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Liz's Story

She left a legacy of love and giving back that I’m doing my best to live up to every day.
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. 

My mom was a wonderful person. She was a woman ahead of her time, having the good fortune to go to McGill University in Montreal, where she studied dietetics, home economics, and education. She also helped my dad with his business, took care of the house and our family, and still managed to find time to volunteer. 

Growing up I was a happy, outgoing kid but by the time I reached my teens, I’d become painfully shy and insecure. Then I met a girl in my high school art class who pretty much changed my life. She suggested that I take the same modelling course that she had taken. My mom agreed, thinking that it would give me a boost of confidence. She was right!

I learned how to do my hair and makeup, how to dress, how to walk with my head up and my shoulders back. Before long, I was doing some modelling, which led to TV commercials and voiceover work, and eventually a full-fledged acting career.

When my mom came to visit in January of 2000, I saw that she looked quite ill. She was never one to complain when she was sick, but this time I could see something was wrong. I took her to see the doctor back home and they quickly figured out that she was having problems with her kidneys and put her on dialysis. 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.

Dialysis affects your entire life and the lives of your loved ones. Mom embraced that change. When it became evident that my mother couldn’t travel anymore, we moved her to long-term care. I’d visit every two weeks, taking the first train out and the last train home. During my visits I’d watch her energy gradually drain away. 

My mom passed away peacefully in her sleep. She left a legacy of love and giving back that I’m doing my best to live up to every day.

Today, at 66, I’m still acting and still loving it. I continue to live carefully and simply so that I can share my relative abundance with others through a gift in my will to The Kidney Foundation of Canada. 

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.