented by RE/MAX will be hosted in the following WHL markets: Edmonton, Kamloops, Kelowna, Prince George, Red Deer, Saskatoon, Swift Current, Victoria and Medicine Hat.

To receive more information on this promotion or to sign up to be a donor visit CanadaDonates.ca for more details.

For further information, please contact:
Taylor Rocca
Manager, Communications
Western Hockey League
roccat@whl.ca

Joyce Van Duerzen
Executive Director, Southern Alberta Branch
The Kidney Foundation of Canada
joyce.vandeurzen@kidneyfoundation.ab.ca

Flavia Robles
Executive Director, Northern Alberta and The Territories Branch
The Kidney Foundation of Canada
flavia.robles@kidney.ab.ca

Wade Paterson
Social Media/Communications Coordinator
RE/MAX of Western Canada
wpaterson@remax.net

Download news release

Kidney March sweeps into Calgary from K-Country
10/09/2017

More than three hundred kidney marchers and crew wrapped up their 100 kilometre, three-day walk from Millarville through K-Country to Calgary arriving September 11, 2016 at Canada Olympic Park (COP). Kidney March is a transformational event designed to raise awareness and funds for kidney disease and organ donation. This is the 8th year. Marchers and crew descended the hill into the Festival Tent at 3 pm, thereby completing their 100 km journey with Mayor Naheed Nenshi offering his congratulations.

Participants traveled from across Canada, hailing from New Brunswick to British Columbia, and internationally, from the United States and the United Kingdom. No other walk in the world goes this far, for this long, for this cause, raising awareness and funds for kidney disease prevention, lifesaving research, patient support programs and organ donation initiatives.

This year’s goal was $650,000. To date, Kidney March 2017 has exceeded that goal by $127,000, raising just over $777,000 (and still counting). “We are honoured by this incredible support from our community, especially in this economy. It is truly inspiring,” says Joyce Van Deurzen, Executive Director of the Kidney Foundation of Canada, Southern Alberta. “Kidney March asks Marchers and Crew to do the most they can do for kidney disease and organ donation, and they certainly have.”

Media contact: Karen Thomas, Director, Community Relations,The Kidney Foundation of Canada, Southern Alberta 403.255.6108 ext. 28, 403.651.1112 (mobile), Karen.thomas@kidneyfoundation.ab.ca
Download release.

kidneymarch.ca                                                                  @kidneymarch                                                     1.866.9KMARCH

Pat Dardano celebrates 32 years in business after receiving a kidney from a customer
31/08/2017

Kidney March cherishes the generosity of those who give the gift of life

They’d known each other for 20 years, with Randy Haatvedt regularly visiting Pat Dardano at his shoe shine business, Pat’s Place, downtown. As the years went by, Randy saw Pat’s health declining because of kidney disease. Pat was down to 15% kidney function – at 12% he would have to go on dialysis. “My blood is O negative, the universal donor, and I got thinking, maybe I could give Pat a kidney,” says Randy. He wanted to do the transplant work-up anonymously so as not to get Pat’s hopes up, but the process would not allow that. “When Randy came and told me what he wanted to do, I couldn’t believe it,” says Pat. “I went home and told my wife, she started crying.”

“It was an amazing experience,” Randy says. “We both had such a calm certainty – like it was meant to be.” Pat received a kidney from Randy on July 11, 2012, and has been grateful for good health ever since. They have dinner on their transplant anniversary every year and Pat shares their story with restaurant staff and anyone who will listen. “I tell everyone, you see this man right here, he saved my life,” Pat laughs.

A retired IT consultant, Randy has become a dedicated volunteer for The Kidney Foundation – doing Kidney March, a 100 kilometre walk from K-Country to Calgary – for the past three years. This year, and last, he sponsored a pit stop along the route. 300 Marchers and Crew are signed up for Kidney March 2017 which takes place September 8 – 10 in the Foothills of the Rocky Mountains.

Kidney Marchers include families, friends, kidney doctors, nurses, and social workers. Participants also include kidney donors, recipients, people waiting for a kidney, those on dialysis, and their loved ones. The only event of its kind in the world, Kidney March raises funds and awareness for life-changing research and support programs for people with kidney disease. This includes initiatives to boost organ donation and transplant rates. Last year, Kidney Marchers, Crew and Sponsors raised $774,928. In its seven year history, Kidney March has raised more than $5 million in the fight against kidney disease.

“There is an incredible spirit of generosity in our community,” says Joyce Van Deurzen, Executive Director, The Kidney Foundation of Canada (Southern Alberta). “It brings tears to my eyes when I think about Randy. No one in his family has kidney disease. He just decided to step up, and give the ultimate gift – the gift of life.” 

Reporters are invited to attend Kidney March Day Zero on Thursday, September 7 at 2:30 pm at the Delta Calgary South, 135 Southland Drive SE, and Kidney March Opening Ceremonies on Friday, September 8 at 7:00 am at Millarville Racetrack, 306097 192 Street, Millarville, AB T0L 1K0

Media contact: Karen Thomas, Director of Community Relations, The Kidney Foundation of Canada (Southern Alberta), 403.651.1112 (mobile), Karen.thomas@kidneyfoundation.ab.ca 
Download release.

kidneymarch.ca                                           @kidneymarch                                         1.866.956.2724

Study finds Canadian governments and insurance companies could save millions by investing in better kidney care, and more transplants
27/06/2017

A kidney specialist, an insurance expert, and a kidney patient have co-authored a study published in the Canadian Journal of Kidney Health and Disease that finds the Canada Pension Plan and private insurance companies could save $13.8 million a year through better management of kidney disease.

The authors note that “Canadians with advanced kidney failure are receiving disability benefit payments of at least $217 million annually” through public and private insurance plans.“The federal government and private insurers could save millions by investing in preventing kidney disease, delaying progression of disease, and increasing transplants, thereby avoiding the very high costs of dialysis,” says Dr. Braden Manns, a co-author of the research, and a kidney specialist at the University of Calgary Cumming School of Medicine.

“Once people with kidney disease begin dialysis, their quality of life declines substantially,” says co-author Susan McKenzie, MA, who was on dialysis prior to her kidney transplant in 2010. “80% of people with end stage renal disease are unable to work which means they don’t pay taxes and are forced to claim long term disability benefits.”

“Kidney disease is expensive. Right now, there are more than four million Canadians with chronic kidney disease,” says Lawrence Geller, president of Geller Insurance Agencies Limited, and a kidney recipient in 2009. “Keep in mind, our analysis does not include medication costs, provincial healthcare costs or provincial disability or drug support payments. Investing in prevention, and increasing transplants, will save millions more than $13.8 million in insurance costs.”

Geller and McKenzie are patient volunteers with Can-SOLVE CKD, a $40 million national research initiative with 18 research projects shaped by the input of patient partners. Dr. Manns is co-leading the initiative which encompasses 13 universities, eight provincial renal programs, 120 researchers and more than 30 patients.

The study finds that of the 7251 Canadians between 40 and 64 years old who are on dialysis because of advanced kidney failure, 5800 of them are unable to work, and are receiving private disability benefits and/or CPP benefits. “This research allows us to highlight the gravity of the rising tide of kidney disease, and its costs – financial, and human costs,” says Dr. Manns. “This paper is an excellent example of the value of patient-oriented research.”

Study link: http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/2054358117703986 

Many of Can-SOLVE CKD’s projects focus on early detection, delaying the progression of kidney disease, and increasing access to organ donation across Canada with the goal of decreasing the current costs of long-term disability and improving quality of life for people with kidney disease. Can-SOLVE CKD is supported by 30 funding partners, including the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, and the Kidney Foundation of Canada.

