Our Volunteers

Volunteer Thank You_Meet Our Volunteers

Meet Kidney Foundation volunteer, Joyce!

Joyce supports our Northern Superior Chapter as a peer support volunteer among many other roles! Thank you, Joyce!

How did you first get involved with The Kidney Foundation as a volunteer?

I have been a chronic kidney disease patient for about 15 years. I was on hemodialysis for nine years and received my kidney transplant three and a half years ago when I attended my local Kidney Peer Support Group. After my transplant, I became a facilitator for the group. I then started volunteer with other events for The Kidney Foundation.

Why did you choose to volunteer in this way?

I chose the Kidney Peer Support Group because I felt I had a lot of experience in this area and felt I had a lot to offer to kidney patients going down the same path.

How do you feel your volunteerism impacts our diverse kidney community?

Anyone can be affected by kidney disease. We all suffer the same way. My goal is to help anyone I can to get through their renal journey a little easier.

What is your most memorable experience volunteering?

This experience took place at a support group meeting. This person had recently been diagnosed as pre-dialysis. Mid-meeting, this person began to cry. We were very concerned at first. However, they were tears of joy. This person thought that their life was over, but after listening to us talking together, they realized that life could still be good, just a little different. After this experience, I know I could make a difference volunteering with this group and I felt fulfilled at the same time.

I have found great fulfillment through my volunteering with The Kidney Foundation and would encourage others to try it.

 

Meet Kidney Foundation Volunteer, David!

David makes a tremendous impact in his community by volunteering with our London Chapter team! Thank you, David!

How do you feel your volunteerism impacts our diverse kidney community?

I feel that my volunteerism has an impact because I trust we have made a difference for those in need of services.

Why would you encourage someone else to volunteer with The Kidney Foundation?

Ultimately, I would encourage someone else to volunteer with The Foundation because all of us require health care. It is in our own best interest to be proactive with community fundraising.

What are your current roles with The Foundation?

I am currently participating in London’s Celebrity Men in a Fashion Event which happens in the fall. For me, the most memorable part of volunteering with The Foundation is the opportunity to meet wonderful people from across our London community.

 

Meet Kidney Foundation Volunteer, Pauline!

Pauline is part of our Volunteer-Lead Brampton Chapter team! Thank you, Pauline!

How do you feel your volunteers impact our diverse kidney community?

I feel our volunteers positively impact our diverse kidney community by being there as peer support workers, nurses, transplant patients or family members. With the knowledge of our Brampton Chapter, the impact towards our kidney community is well rounded to give the best support to all.

In which ways do your volunteers aide your community?

Our volunteers aid our community by assisting in organizing activities for the kidney community. The activity we have done in Brampton in our annual Kidney Walk. We are hoping to organize other events to bring the kidney community and their families together.

What message of appreciation do you have to share with your volunteers?

I would like to express my sincere thanks to all who have been a part of the Brampton Chapter of The Kidney Foundation since its infancy. With all your time, energy and hard work that you have devoted to our Chapter, we are building something great for our kidney community.

Why would you encourage someone else to volunteer with The Kidney Foundation?

I would encourage people to volunteer with The Kidney Foundation as it brings a community together. The knowledge that one can gain for your own health and family can benefit your life at the same time helping your community. It is extremely fulfilling knowing you are making a difference in the lives of others.

What is your most memorable experience from volunteering?

My most memorable moment engaging with volunteers would be at our annual Kidney Walks. Each walk is special. You get to speak with student volunteers and get them excited, converse with patients and their families. It’s always nice to see the kidney patients enjoy a relaxed and carefree day out with their friends and family.

Meet Kidney Foundation Volunteer, Pat!

How did you first become involved as a volunteer with The Kidney Foundation?

Following my retirement from the educational field, I was seeking a more community-focused involvement and awareness as well as a new purpose beyond education and church. Curious by nature, I wanted to learn more about those people in the community were actively and successfully engaged in all sorts of service.

Why did you choose to volunteer in this way?

Happily, I kind of stumbled upon The Kidney Foundation and the need for volunteers with skills. I volunteered with Kidney Car for some time. As well, because my children’s Dad died at age 50 of kidney disease, I needed to assure myself that I have done all I can to allay future complications.

How do you feel your volunteerism impacts the diverse kidney community?

My impact encompasses personal awareness and some knowledge of kidney disease, which I can apply to friends in need, and to patients who may need support and encouragement. On a community level, I am raising funds for patient programs at the local level and hopefully raising research money as well.

Why would you encourage someone else to volunteer with The Kidney Foundation?

The kidneys are not glamourous organs but are vital to life and until one is stricken in some way these organs are virtually ignored. Ongoing awareness is essential even for the promotion of programming and transplants.

What is your most memorable experience volunteering?

One event that remains alive in my memory occurred at a Monopoly event a few years ago. A young woman with a growing family won a substantial amount of money in a 50/50 draw. Without hesitation, she donated it back to The Kidney Foundation. Her beloved grandmother had recently died from kidney disease and other complications-this generous gesture, an act of love and selflessness, revealed the impact kidney issues can have on even the extended family.

Revelations such as this one are truly humbling and overwhelming and reveal the true meaning of giving. In other words, why we choose to seek a cause and how we are honoured to volunteer to improve the lives of others in small ways.

Meet Kidney Foundation Volunteer, Craig!

Craig is a dedicated part of our Hamilton/Niagara Chapter Team! Thank you, Craig!

How did you first get involved with The Kidney Foundation as a volunteer?

My family was diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease in 1993. My father attended the Kidney Foundation’s peer support group and participating in fundraisers such as Kidney Walks and March Drive have lead to a more active involvement and participation.

Why did you choose to volunteer in this way?

Because of my personal connection to kidney disease, I could see the benefits of working with The Kidney Foundation of Canada.

