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Sep 14, 2023

Thank you to our National Volunteer Award Recipients

The Kidney Foundation of Canada would not be the robust organization that it is today without the outstanding contributions of our community. Our kidney programs, research funding, and so much more are made possible by those individuals and groups who believe in our mission.

While most of this year’s Volunteer Recognition Awards have already been presented, more will follow later this year. Therefore, this list is not comprehensive.

Congratulations to the following volunteers or group of volunteers who were recognized:

Norm and Betty Mayer: National Fund Development Award
They have been strong supporters of the Foundation and the Camrose Kidney Walk for years. This past year, they aimed to increase donations by committing to match up to $25,000 in donations. The walk successfully raised over $53,000 thanks to their contributions.

Can-SOLVE CKD: John B. Dossetor Research Award
For exceptional work in supporting patient-oriented research in kidney disease in Canada. The network has been instrumental in developing resources to support the integration of lived experience and Indigenous cultural competency into kidney research.

Sylvie Charbonneau: Harold W. Ashenmil Award
For her ongoing commitment and service as a volunteer leader, starting as a Branch President and board member in Quebec, then as a member of the National Board since 2016, National Vice President, and most recently, completed a three-year term as National President. In addition to her direct Kidney Foundation activities, she has managed to find time to train and to compete in two Transplant Olympic Games, as a kidney donor, winning medals in several swimming and track events.

Joanne Kappel: Lifetime Achievement Award
Dr. Joanne Kappel has had a profound impact on the Foundation. Joanne’s involvement with the Kidney Foundation of Canada began back in 1994 and over nearly 30 years. Some of her most impactful work with the Foundation has been done through working directly with patients, family members and other kidney health professionals, mainly through her long-term engagement with the National Programs and Public Policy Committee. She was chair of that committee from 2011 to 2022.

Michael Mastronardi: Lifetime Achievement Award
From the very beginning of his journey with the Foundation, starting all the way back in 1979 when the Windsor Chapter of The Kidney Foundation was formed, Mike has been an active member, contributor, and supporter of the Foundation.  His volunteer work extends not just to participating in Chapter events, but also organizing, recruiting, and fundraising for the annual Kidney Walks. The Kidney Foundation of Canada is proud to recognize the over 40 years of commitment from Michael.

Julian Midgley: Lifetime Achievement Award
In 1991, Julian was elected to serve on the Southern Alberta Branch’s Board of Directors and has continuously volunteered for the Foundation ever since. He has served as the Southern Alberta Branch President, Past President, and also as the National President, and National Past President.  Julian is an ambassador for The Kidney Foundation in every way and at every opportunity. He was among the first to register and commit to the first Kidney March in 2010 and has been the first Marcher to register each year since, for a total of 13.

Greg Robbins: Lifetime Achievement Award
Greg’s connection with kidney disease and his involvement with The Foundation started back in 1973 through his wife Susan who was on hemodialysis for 32 years and then received a kidney from Greg in 2005. After her passing in 2010, Greg continued with his passion and commitment to make the future a better place for those living with kidney disease. He has been a board member in Hamilton and Edmonton, and founded the Sarnia Chapter. He was Ontario Branch President for two cycles and has served on the National Board since 2015, including as President.

PEI Provincial Renal Social Workers: Mary Lou Karley Patient Services Award
Presented to the three renal social workers at the Provincial Renal Program, on Prince Edward Island: Dawn Frizzell, Dianne Levesque, and Julie MacPhee. They been long-time advocates of patient services issues and have contributed to a multitude of meaningful Foundation program development and delivery activities, including educational activities held on World Kidney Day. Dawn, Dianne, and Julie are responsible for providing renal services to 2,000 Island kidney patients in four renal clinics across PEI. While doing so, they have increased awareness of kidney events, thereby increasing revenue and patient and staff participation.

Scott Purdie: Public Awareness Award
As a dedicated volunteer for the Kidney Walk in Nova Scotia, Scott planned and produced all of the local public service announcements for the event, as well as providing on-location radio hosting duties. Scott upholds the values of community and diversity in countless ways. Annually, he connects with the Director of the Membertou Heritage Park to invite him to perform a ceremonial blessing before the Kidney Walk. He demonstrates time and time again in words and actions that there is untold value to be found in one’s community.

Lauren & Janie Noël: Young Philanthropist Award
These philanthropic sisters created a candle company with a conscience so they could give back to the community in many ways. Since Lauren is a two-time kidney transplant recipient, this is a cause near and dear to their hearts. They chose to donate 2% of every sale to The Kidney Foundation. To date, Lauren and her sister Janie have donated $4,000 through their business. Lauren and Janie continue to raise public awareness of kidney disease by engaging with individuals across their social media channels - including an Instagram following of nearly 7,000.

Andrey Cybulsky: Medal for Research Excellence
Using the most current basic science paradigms and advanced technologies, Dr. Cybulsky has built a broad integrated picture of the cell biology of the podocyte. His work has contributed greatly to the understanding of the pathogenesis of human glomerular diseases.

Employees of the Foundation were also recognized for their exceptional contributions:

Deborah Tucker: Circle of Excellence Award
In 2020, Deborah developed a vision for what would become the Kidney Wellness Hub. Her initial vision managed to secure $360,000 in funding from the Ministry of Health for the British Columbia & Yukon Branch in 2021 for phase 1 of the Kidney Wellness Hub. Within 18 months, Deborah and her team were able to conceptualize, execute, and realize her vision of the Kidney Wellness Hub.

One Foundation, One Office Quebec/National Office Relocation Team: Special Appreciation Award
Working group members were recipients of a Special Appreciation Award. Team members are Lyzianne Gagnon, Teresa Havill, Francine Labelle, Carole Larouche, Jade Lazure, Catherine Legault, Gaby Theriault and Ken Yuen.

The Kidney Foundation of Canada congratulates all of our award recipients and thanks them for helping with fundraisers, awareness campaigns, and the development of programs and patient services.

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