For media interviews: Karen Thomas, Director, Community Relations, Southern Alberta,
403.255.6108 x28, karen.thomas@kidneyfoundation.ab.ca

For more information: Susan McKenzie, Senior Director, Development, Western Canada, 1.888.396.4469, susan.mckenzie@kidney.ca
Download news release

Canada-wide consultation with patients and specialists fuels new national recommendations for polycystic kidney disease (PKD)
08/05/2017

There are new Canadian consensus recommendations for the care and treatment of people with polycystic kidney disease (PKD), the most common form of inherited kidney disease. Surveys of kidney specialists and patients done through the Canadian Society of Nephrology formed the basis of the new recommendations in four major areas: genetic testing, diagnostic imaging, predicting risk, and drug treatment options. The “Canadian Expert Consensus” is detailed in a paper just published in the Canadian Journal of Kidney Health and Disease.

Dr. Louis-Philippe Girard, a co-author of the paper, nephrologist, and clinical associate professor at the University of Calgary, says people with PKD played a critical role in developing these recommendations, from participating in patient forums to advocating for better treatments. “This is a huge development in the care of PKD,” says Dr. Girard. “Patients can continue to be their own advocates by downloading the article and taking the information to their GP or specialist. The recommendations are all spelled out in the paper.”

The authors note research evidence is the cornerstone of the recommendations, which outline how best to assess the progression of PKD, genetic testing, imaging options and blood pressure control. The paper also highlights the first targeted pharmacological therapy approved by Health Canada to treat PKD.

“Until now, PKD has been a bit of a forgotten disease and there was simply nothing that could be offered to adults diagnosed with PKD. A targeted new therapeutic drug – tolvaptan – now approved by Health Canada – has changed that,” says Dr. Girard. A three-year clinical trial of the new medication found it delayed the growth of the cysts that underlie the disease, and slowed the rate of decline in kidney function for patients taking it. “It is important to note that not all patients with PKD will benefit from tolvaptan. There are specific clinical, genetic and imaging criteria outlined in the recommendations that highlight those patients in whom this medication is thought to be beneficial,” says Dr. Girard.

In the past, PKD patients didn’t normally see a specialist until kidney function was significantly declining. The expert paper recommends patients with an existing or a new diagnosis of PKD be assessed by a kidney specialist as soon as possible to complete necessary investigations, optimize their non-targeted therapies, and see if they might be candidates for the new medication. “This is a big change that patients and their families need to be aware of,” says Dr. Girard.

Third-year University of Victoria student Brynn Gawley was excited to learn about the new treatment recommendations. While she has the genetic and biological markers of PKD, it has not yet affected her kidney function. Her father and uncle have had kidney transplants because of PKD, and her cousin is also affected. “I try not to worry about PKD,” says Gawley, “but it is always in the back of your mind when it might hit you.” 

Gawley gets bloodwork twice a year, drinks a lot of water and tries to stay healthy; she was completely unaware of these new recommendations. “I was always told there was nothing I could do until the disease got worse,” Gawley says, “It is awesome to know there are some new things that can help. I am definitely going to speak to my doctor about it and do everything I can to get out the word.”

“After seeing Dr. Girard present at Alberta Kidney Days on these new recommendations, we wanted to share this exciting news with the kidney community,” says Joyce Van Deurzen, executive director, Kidney Foundation of Canada, Southern Alberta and Saskatchewan Branches. “At present, the new medication is only covered under private insurance. If you’ve been prescribed any treatment or care that is not publicly funded, you can write your provincial Minister of Health, or ask your doctor if compassionate coverage or funding is available.”

Click here to download the paper: http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/2054358117695784

To request interviews:

Karen Thomas, Director, Community Relations

Kidney Foundation of Canada, Southern Alberta

403-255-6108 x28

403-651-1112 (mobile)

karen.thomas@kidneyfoundation.ab.ca

Download news release

 

“You need to take ownership of your health” says kidney transplant recipient
30/03/2017

Alberta Kidney Days forum highlights risk factors for chronic kidney disease

(Calgary, Alberta) Cyril Muise spent the 90’s – a time when he was building his business, and raising two young children with his wife Lori – feeling unwell. His own doctor could not pinpoint what was wrong. “Meanwhile I could barely get out of bed,” Muise says. Everything changed the day he took his 4-year-old son to their family doctor for a sore throat. “My wife was so worried, she called ahead to ask her doctor for a second opinion about me,” he smiles. He got some tests done, and that same evening, the doctor requested a consult from her neighbour, Dr. Nairne Scott-Douglas, a kidney specialist, literally handing him Muise’s bloodwork across their backyard fence.

 

“I went to see Dr. Scott-Douglas the next afternoon, and he diagnosed me with kidney failure right then and there,” Muise says. It turns out Muise had had high blood pressure for years, and because it went untreated for so long, he suffered permanent kidney damage. “I will never forget that day. And I will always be grateful to her, and to Nairne for saving my life,” he says. After a tumultuous eight months on dialysis, Muise received a kidney transplant from his wife Lori on October 14, 1998.

 

“Cyril’s story is unfortunately, quite common. I often see people who have had diabetes or high blood pressure for 10, 15 years, and they just don’t know it. They don’t even feel sick,” says Dr. Scott-Douglas, Senior Medical Director of the Alberta Health Services Kidney Health Strategic Clinical Network. “Cyril was one of my first patients. I am glad we are still in touch. I love the guy – he’s a great man. A lot of people bury such a difficult time, and move on. He’s focused on helping other people.”

 

Muise has been a passionate volunteer for the Kidney Foundation of Canada for two decades, initially in peer support, the community services committee, KFOC’s Research Council, and these days on the board for Southern Alberta. “I got a second chance at life. That changed my family’s whole outlook,” he says. “I got a ton of information at the Kidney Foundation early on in my disease, and I always thought ‘I need to give back’.”

          

On March 9, the Kidney Foundation is hosting a forum for the public – Kidney Disease: Am I at Risk? The aim is to educate people about the two most common risk factors causing kidney disease: high blood pressure, and diabetes. “People really need to ask their doctor a lot of questions and take ownership of their own health,” says Muise. Calgarians are invited to attend the forum on Thursday March 9, 7 – 9 pm, at the Coast Plaza Hotel, 1316 33 Street NE. There will be free blood pressure and blood glucose testing for those who wish. RSVP to Michelle Hofer, 403.255.6108 x30, michelle.hofer@kidneyfoundation.ab.ca

 

Each day 15 Canadians learn their kidneys have failed. There are currently 3,484 Canadians waiting for a kidney transplant. In 2015, 73 people died while on the list waiting for a kidney.

 

For more information, or to request interviews:

Karen Thomas, Director, Community Relations, Kidney Foundation of Canada, Southern Alberta

403.255.6108 x28, 403.651.1112 (mobile), karen.thomas@kidneyfoundation.ab.ca


Download news release

 

YOU are invited to our FREE public forum at Alberta Kidney Days
27/01/2017

KIDNEY DISEASE:  AM I AT RISK?

Did you know that high blood pressure and diabetes are two primary causes of kidney disease?

The Kidney Foundation of Canada presents “Kidney Disease: Am I at Risk?”, a presentation and panel discussion on kidney disease, its causes, risk factors, what you can do to prevent it, and how to better manage your kidney health.

Panelists include a renal nurse educator, medical director of the Southern Alberta Renal Program, and a person living with kidney disease.

Members of the public, people at risk for kidney disease (high blood pressure, diabetes, or family history), people with CKD, or anyone interested in kidney health are welcome to attend.

There will be lots of time for questions following the presentations.

You can sign up for free blood pressure and blood glucose testing during this special event.

Registration is free but space is limited.

To reserve your seat please RSVP at 403-255-6108 ext. 30 or email michelle.hofer@kidneyfoundation.ab.ca

Thursday, March 9, 2017 (World Kidney Day)

7 – 9 pm, doors open at 6:30 pm

Garden Court Room

Coast Plaza Hotel

316 33rd Street NE, Calgary, AB     

Kidney March sweeps into Calgary from K-Country
03/10/2016

Three hundred kidney marchers and crew wrapped up their 100 km, three-day walk from Millarville through K-Country to Calgary arriving September 11, 2016 at Canada Olympic Park (COP). Kidney March is a transformational event designed to raise awareness and funds for kidney disease and organ donation. Marchers and crew descended the hill into the Festival Tent at 3 pm, thereby completing their 100 km journey with Mayor Naheed Nenshi offering his congratulations.

