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Bob’s Story

They gave me a second chance in life.
Bob is one of the thousands of Canadians who has benefited from short-term financial assistance from The Kidney Foundation. He says the Foundation “stepped up to the plate” to offer support at a difficult time when his kidneys were failing.

“They gave me my life back,” Bob says, on the help he received from The Kidney Foundation that enabled him to take part in a home dialysis training program. “I couldn’t ask for anything more. They gave me a second chance in life.”

Bob discovered he had polycystic kidney disease (PKD) in 2009. The long-time truck driver was too sick to continue his work and money was tight. When his kidney function dropped to just seven per cent, it was vital that he begin dialysis. There was no dialysis centre in his community, and he could not afford to travel to Calgary for treatments. Home hemodialysis was his best option, but it would mean passing a certification course in Calgary. He would need to make a 100km return trip every day for six weeks to get the training he needed.

“I wouldn’t have been able to do the course because I couldn’t afford the travel to get there,” he says. “The Foundation covered the cost of the transportation service. They picked me up at 6:30 in the morning and brought me back home at 6:30 at night.”

During the first part of the program, there was a setback. Bob was rushed to hospital with what appeared to be a heart attack. It turned out to be a false alarm - he was suffering from anxiety. By then, he had missed the first two weeks of training. The Kidney Foundation was there to help him out, he recalls, by extending the funding for his transportation service to accommodate his illness. At a time when he felt weakened by poor health and money was tight, “the financial assistance from The Kidney Foundation helped me get back on track.”

Today, Bob is continuing home hemodialysis treatments. He is working to raise awareness of kidney disease and has become an advocate for Canadians on dialysis. He believes the short-term assistance he received through The Kidney Foundation has led to long-term benefits. He is now better able to shoulder the economic burden of kidney disease and manage his health.

(Article by Heidi Westfield)