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Gilles' Story

Today, I feel at peace

My name is Gilles Guindon, and I’m 54 years old. I’ve been married for 30 years and I have a son, Olivier. Over the course of my professional career, I’ve held various management positions. In December 2018, the life I knew was turned upside down. That’s when I walked into a hemodialysis centre for the first time for my first treatment.

For me, it was the end of a life of excess, of a pace of life that I hadn’t been enjoying for years. Sometimes, life forces us to stop running so we can learn to just walk again. Walk more slowly and take in the surroundings.

Since the onset of my kidney failure, my greatest journey has been an inner journey. I wanted this life challenge to have meaning. So one day, I asked a psychologist for the support I needed to understand what I was going through. This “spring cleaning” did me good and made me the person I am today. Since then, I’ve been taking the ups and downs of my situation with resilience and most importantly, one day at a time.

I’ve been waiting for a kidney for over four years now. In the meantime, I’ve decided to enjoy life and pursue the fabulous path of self-realization. Two years ago, I went back to school. I’m currently doing a bachelor’s degree in education at Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM). Ever since, I’ve gotten a lot of support from family and friends.

I was also fortunate enough to be supported by The Kidney Foundation. I had the privilege of receiving a scholarship to help me along in my academic career. I must admit that I was immensely proud to accept this significant gesture of encouragement.

Today, I feel AT PEACE, supported not only by my friends and family, but also by a dedicated team at the Foundation.

I am AT PEACE because I can realize my dreams and chart my course without worrying about how to juggle my studies with my treatments.

I am AT PEACE because, ultimately, I feel at one with myself.

We invite you to discover more lived experiences and to learn how The Kidney Foundation is with you.