Participants have traveled from across Canada, hailing from Quebec to British Columbia, and internationally, from the United States and the United Kingdom. No other walk in Canada goes this far, for this long, for this cause, raising awareness and funds for kidney disease prevention, lifesaving research, patient support programs and organ donation initiatives.

This year’s goal was $650,000. To date, Kidney March 2016 has exceeded that goal by $80,000, raising $760,000. The amount raised in Kidney March 2016 is $190,000 more than was raised last year. “This is truly inspiring,” says Joyce Van Deurzen, Executive Director of the Kidney Foundation of Canada, Southern Alberta. “Kidney March asks Marchers and Crew to do the most they can do for kidney disease and organ donation, and they certainly have.”

Media contact:
Karen Thomas
Director, Community Relations
The Kidney Foundation of Canada, Southern Alberta
403.255.6108 ext. 28
403.651.1112 (mobile)
Karen.thomas@kidneyfoundation.ab.ca
Download release.
www.kidneymarch.ca
1.866.9KMARCH

Hundreds Gear Up to Walk Three Days … 100 k's
02/09/2016

Only event of its kind in the world kicks off Friday, September 9, 2016


300 doctors, nurses, kidney patients, family and friends will hit the road for three days and 100 k's starting Friday, September 9 for Kidney March 2016. The only event of its kind in the world raises funds and awareness for life-changing research and support programs for people with kidney disease.

“We created the Kidney March seven years ago in 2010 as a transformational event designed to put the fight against kidney disease on Canada’s radar” says Joyce Van Deurzen, Executive Director, The Kidney Foundation of Canada (Southern Alberta & Saskatchewan). So far, Kidney March has raised more than $4 million for lifesaving research, patient supports, and advocacy for organ donations.

“We joined Kidney March the very first year and Kidney Marchers have become like family,” says Stuart Duff, a Calgarian who donated his kidney to his wife Cheryl this June. “My husband truly is my perfect match,” says Cheryl Duff. “After 24 years of struggling with kidney disease, I am getting back my life with my new kidney ‘Linus’ onboard. Kidney disease affects your whole life, and your whole family too.”

Why kidney disease? Kidney disease afflicts one in 10 Canadians. That means 3.5 million Canadians cope with and die from this chronic illness. People with chronic kidney disease (CKD) are often forced to quit work because of specialists' appointments, dialysis, transplant treatments, and persistent physical and emotional side effects. There is, at present, no cure.

Why organ donation? 75% of the 4,433 Canadians on the wait list for an organ transplant are waiting for a kidney. The Kidney Foundation of Canada encourages people with CKD to talk with family and friends about organ donation, and advocates to improve health and donation systems to increase organ donations in Canada.

Kidney March 2016 kicks off Friday, September 9 at 7 am at the Millarville racetrack, 306097 192 Street, Millarville, Alberta, and ends on Sunday, September 11 at 2:30 pm at Canada Olympic Park, corner of Canada Olympic Drive S.W. and Canada Olympic Road S.W. (Festival Tent).

Media contact:
Karen Thomas, Director, Community Relations
The Kidney Foundation of Canada, Southern Alberta
403.255.6108 ext. 28
403.651.1112 (mobile)
Karen.thomas@kidneyfoundation.ab.ca
www.kidneymarch.ca   1.866.9KMARCH

Download news release

Urgent Call to Action to All Canadians Affected by Kidney Disease or Organ Donation
08/06/2016

If you believe organ transplantation rates need to rise in Canada, please call or email your MP now, before June 13, 2016, and urge them to vote in favor of Bill C-223


June 8, 2016 - Earlier this year, MP of Edmonton Manning, Alberta Ziad Aboultaif tabled a Private Members Bill, C-223, An Act to establish the Canadian Organ Donor Registry and to coordinate and promote organ donation throughout Canada. The purpose of this Bill is threefold:

  1. To establish the Canadian Organ Donor Registry, a compilation of information on organ donors and recipients and a system that links to compilations held by third parties.
  2. To develop a national strategy to promote organ donation in Canada and facilitate the exchange of information on organ donation between provinces. Canada is the only developed country without national organ donation legislation, such as the 1984 U.S. National Organ Transplant Act.
  3. To mandate an annual report.

An important measure of how well Canada is performing at organ transplants is the number of kidney transplants per one million people. Canada’s rate is 23 per million, while the United States is 34 per million, or 50 per cent higher.

“Canada is in the lower third of developed countries, certainly below 50 per cent, of donation activity per population,” says Dr. Phillip Halloran, professor of medicine at the University of Alberta and editor emeritus of American Journal of Transplantation and chair of the Swiss-based Roche Organ Transplantation Research Foundation, an independent medical research charity that awards operating grants for research projects in organ transplantation.

“We’re not serving Canadians well by the current (kidney) donation rate,” he said. “Donations in Canada are not performing at the standard that our colleagues in the United States are performing and there isn’t really any excuse except organization and accountability.”

To date, Bill C-223 has received little public or media attention and there is a strong possibility it may not proceed to the next key step of going to Committee for further discussion. We are calling on all kidney patients, kidney donors, and their loved ones, to make your voices heard in support of more discussion around Bill C-223 when it goes for the rest of second reading June 13, 2015, and then a subsequent vote on whether to decide whether to take this Bill to Committee for further discussion June 15, 2016.

THE TIME TO ACT IS NOW: WHAT CAN WE DO

As Canadians most affected by barriers and gaps in our current organ donation system, we can reach out to our MPs to let them know this Bill, and the broader issue of organ donation in Canada, is critically important to us and deserves proper study and investigation before it is rejected on June 15th.

On behalf of all Canadians who will never receive the organ transplant they need, we can also let our MPs know there is a huge unmet need in Canada related to organ donation. Other countries, including the USA, Spain, Australia and Great Britain have seen significant increases in organ transplant rates by enacting similar legislation – Canada can too. Too many Canadians are dying needlessly and Canadians deserve the best organ donation system possible.

To quickly find out how to contact your Member of Parliament simply enter your postal code here:
http://www.lop.parl.gc.ca/ParlInfo/Compilations/HouseOfCommons/MemberByPostalCode.aspx?Menu=HOC

For more information contact:
Joyce Van Deurzen, Executive Director
The Kidney Foundation of Canada, Southern Alberta Branch & Saskatchewan Branch
joyce.vandeurzen@kidneyfoundation.ab.ca
403-255-6108 ext. 26

For more information about Bill C-223 See: https://openparliament.ca/bills/42-1/C-223/

Additional Resources:
http://news.nationalpost.com/news/canada/canadian-politics/conservative-mp-to-table-bill-calling-for-national-organ-donor-registry-after-transplant-saved-his-son
http://www.transplant-observatory.org/Pages/home.aspx

Some useful websites for USA Europe and Canadian data:
http://ec.europa.eu/health/blood_tissues_organs/docs/ev_20141126_factsfigures_en.pdf
https://www.unos.org/data/
http://www.srtr.org/
https://www.cihi.ca/en/organ-replacements/corr-annual-report
http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2014/12/19/canadian-organ-donation_n_6354392.html
http://globalnews.ca/news/1956708/canadas-organ-donor-rate-lags-behind-other-countries-how-do-you-fix-it/

SeeKD targeted screening program helps early detection of CKD risk in Canadians
26/05/2016

At the first Kidney March in 2010 we told people we wanted to launch a targeted screening & testing program for those most at risk. Thanks to all of our Marchers and their donors for your support in helping to make this important work possible! As Dr. Brenda Hemmelgarn (6 time Kidney Marcher) states in the article, "This targeted screening program was able to identify a high proportion of participants at risk of CKD and a greater proportion of participants with unrecognized chronic kidney disease." Click here to read the story.

