The Kidney Foundation of Canada
Check out this video from our respected charity The Kidney Foundation of Canada.
Click to see video transcript
The Kidney Foundation of Canada seeks to improve the quality of life for nephrology patients through innovative research and also trying to provide programs and supports to best service patients and family members and improve their quality of life.
When I was four years old, I was diagnosed with diabetes. With diabetes come complications. 1995 I was told I had kidney disease and I needed to look for a living related donor. In 1997, I received a double transplant – a kidney and a pancreas – after being on peritoneal dialysis for one year.
And with that anti-rejection medication, you can develop cancer, and I think that was the hardest thing for me to deal with, because I thought, you know, I’ve been through dialysis, I’ve been through hemo, I’ve been through peritoneal, really, do I need cancer?
Living with kidney disease has a significant impact on the overall household income. There’s a significant portion of patients who are unable to work, based on their health. Compounded by that is the frequency of their need to attend dialysis treatments, which makes it sometimes very difficult for them to maintain their jobs.
The year I was on peritoneal dialysis was very hard, because I was working and I was doing this four times a day. We didn’t have a life. You speak to my husband, it would basically be a year of survival. I had to do my blood tests, take my insulin. If I wasn’t doing one of those two things or working, I slept 24/7.
Weekends we didn’t go out, we didn’t have a social life.
For many patients who are doing peritoneal dialysis, they need to closely monitor their blood pressure every single day. Some of our patients just unfortunately are unable to purchase a blood pressure machine. And so being able to give that to somebody to keep them independent, at home, and not at a hospital-based therapy, has shown to be quite powerful and important to patients to maintain their sense of independence.
I’ve received patient manuals, I’ve received one-to-one peer support, I’ve received patient support groups, where I could go and speak to other people involved.
Some of those programs are through Kidney Connect. It’s an opportunity for patients and family members, or transplant candidates, to be able to call and get information about some of the service and supports within their community, but it’s also a chance for them to be able to talk to somebody else who has gone through the process.
Without funds, you can’t run an organisation, you can’t make an organisation successful.
Without the financial support from Federated Health Charities, we wouldn’t be able to help patients and family members who are going through and exceedingly vulnerable time in their lives.
This is usually their last resort, where they have exhausted every other system in the world, there’s no one else to turn to to try and support them.
Without the Kidney Foundation, I don’t think I’d be as strong as I am today. It’s almost like a second family; they know everything about me, they’ve been there through my cancer journey, they’ve been there through dialysis.
Being in this field, we have enormous sense of compassion and understanding for what patients and family members go through, and it’s one way for us to feel that we’re actually contributing and making a difference in someone else’s lives.
The Kidney Foundation has helped me in my time of need. I feel it’s very important to give back to the Kidney Foundation, so that I can help others as they have helped me.
Federated Health Charities
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