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Donors enable The Kidney Foundation to fund medical research and support patients.Getty Images

Donor support helps The Kidney Foundation fund world-class research

It took a life-changing event for Sylvie Charbonneau, a member of the board of The Kidney Foundation, to realize just how important funding is to medical research and patient support.

Her son, Benoit, then in his mid-20s, was diagnosed with a degenerative kidney disease and faced a future on dialysis before a kidney transplant.

“That’s when I realized just how much we would do to save our children’s lives,” she says. “Without a second thought, I offered up one of my kidneys and was accepted as a donor. It helped him regain his health, good spirits and joie de vivre.”

The episode made Ms. Charbonneau realize the importance of medical research and support for patients.

“Conducting research requires substantial funding that is all too often lacking,” she says. “Activities such as The Kidney Foundation’s annual Kidney Walk help raise funds for research, patients and their loved ones. In concrete terms, the money is used to change lives for the better. Without the research that has been carried out over the past 50 years, my son’s diagnosis would have been a death sentence.”

Award-winning Canadian actress Liz MacRae watched her mother’s health deteriorate due to kidney disease and became a passionate supporter of The Kidney Foundation, raising over $167,000 for the organization.

“We all want our lives to have meaning. We all want to feel appreciated and loved. My mom’s life was all of that, and now I’m doing my best to follow her loving example,” says Ms. MacRae.

Caring for her mother during her illness was challenging.

“The closest centre that could handle all of mom’s medical needs was quite a distance away. That meant driving for several hours, three to five times a week, as well as sitting for hours in the dialysis clinic,” she says.

While her mother embraced the changes in her life, there was little doubt that they affected her and all her loved ones, adds Ms. MacRae, who shares that her mother eventually passed away peacefully in her sleep.

“She left a legacy of love and giving back, and that’s what I’m doing my best to live up to every day,” says Ms. MacRae.

In honour of her mother, Ms. MacRae has left a gift in her will to The Kidney Foundation.

“I’m thrilled to be able to make the gift of a lifetime to The Kidney Foundation. A gift of substance. A gift of loving and caring for other people. The gift in my will, in honour of my mother, is one of the most meaningful things I’ve ever done in my life,” she says.

The Kidney Foundation supports research focused on improving outcomes for people living with kidney disease. Donor support has helped to build capacity for world-class kidney research. The foundation leverages additional research funding available from institutional partners to achieve an even greater impact for those living with kidney disease.


Advertising feature produced by Randall Anthony Communications. The Globe’s editorial department was not involved.

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