Kidney Mortgage - An Innovative New Partnership Supporting Canadians Affected by Kidney Disease
14/04/2016

Every two weeks, 224 Canadians are diagnosed with kidney disease. The fact is, millions of Canadians are at risk but most don’t even know it. And there is no cure.

The Kidney Foundation of Canada is working to support people with kidney disease and improve these daunting statistics by raising awareness about kidney disease and its risk factors, helping to facilitate timely interventions and treatments, and striving to improve organ transplantation rates across Canada.

“Working with The Kidney Foundation to launch Kidney Mortgage is something we are really proud of,” says Dave Kelly of Dominion’s Lethbridge office, who helped facilitate the partnership. “This new partnership is a real win-win. It gives us the chance to support people affected by kidney disease simply by doing what we do best – helping Canadians get the best mortgage arrangement possible.”

By donating $224 on every mortgage completed through the Kidney Mortgage program, Dominion Lending Centres Mortgage Excellence has made a commitment of up to $1,000,000 over the next five years – one of the largest corporate partnerships the Kidney Foundation has established to date.

The Kidney Foundation’s Southern Alberta Branch Executive Director, Joyce Van Deurzen describes the arrangement as something really special, “With the current economic situation, especially in Alberta, charities are finding it more and more difficult to get the support they so critically need. That makes it even more exciting to partner with a company like Dominion Lending Centres Mortgage Excellence that is able to think outside the box to continue to support the causes most important to them. What’s so wonderful is that kidney patients will be the real beneficiaries of this innovative new partnership.”

If you are interested in getting a kidney mortgage, please visit the kidneymortgage.ca website or call 888-594-9473 in order for The Kidney Foundation to receive the $224. 
– –

About Dominion Lending Centres Mortgage Excellence Launched in January 2006, Dominion Lending Centres is Canada’s leading national mortgage and leasing company with more than 3,000 members offering free expert advice across Canada. Dominion Lending Centres is the #1 Mortgage company in Canada, funding more than $38B in mortgages in 2015 and ranked 32nd on the 2012 annual PROFIT 200 ranking of Canada’s Fastest-Growing Companies by PROFIT Magazine

About The Kidney Foundation of Canada 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. During Kidney Health Month in March, volunteer canvassers from The Kidney Foundation will be going door-to-door to raise awareness and funds for research and programs to help people living with kidney disease.

For more information:
Dave Kelly
dkelly@dominionlending.ca
Tel: 403-394-9422
Cell: 403-331-7459

Joyce Van Deurzen, Executive Director, Southern Alberta Branch
Kidney Foundation of Canada
6007 1A Street SW, Calgary, AB T2H 0G5
Tel: 403 255 6108
Toll Free: 1 800 268 1177 ext. 26

Let’s Take the Kid out of Kidney Disease. World Kidney Day is Thursday, March 10th, 2016.
10/03/2016

Kidney disease affects 1 in 10 Canadians, including children who may be at risk at an early age. This year, World Kidney Day aims to raise awareness about the effects of kidney disease on children and its causes, ranging from acute kidney injury and infection to genetic and hereditary diseases.

The Kidney Foundation of Canada encourages parents, as well as all adults, to pay attention to the warning signs. “Since kidney disease can develop without any outward signs, blood or protein in the urine are key potential indicators. It is important to take abnormal urine tests seriously and follow up with a doctor. Early detection of kidney disease means treatment to prevent or delay progression to kidney failure is possible”, shares Dr. Julian Midgley, Paediatric Nephrologist, Alberta Children’s Hospital.

Mother of three, Evangeline Winfield Kmiec knows this all too well. After a lengthy process to determine the cause of apparent recurrent infections, her eldest son, Maximillian, was diagnosed with Alport Syndrome. He was just three years old. Alport Syndrome is a hereditary disorder affecting the kidneys. With a 50% chance for each of the children to inherit it, her daughter, Jolie, was tested. Within a year the Kmiec family learned the crushing news that both children have this lifelong, life-altering disease. Evangeline shares “after crying about it for a while, we decided it was time to get educated and find out what we could do for our children to prolong their best years and prolong their kidney function.” While devastated Evangeline recognizes the opportunity available to them by having early detection of the disease. The changes they have made, including medication, diet, exercise, and monitoring, will all work together to ensure her children have the best possible outcome for their kidney disease.

Chronic kidney disease and kidney failure are serious. Kidney disease, a diagnosis that is becoming more common, can have a profound effect on an individual and his or her family. Yet, often, it doesn't get the level of attention it deserves or requires.

Some causes of kidney disease that develop as we grow older can be modified by lifestyle choices. Genetic and hereditary causes of kidney disease, while present from birth, still benefit from early detection and treatment to try and prevent or delay chronic kidney disease in childhood. Therein lies the opportunity to take the kid out of kidney disease.

On World Kidney Day, and every day, The Kidney Foundation of Canada encourages Canadians to take these three steps for improved kidney health:

  1. Control your blood sugar level and monitor your blood pressure – diabetes and high blood pressure are the two leading causes of kidney failure.
  2. Eat well, maintain a healthy weight and be active – this can reduce risk as you lower salt intake, increase fluid intake and help prevent diabetes, heart disease and other conditions associated with kidney failure.
  3. Get your urine and kidney function checked by your healthcare provider, especially if you have one or more of the following risk factors:
  • diabetes
  • high blood pressure
  • family history of kidney disease
  • 55 years or older
  • smoker
  • obese
  • Aboriginal, Hispanic, Asian, South Asian, or African heritage
KFOC presents Kidney Education Day in Lethbridge
05/05/2015

Ever wondered about your kidneys? Or if you’re eating right and taking care of them properly? Need to know more? You and your friends/family are invited to this friendly, open, and informal atmosphere to learn more about your kidney health. All are welcome!

Join us for a set of free discussions by distinguished kidney researchers and speakers about the newest and latest in kidney disease research, care, and your kidney health. At the end of every session, there will be a chance for you to ask your questions in an approachable and welcoming atmosphere.

Light refreshments are provided and free blood pressure and blood glucose tests will be provided on site. 

Details:

Date; May 23rd, 2015

Time: 10:00am - 1:30pm

10:00am: Kidney 101 
11:15am: Nutrition and Kidney Health 
12:30pm: Exercise and Kidney Health with Dr. Morley Wong

Location: Lethbridge Lodge (Anton Ballroom)

RSVPs are requested: Mike Brodie 403-327-3635 or mike.brodie@kidneyfoundation.ab.ca

 

A new online Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) Clinical Pathway has been developed for primary care providers.
30/04/2015

The Interdisciplinary Chronic Disease Collaboration, Northern and Southern Alberta Renal Programs, Alberta Health Services and key CKD stakeholders (primary care physicians, nurses, allied health professionals and nephrologists) have developed an online CKD Clinical Pathway for primary care providers.  This pathway will assist primary care givers in the diagnosis, medical management and referral of adults with CKD in line with best practices as documented in local and national guidelines. The pathway can be accessed at www.ckdpathway.ca. It is also a great resource for patients as they are an advocate in their own health.

Kidney Disease is on the rise. Protect yourself. Spring clean your kidneys.
30/03/2014

As Kidney Health Month comes to an end and spring is around the corner, this is the perfect time to spring clean your body’s busiest cleaning machine. Your kidneys. This spring clean doesn’t require a duster or a mop. It is an opportunity to learn about your kidneys and how to take care of them for improved health.

Complex in nature, kidneys are two of the hardest working organs in the body. They are as important to your health as your heart or lungs. Their main task is to clean your blood. As blood passes through them, kidneys remove waste and excess water from your body as well as control mineral and hormone levels. When they are working, you hardly notice them. When they aren’t, you still hardly notice them.  That’s because you can lose 80% of your kidney function without any symptoms. This is dangerously close to being in kidney failure (less than 15% function); the point where you need dialysis or transplant just to survive.

The Kidney Foundation of Canada breaks the silence of this disease. As kidney disease now affects one in 10 Canadians, everyone is encouraged to take care of their kidneys.  

Three steps everyone can take to improve the health of their kidneys are:

  1. Control your blood sugar level and monitor your blood pressure – Diabetes and high blood pressure are the two leading causes of kidney failure.
  2. Eat healthy, keep your weight in check, and be active – This can reduce risk as you lower salt intake, increase fluid intake and help prevent diabetes, heart disease and other conditions associated with kidney failure.
  3. Get your kidney function checked with a simple test (available from most doctors), especially if you have one or more of the following at risk factors: 
    • Diabetes
    • High Blood Pressure
    • Family History of Kidney Disease
    • 55 years or older
    • Smoker
    • Obese
    • Aboriginal, Hispanic, Asian, South Asian, or African heritage 

The onset of kidney disease is often a progression of kidney function decreasing over time, although it can also decrease to kidney failure at an alarming rate. Getting tested and early detection are vital in the treatment of kidney disease. Early detection allows time to make changes in diet and lifestyle to preserve kidney function and delay the onset of kidney failure.

 

March is Kidney Health Month – Take Care of Your Kidneys
15/03/2014

Kidney Disease is on the rise, affecting one in 10 Canadians, but you can do something to protect yourself.

Kidneys are vital organs. They remove waste and excess water from your body and control mineral and hormone levels. Kidney disease occurs when kidney function is compromised. Most people do not know they have or are at risk of kidney disease because you can lose 80% of your kidney function without any symptoms. This is dangerously close to the point (less than 15% function) where you need dialysis or transplant just to survive.

In March, and especially on World Kidney Day (March 13th), The Kidney Foundation of Canada breaks the silence of this disease to raise awareness for kidney health and encourage everyone to take care of their kidneys. Three steps everyone can take to improve the health of their kidneys are:
1. Control your blood sugar level and monitor your blood pressure – Diabetes and high blood pressure are the two leading causes of kidney failure.
2. Eat healthy, keep your weight in check, and be active – This can reduce risk as you lower salt intake, increase fluid intake and help prevent diabetes, heart disease and other conditions associated with kidney failure.
3. Get your kidney function checked with a simple test, especially if you have one or more of the following at risk factors:
• Diabetes
• High Blood Pressure
• Family History of Kidney Disease
• 55 years or older
• Smoker
• Obese
• Aboriginal, Hispanic, Asian, South Asian, or African heritage

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 investments in research and services provided to individuals living with kidney failure have changed this diagnosis from little chance of survival to being able to lead a full and fulfilling life.

KFOC presents "Kidney Education Day"
27/02/2014

Ever wondered about your kidneys? Or if you’re eating right and taking care of them properly? Need to know more? You and your friends/family are invited to this friendly, open, and informal atmosphere to learn more about your kidney health. All are welcome!

Join us for a set of free discussions by distinguished kidney researchers and speakers about the newest and latest in kidney disease research, care, and your kidney health.
At the end of every session, there will be a chance for you to ask your questions in an approachable and welcoming atmosphere.

Come for all the discussions, or just one or two. It’s up to you!
10:00am: Kidney 101 (click here for Janice James' presentation)
11:15am: Nutrition and Kidney Health (click here for Lauren Schock's presentation and here for Sofia Ahmed's presentation)
12:30pm: Exercise and Kidney Health

Light refreshments are provided and free blood pressure and blood glucose tests will be provided on site.  Visit our event calendar for more information...

SAB - Event Calendar

 

KFOC and Bill 207, the Human Tissue and Organ Donation Amendment Act
18/12/2013

This past year, 31 people in Alberta needlessly died waiting for an organ. Of the top 12 countries ranked for organ donation, Canada sits 10th. That’s why The Kidney Foundation helped establish a coalition to lobby the Government of Alberta to make changes to the Human Organ and Tissue Donation Act. Bill 207, the Human Tissue and Organ Donation Amendment Act, proposed changes to the way organ donation is done in Alberta in an effort to drastically increase the number of organs available for transplantation.


The reasons our rates are so low are complex and multi-faceted, but we know some things for certain. We know that the problems lie in the donation and hospital systems. Countries that have overhauled the way they do organ donation at the medical systems level report great increases in their organ donation rates. Bill 207 proposed the development of a provincially coordinated Organ and Tissue Donation Agency that is well funded and accountable. The Bill included the development of an electronic Consent to Donate registry.


Bill 207 passed unanimously in November, but this is just the beginning of our work and a lot more needs to be done. The Kidney Foundation is a critical stakeholder, as nearly 80% of the people waiting for a transplant are waiting for a kidney.


This is an exciting time and we are at the forefront. The Kidney Foundation has been consulted by government, and we are actively involved in advocating for the development and implementation of the best organ and tissue donation system in Canada in order to save lives. This will be a key focus of the Foundation over the next few years.


Thanks to your support, we’ve had a long history of work on organ and tissue donation in Alberta. The Kidney Foundation provided the SEED money for the first human organ procurement program in the province. We successfully advocated for, and currently administer, the Living Organ Donor Expense Reimbursement Program (LODERP) which covers out of pocket expenses to donors of kidneys, lungs and livers. When you invest in and support the Foundation’s work in organ donation, you are making all this possible.


Organ donation not only saves lives, it returns critically ill individuals to being active and productive members of our communities. There is a tremendous opportunity to increase the number of organ transplants and with your continued support we are committed to making that happen!

Check out Kidney March on CTV News this week
07/08/2013

Source: CTV News, published Monday July 15, 2013 by Vickie Chase.

Sept 6-8, 2013, hundreds of citizens will join together to make the boldest movement ever made in the battle against kidney disease. They will lace up their walking shoes and take on the Kidney March challenge, a three day, 100 kilometer walk, from Kananaskis to Calgary. Hosted by the Kidney Foundation of Canada, Kidney March raises awareness and funds to support kidney disease research, patient support programs, and organ donation initiatives.

Kidney disease is a lifelong, irreversible illness with no cure. 80 per cent of Canadians waiting for an organ donation are in need of a kidney, and those affected is expected to double in the next ten years.

Kidney March is the only walk of this magnitude in the fight against kidney disease in North America. Participants involved, including marchers, crew members, patients, and donors are taking one step closer in the battle against kidney disease. For the millions affected by kidney disease, failure is not an option.

To find out how you can support or donate to Kidney March, along with hundreds of participants in the impactful 100 kilometer walk over three days, please visit www.kidneymarch.ca or call at 1-866-9KMARCH.

To view the original article in all its glory, you can do so here

Kidney March Team's fundraising was feautured in the Medicine Hat News
26/07/2013

Source: Medicine Hat News – published July 22 2013, by Charles Lefebvre.

 Voula Douvis has a strong motivation to take part in the 2013 Kidney March this September.

“A year ago, my daughter Christina was diagnosed with kidney disease,” she said. “Our lives have changed quite a bit.”

Christina, who is 10-years-old is now on a number of medications which affect her in different ways, and the family has to make a number of trips to the children’s hospital for regular blood tests.

The diagnosis inspired Voula to form a team with Dawn Hunt, Sonita Goehring and Lisa Perich to participate in the Kidney March from September 6-8 in Kananaskis. Douvis was out on Saturday with her team in front of Wal-Mart, holding a fundraising barbecue to raise money for the foundation leading up to the march.

 “Our goal as a team is to raise $8,800, $2,200 each,” said Douvis.

The barbecue raised $1,425 for their fundraising goal, putting them at a total of $6,430.

“I am elated, it makes me feel special that I am doing something for kidney disease research and awareness,” said Douvis. “The community in Medicine Hat is wonderful.”

Participants in the march raise money for the Kidney Foundation of Canada, and walk from Kananaskis to Calgary, a distance of 100 kilometres to raise awareness of the effects of kidney disease. Douvis says she is worried about walking the distance, but is training in the coming months for the event.

“I am really excited to do something on behalf of my daughter and show my support for the cause,” she said.

Anyone interested in donating to the team can do so online at kidneymarch.ca, and searching for Team Christina.

To view the original article in all its glory, you can do so here

Kidney Marcher shares her story in the Shawnessy Newsletter
18/07/2013

Source: Shawnee Evergreen - Published July, 2013 by Erin Birbeck.

Most people diagnosed with kidney disease the news comes as a surprise. They had little awareness of kidney disease until forced with the diagnosis. For local Shawnessy resident Shannon Guyett, this is not the case. Several generations of Shannon’s family have been affected by kidney disease, and she knows all too well the burden it creates. Watching both her grandfather and father die from kidney disease, and then being diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease (PKD) herself, Shannon was determined to change the fate of her family. Unfortunately, the fight against kidney disease for Shannon’s family did not stop with her. At age 13 her daughter Alyssa was diagnosed with the same disease that has drastically altered Shannon’s life. Seeking to help her daughter adapt to a life with kidney disease, Shannon came to The Kidney Foundation of Canada.

When Shannon heard about the foundation’s annual Kidney March, there was nothing stopping her from taking on the challenge of walking 100 kilometers, in 3 days, from K- Country to Calgary.

Shannon explains, “When you go from having full kidney function and living life to the fullest, to finding out your kidneys are only functioning at 28%, it’s an eye opener. I can delay kidney failure but will not be able to stop it.”

When you have kidney disease the fight is never over, as there is no cure. For Shannon and her family, like thousands of other Canadians, this is a reality. The number of Canadians being treated for kidney failure has tripled in the past 20 years. Eighty percent of those waiting for an organ donation are in need of a kidney.

Shannon and her daughter refuse to let kidney disease hold them back. That’s why when Shannon is asked, “What are you marching for?” she responds, “to raise awareness and funds to expand the possibility of advancements in this challenge that I face on a daily basis. Kidney March asks me to do the most I have ever done for kidney disease. That’s my commitment.”

Shannon’s can-do attitude is inspirational. She is committed to holding a BBQ every weekend in July with all funds going towards her Kidney March challenge. Shannon is confident her Shawnessy community will support her in the fight against kidney disease. She is motivated to raise awareness and funds beyond expectations by the September 6 -8th Kidney March. Local residents can drop by and support Shannon at her home BBQ every weekend this July at 533 Shawinigan Drive S.W. To find out how you can support Kidney March, or to make an online donation in support of Shannon, please visit www.kidneymarch.ca or contact us at 1-866-956-2724.

To view the original article in all its glory, you can do so here

Kidney Marcher’s fundraising is featured in the Lethbridge Herald!
03/07/2013

Source: Lethbridge Herald – Published June 29, 2013 by Simmons, Garrett.

At the age of 25, living a healthy life, the last thing Kate expected was to be diagnosed with chronic kidney disease. However, when the former Lethbridge resident experienced severe headaches that would not go away, she was shocked to learn her kidneys function had dropped to an astounding 13%. Kidney disease usually starts silently and slowly, which is why it is often referred to as the silent killer. Most patients are treated on dialysis when their kidney function reaches 15%.

Two years later, thanks to dramatic lifestyle changes and medication, Kate’s kidneys are functioning at above 20%. Kate is grateful that on some days, she almost forgets that she has kidney disease. She is dedicated to living life to the fullest, knowing that sometime in the future the investable will happen, and she will need a kidney transplant.

Kate has turned what could have been destructive news, into an opportunity to educate others, bring awareness to the disease, and give back to the kidney community. This year, Kate and her mother will participate in Kidney March for their second time. The three-day, 100 KM walk, from K-country to Calgary, benefits The Kidney Foundation of Canada, along with the two million Canadians who have kidney disease or are at risk.

“I have been very lucky to meet other inspiring people who have suffered and overcome the challenge that kidney disease brings,” said Huffman. “I look up to all of them and do this walk not only for me, but for everyone who suffers from this disease.”

In order to do the most they can do in the name of kidney disease and organ donation. They will be holding a garage sale on June 29, from 9am-4pm, at More or Less (1509 MAYOR MAGRATH S) with proceeds going towards their Kidney March challenge. Kate will also be leading a 20K training walk on June 30, at 1pm, at Henderson Lake concession stand.

To support The Kidney March, or to make an online donation in support of Huffman, visit www.kidneymarch.ca or call 1-866-956-2724.

To view the original article, you can do so here 

Kidney March is featured in the Springbank Park Newsletter
20/06/2013

Source: Springbank Park Patter - Published June 2013, by Erin Birbeck

Kidney March isn't a race, it's about doing the most you can do. What is stopping you from making a difference? On September 6 -8th, 2013 over 200 people will lace up their walking shoes to march 100 kilometers, over three days, from K-Country to Calgary, in the fourth annual Kidney March. Hosted by the Kidney Foundation of Canada, Kidney March raises awareness and funds to support kidney disease research, patient support programs, and organ donation initiatives.

Kidney disease is referred to as the “silent killer” because most people are unaware they are at risk. It is a lifelong, irreversible illness, with no cure. 80% of Canadians waiting for an organ donation are in need of a kidney, and those affected by the disease are expected to double over the next ten years. Participants involved in Kidney March, including marchers, crew members, patients, and donors are taking one step closer in the battle against kidney disease. For the millions affected by kidney disease, failure is not an option. In the past three years over $2.3 million has been raised in support of kidney disease.

Jill Goth, who will be marching for the fourth time - her 400th KM, explains her experience in the event, “The thing I love most about Kidney March is that we are all just regular people making a difference. I am not an athlete and never thought I would be able to walk 100 kilometres over three days. However, on day three when I turned the final corner onto Springbank Road the feeling of accomplishment and exhilaration was life changing.”

To find out how you can support or donate to Kidney March, along with hundreds of participants in the impactful 100 kilometer walk over three days, please visit www.kidneymarch.ca or call at 1-866-956-2724.

 

Press Release: Funding for Alport Syndrome research was initiated by Calgary family
20/06/2013

Phoenix, Arizona, May 23, 2013 – The Kidney Foundation of Canada (KFOC)/Macquarie Research Fund and the The Alport Syndrome Foundation (ASF) are pleased to announce that they have awarded nearly $200,000 in joint funding for two Alport Syndrome research projects in 2013 -2014. “We are very pleased to jointly fund these studies,” said Wim Wolfs, National Director of Research for KFOC.”  “We hope to generate new knowledge that can lead to treatment and eventually a cure for Alport Syndrome.”

“Partnering with KFOC represents a groundbreaking and exciting step in international collaboration on the funding of Alport Syndrome research,” said Sharon Lagas, President, ASF. “ASF and KFOC hope that these joint efforts will lead the way for future collaborations with other Alport Syndrome organizations across the globe.”

KFOC/Macquarie and ASF will jointly fund researchers in Germany and Australia. Dr. Oliver Gross of the University Medical Center Gottingen (Germany) was awarded $98,500 for a one year study that will evaluate anti microRNA-21 in reducing renal scarring and promoting kidney function in Alport patients.

Dr. Judy Savige of the University of Melbourne and Dr. Sharon Ricardo of Monash University (Australia) were awarded $98,600 for a one year study that will use reprogrammed adult stem cells from Alport patients to generate kidney cells where they can evaluate the disease mutation and investigate potential treatments. 

Kidney Marchers' Bill and Michelle Nadraszky share their community support!
18/06/2013

Source - Airdrie City View, published May 30, 2013 by Allison Chorney/Rocky View Publishing.

The community of Prairie Springs will be raising funds June 1, for a local family who is participating in the Kidney March in September on behalf of their daughter, who has kidney disease. The neighbourhood will be hosting the inaugural Prairie Springs Garage Sale Parade from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. throughout the community.

“We thought as a community, if we could help out a family in need we would,” said event organizer Tracey Tremblay.

Taylor Nadraszky, 13, suffers from nephronophthisis, a disorder of the kidneys that will eventually result in kidney failure and the need for transplant. Nephronophthisis is a rare genetic condition that is the result of inheriting the recessive gene from both parents who are carriers of the gene. When Taylor was diagnosed with the disease in November of 2011, her kidneys were functioning at 44 per cent. A mere 10 months later, her kidney function had reduced to 29 per cent. Kidney failure occurs at 15 per cent functioning. Taylor’s condition is a chronic illness and the Nadraszky’s take things one day at a time.

Tremblay said the event will include help from local children, who will be selling lemonade and hand-draw pictures with the funds going to Michelle and Bill Nadraszky’s efforts in the Kidney March.The event will also include the chance to win gift baskets full of products and vouchers including Norwex products, hair products, a family photography session and a gym pass.

“The Nadraszky family doesn’t live in Prairie Springs but Airdrie is a pretty tight community,” Tremblay said.

She added once a community member made her aware of the Nadraszky’s situation and participation in the Kidney March, she started thinking of ways the neighbourhood could help.

The event was originally planned to be a raffle for the gift baskets but Tremblay said so many people showed interest in becoming involved it became a big community-wide garage sale. At the time of press, Tremblay said about 20 homes had registered to participate in the garage sale.

“With the baskets and the local kids helping out, I think we’ll be able to raise a lot of money,” she said.

Both Michelle and Bill Nadraszky need to raise a minimum of $2,200 to participate in the three-day, 100-kilometre walk, which raises funds for the Canadian Kidney Foundation.

“This is great,” Bill Nadraszky said. “I am looking forward to helping out and really excited and thankful that the Prairie Springs Community garage sale will be helping to raise funds for our cause.”

“The whole town of Airdrie has been amazing,” Michelle Nadraszky said, “residents, businesses, everyone. Complete strangers have offered to help us.”

Any items not sold at the garage sale will be picked up on June 2 and donated to charity, thanks to business sponsors such as Bates Mortgages and Airdrie Upcycle.

To view the original article in all its glory, you can do so Here

The Kidney Foundation of Canada and Kidney March were recently featured in the Calgary Hearld
18/06/2013

Source: Calgary Hearld Neighbours The Community Weekly - Published June 13, 2013 by Paula Trotter

Michelle and Jason Hofer erupt into laughter when asked if they have a close relationship. The two joke back and forth about not being able to choose our siblings before Jason tells Michelle that she’s stuck with him for a brother — and you get the sense that she is more than OK with that.

“You never think you’ll lose somebody and thankfully we haven’t lost Jason,” says Michelle, 29, the younger of the two. “Still, it’s hard.”

Jason suffers from kidney failure and is awaiting his chance at a second organ transplant. Both siblings were diagnosed with Alport syndrome, a hereditary kidney disease, when they were kids. Their mom also has Alport syndrome, but is in stable condition. The illness, however, started shutting down Jason’s kidneys when he was 16.

“It’s definitely not fair,” Michelle says of the disease that has left her with very minor symptoms to date, but has turned her brother’s life upside down. At 24, Jason suffered renal failure. He has been on dialysis for the past eight years and currently goes for dialysis three times a week, spending four hours hooked up to a machine that removes waste and excess fluid from his blood.One of his uncles donated a kidney in 2006, but Jason’s body rejected it, despite a year’s effort to try to save the organ with trips to the hospital and medication.The drugs caused avascular necrosis, which killed the bone tissue in Jason’s hips and shoulders. At 27, he underwent his first hip replacement. His other hip was replaced a year later and his shoulder joint was replaced in between the surgeries on his hips.

“You only have two options:deal with it or don’t. And not dealing with it really isn’t much of an option,” he says.

Once a promising young hockey player, Jason, 31, now has to limit his physical activity in the hope of extending the lifespan of his artificial joints, which is why his doctor recommended that Jason not participate in the annual Kidney March this fall. So Michelle stepped up and will complete the three-day, 100-kilometre trek through Kananaskis to raise awareness for organ donation and money for the Kidney Foundation of Canada.

“He’s my big brother — he’s always been there for me,” she says. “Now it’s my turn to be there for him.”

The Kidney March kicks off Sept. 6 south of Calgary near Millarville, with participants walking about 30 kilometres each day, making their way toward the finish line at Canada Olympic Park in Calgary. Michelle has raised $1,600 so far, just past the halfway mark for the $2,200 that all participants are required to raise (her goal is $3,000). Jason has also raised an impressive $4,600 in a short amount of time. He will be volunteering at the Kidney March as a crew member so he can be on site to offer encouragement to his little sister.

“She’s doing this for me, so I’m going to be there for her.” She and her brother are most eager to raise awareness and money to fight back against a disease that has greatly affected their family — and countless other Canadians. According to the Kidney Foundation of Canada, one in 10 Canadians has kidney disease and many more are at risk. This adds up to roughly 2.6 million Canadians. Kidney failure can be fatal without intensive treatment — ongoing dialysis or a successful organ transplant.

 

March is Kidney Month! Come to our free Kidney Health Screening Clinics!
19/02/2013

1 in 10 Canadians has kidney disease.  A million more are at risk.

The Kidney Foundation of Canada, Southern Alberta Branch, in partnership with Immigrant Services Calgary, will be holding targeted screening events to raise Chronic Kidney Disease Awareness.

The main objective of these screening events is to assist at-risk groups and vulnerable populations to become informed and aware of kidney disease and diabetes and committed to managing their health. Screening for kidney disease can prevent kidney failure. 

These free kidney health screening clinics are for people with at least one of the following risk factors:

  • People of Aboriginal, Hispanic, Asian, South Asian and African descent
  • People over the age of 55
  • People who are overweight
  • People who have diabetes
  • People who have high blood pressure
  • People who smoke
  • People who have a family history of kidney disease

These free kidney screenings clinics will be taking place by appointment on:

March 23rd - Genesis Centre, 10am-4pm

March 26th - Immigrant Services Calgary, 10am-4pm

March 27th - Immigrant Services Calgary, 10am-4pm

To book an appointment, please contact Vincent Vong at the Kidney Foundation of Canada at 403-255-6108 ext. 38. For more information on kidney health please visit www.kidney.ca

 

 

 

Press Release: 250 people to be honoured at closing ceremony for raising over $636,000 and awareness for Kidney Disease and Organ Donation
11/09/2012

Calgary, September 9, 2012 – Please join us for the Closing Ceremony of Kidney March 2012. The only walk of its kind in Canada, this Calgary born initiative, is the most powerful kidney event of the year. Over the week end, more than 250 people came together, walked 100 kilometers over three days, and raised awareness for Kidney Disease and Organ Donation. Among the participants are folks living with kidney disease, their family and friends; members of the renal medical profession; organ transplant recipients and donors; and others who also have a heart for the cause. In fact, the first walker to check into camp each day is a kidney transplant recipient. Each day, he has been getting out there and doing the most he can do for kidney disease. The Closing Ceremony is a meaningful yet light hearted thank you for him and the hundreds who took over 633,600 steps this week end.

In its first 2 years Kidney March raised $1.6 million dollars.  With Kidney Disease on the rise in Canada, prevention, support, and research funding are critical.  Therefore, Kidney March 2012 has an aggressive go of $1 million dollars. To date the walk has raised just over 50% of its goal. Fundraising for the walk is open until October 8, 2012.  For more information or to donate people can go to www.kidneymarch.ca or call 1-866-9KMARCH. Support for people living with Kidney Disease and research into better treatment and a cure are vital.  Kidney March raises funds for both. That is why it is such a critical fundraiser for The Kidney Foundation of Canada, ensuring the organization can continue helping those who need it.

 

Press Release: 250 people have taken to the streets of Calgary to make noise for Kidney Disease, the silent killer
11/09/2012

In brief: Kidney disease is a leading cause of death in Canada. It is called the silent killer for a reason - by the time you know you have it; it’s often too late. This week end, Kidney March marchers will walk 100 kilometres, spend two nights in a tent and raise a minimum of $2,200 each, to make noise for Kidney Disease.

Calgary, September 7, 2012 – This morning 250 people took to the streets of Calgary and area in the 3rd annual epic Kidney March to make noise for Kidney Disease, the silent killer. Kidney Disease is called the silent killer for a reason - by the time you know you have it; it’s often too late.

The opening ceremony occurred at 7:30 a.m. at Millarville Race Track.  In the crisp morning sunshine, marchers and crew warmed up and then took to Hwy 22.  Today, they will walk most of the distance between Millarville and Bragg Creek.  Tomorrow they will walk from Kananaskis into Bragg Creek.  And on Sunday, they will walk from Bragg Creek to Canada Olympic Park for the closing ceremony.

Over the week end, Kidney March participants will walk over 633, 600 steps and 100 kilometers to raise awareness and funds for Kidney Disease and Organ Donation. Among the participants are folks living with Kidney Disease, their family and friends; members of the renal medical profession; organ transplant recipients and donors; and others who also have a heart for the cause.

To date the walk has raised over 50% of its one million dollar goal. Support for people living with Kidney Disease and research into better treatment and a cure are vital.  Kidney March raises funds for both and that is why it is such a critical fundraiser for The Kidney Foundation of Canada, ensuring the organization can continue helping those who need it.

The Kidney Foundation of Canada and Kidney March were recently featured on Global Calgary.
30/08/2012

 
In a story that featured Kidney Disease and our annual fundraising movement, Kidney March, Justin LeRoux shares how the disease impacts him and how he gives back by taking part in the 100 km, 3 day walk.

Click here to view the video.  Feel free to share it with your family and friends to show them why the March is so critical.

 

Payner Poker Run raises $5,500 for Kidney Research
21/08/2012

In June 2012, the 2nd Annual Payner Poker Run saw huge success and raised over $7,500 for the Kidney Foundation. The fun day started off in Okotoks, headed over to Strathmore, rode through Mossleigh, Turner Valley and finished back in Okotoks. After the Poker Run, everyone basked in celebration mode with a little live music, a silent auction, some great eats and some optional camping.

The Payner Poker Run takes place in memory of Steve Payne, who lost his battle with Kidney Disease in October 2009, Steve, who organized the Turner Valley Show and Shine for seven years was no stranger to philanthropy since all proceeds of the events he coordinated were all donated to local charity. This ride is for him, his courageous nature and is held in his honour as a way to keep his caring and giving legacy alive.

Many thanks to all involved in this event -- it was a huge success because of your hard work and dedication.

Bo’diddlys 3rd Annual Show & Shine a Smokin’ Success!
21/08/2012

For the third consecutive year in a row, the staff at the Lethbridge Bo’diddly’s Pub & Grill have organized an incredibly fun summertime event that continues to grow and attract newcomers each and every year.
 
This year marks special reason to celebrate – the group raised an all time high of just under $2,000! Thanks to a great day filled with a charity barbeque, several classes of competitions for the automobiles and a truly successful silent auction, the Bo’diddly’s staff have brought awareness to the fight against kidney disease and given huge support to the programs and research we strive to fund.

Huge Congrats and thanks! Your support means the world to us!

Kidney Marcher Rick Chin wins contest for once in a life time experience while taking part in the experience of a life time
21/08/2012

Rick Chin, an analyst for Kidney and Chronic Disease Research in the department of medicine at the University of Calgary, responded to the Banff Lake Louise Tourism Big Mountain Challenge question "how would you prepare to hike three mountains in one week" with this photo and caption "by singing show tunes to keep the bears away". Out of 719 entries, Rick's entry climbed to the top given the number of likes it received and the vote of the judges.

In winning, Rick will summit Sulphur, Temple and Cascade Mountains.  The hikes take place over a week; and to make this a truly once in a life time experience, he will stay eight nights at two beautiful area hotels and be treated to spa treatments and a certified mountain guide.  Upon completion Rick will earn $15,000 for his charity of choice, The Kidney Foundation of Canada (thanks to Banff Lake Louise Tourism).

In working in nephrology research Rick has learned a lot about kidney disease.   He shares that up until a few years ago he, like many, knew very little about the disease or the effects of kidney failure.  Now he recognizes the seriousness of it, plus its impact on the life of the patient and his/her family and friends.  He is thrilled to be able to win this money for The Kidney Foundation, and to help give kidney disease the platform and attention it deserves.

Hiking approximately 3800 metres in elevation gain would be considered enough of a commitment to a cause by most.  But Rick is taking it one step further.  He is personally fundraising an additional $5,000 for The Foundation, which will be matched by Banff Lake Louise Tourism.  And, less than 2 weeks after summiting the final mountain, he’ll walk 100 kms in 3 days in the third annual Kidney March.

Kidney March will be an experience of a life time for Rick.  He will marry together the purpose of his work, the drive of his fund raising and the challenge of the event while walking alongside those who are personally impacted by the disease.  Kidney March is a united front standing against kidney disease and in support of those living with it.  Living with kidney disease can feel so isolating (life is more about dialysis, needles, mediation, and special diets).  On September 7, 8 and 9 Rick and his fellow marchers will have an opportunity to share in each other's journey as they walk from K-country to Calgary; journeys that include being newly diagnosed, on dialysis, in receipt of a transplant or supporting those living with kidney disease.

We at the Kidney Foundation thank Rick... for all he has done and for all he will do!  Thank you!

Visit www.kidneymarch.ca for more information on Kidney March.

Public Service Announcement: Silent killer is Making Noise in Calgary this Summer
20/08/2012

Kidney disease is a leading cause of death in Canada. It is called the silent killer for a reason - by the time you know you have it; it’s often too late. This summer, The Kidney Foundation is making noise with the event of the year – Kidney March. A Calgary-born initiative (to raise awareness and funds), it is the only walk like it in Canada.

From September 7th - 9th, hundreds of people will join together -walking from Kananaskis to Calgary. As a kidney crisis looms, this event asks participants to do the most they have ever done for kidney disease. The time is now. Daily, 1 in 16 Canadians learn their kidneys have failed.  And the number of people at risk of kidney disease is expected to double nationally in the next 10 years.

With over 200 participants already registered, Kidney March is looking for another 100 people to join them and ensure the event’s success.  For more information or to register, visit kidneymarch.ca or
866-9 KMARCH. Kidney March raises funds for kidney disease prevention, services, research and organ donation.

Press Release: Kidney Patients Kick Off Kidney March
20/08/2012

May 31, 2012

In Brief: Kidney March, the most powerful kidney event of the year, asks participants to do the most they have ever done for kidney disease and organ donation. Not wanting to just watch the event unfold, kidney dialysis patients are getting involved. Some are able to walk in the March, making special arrangements for dialysis while en route or in camp. For those who are not able to, there is the Kidney March Patient Program. Highlighting 100 days to Kidney March, the Patient Program kicks off on May 31 at dialysis centres throughout Calgary and southern Alberta. And in the next 100 days, participating patients will be encouraged to bike (intra-dialytic) and/or do other types of exercise at home to the equivalent of walking the same 100 kilometer distance.

To read the full press release click here.

Press Release: Share your organ donation wishes with your family
20/08/2012

May 7, 2012

In brief: The Kidney Foundation’s Southern Alberta Branch reminds Albertans that registering is one step in making your intent known. Most importantly, you need to share your organ donation wishes with your family as they will be asked for consent in the event of your death.

To read the full press release click here.

Press Release: Using Facebook to save lives
20/08/2012

May 3, 2012

In brief: In response to Facebook’s announcement that you can now add organ donation as a life event, The Kidney Foundation’s Southern Alberta Branch reminds Albertans that registering is one step in making your intent known. Most importantly, you need to share your organ donation wishes with your family as they will be asked for consent in the event of your death.

To read the full press release click here.

 

 

Southern Alberta Branch - 6007 1A Street SW, Calgary AB T2H 0G5 - Tel.: (403) 255-6108 / 1-800-268-1177  
Charitable Registration Number: 107567398RR0001