How do you feel your volunteerism impacts our diverse kidney community?

I hope to be a positive influence and show how people affected by chronic kidney disease can lead positive and productive lives.

What is your most memorable experience volunteering?

My most memorable experience volunteering with The Kidney Foundation would have to be attending the National Annual General Meeting in New Brunswick. I got to meet people from across Canada with the same passion and desire to serve people affected by kidney disease.

Meet Kidney Foundation Volunteer, Marci!

Marci is a tremendous member of our Sault Ste. Marie Chapter team. Thank you, Marci!

How did you first get involved with The Kidney Foundation as a volunteer?

I’ve know about The Foundation since I was 16 when I first was diagnosed with kidney failure. I always wanted to give back. I did some things when I was younger but on a more serious note when I got involved with the Sault Ste. Marie Unit about four years ago.

Why did you choose to volunteer in this way?

I’m a second-time kidney transplant recipient and always wanted to give back and this was the best way. I try to volunteer in every way that I can.

How do you feel your volunteerism impacts our diverse kidney community?

Since Sault Ste. Marie is a smaller community and I’m well known in the community, I think when people see me they automatically support and are interested because they know me. They will give someone. They will come and walk. And it is easier for me to reach out to people about getting involved.

Why would you encourage someone else to volunteer with The Kidney Foundation?

I find when I volunteer with The Kidney Foundation, that I get a feeling of accomplishment. I think people will feel the goodness that I do when I’m done and know I’ve in some way helped someone else with kidney problems. It doesn’t always have to be for me. I volunteer for everyone who is affected.”

What has been your most memorable experience volunteering?

Probably the Kidney Walk after my second transplant, in 2015. I was the Walk Ambassador that year and the Kidney Walk was just a couple of months after my transplant. I started the walk officially. I was very excited and thrilled that I was asked and that I could be there to do this for Sault Ste. Marie and The Foundation. They had a wheelchair for me and my nephew and father took turns pushing me when I couldn’t walk anymore.

 

 

Meet Kidney Foundation Volunteer Isabelle
Isabelle is a new addition to our Central Ontario Team! Thank you, Isabelle!

How do you feel volunteers impact our diverse kidney community?

I feel that volunteers impact our diverse kidney community because we are making The Kidney Foundation more known to everyone we come across. The more volunteers there are, the better as there can never be enough people there to help.

What message of appreciation do you have for your fellow volunteers?

Being a kidney patient myself, it is extremely heartwarming to have other volunteers help out with all these events as they wouldn’t be the same without the volunteers. I also feel that the volunteers are all so courageous. When I started, none of us knew each other and yet within a few minutes of talking, we all got along and exchanged information sparking new friendships.

Why would you encourage someone else to volunteer with The Kidney Foundation?

I would encourage someone else to volunteer with The Kidney Foundation because it honestly makes me feel so good inside. I love volunteering as I feel like I am doing something good for the community that I live in. Also, being a volunteer for such a great cause is amazing because you get to meet other kind and genuine volunteers and you are able to make friends easily.

What is your most memorable experience engaging with The Foundation as a volunteer?

My most memorable experience engaging with other volunteers was during the Canadian International Auto Show. I met some amazing people who were so open about life and it was so inspiring. This one person I met was very enthusiastic about life and said that she has been volunteering all her life because it brings her such joy. I was amazed by her story and it made me want to volunteer as I grow up and leave high school. As well, I saw this shy person open up and talk to the people passing by our booth and it made me realize how hard that must have been. Overall, I was amazed at the way everyone was so friendly and welcoming to others.  

 

Meet Kidney Foundation Volunteer Alan

Alan volunteers with our Chinese Renal Association Chapter. Thank you, Alan!Seated volunteer smiling with blurred background, black hair and blue shirt, volunteer quote in blue box at the bottom.

Why did you choose to volunteer in this way?
As a social worker, I am always eager to reach out and help. I would like to reach out to people and assist them to navigate throughout healthcare system. It is also important to seek help as early as possible. Besides, kidney disease is a prevalent disease in our Chinese population, and it is seen as a silent killer. People would not notice they have kidney disease until the very late stage. The Chinese Renal Association (CRA) offers me an excellent platform to reach out to the Chinese population and achieve my personal goal.
It is also rewarding to receive positive comments from the community agencies and the general population.

How do you feel your volunteerism impacts our diverse kidney community?
The Kidney Foundation and CRA conduct many activities and target difference populations. We have the SeeKD Clinic for the general population. It raises their awareness and promotes the education in the community. Our Chinese New Year event is a great activity for patients to have fun and be reminded of the quality of life. The Kidney Walks also allow everyone to gather together in one place and raise money for programs and research.

Why would you encourage someone else to volunteer with The Kidney Foundation?
It is meaningful and fun. Also, everyone is very nice and supportive. We are like a family. We all share the same vision and values in our team.

What is your most memorable experience volunteering with The Foundation?
SeeKD Clinics: The number of people we reach out to every time always surprises me. It means people are aware of kidney disease and this is one way to get checked. It is also a one-stop service to speak with a nurse, dietitian, and doctor. I found it is crucial as it is difficult to find a Chinese-speaking dietitian without a proper referral.

Albert Au Concert: It was a lot of preparation and hard work, and it was done in a very short time. However, the amount that we raised from this event was tremendous. Everyone helped out at the event and it was coordinated really well.

Meet Kidney Foundation Volunteer Murray

Kidney Foundation Volunteer wearing baseball cap at podium speaking with quote overlaid at bottom

Murray volunteers with our Sarnia Chapter. Thank you, Murray!

How did you first get involved with The Kidney Foundation as a volunteer?
When I was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease, I thought I would get involved with something directly related.

Why did you choose to volunteer in this way?
Before I became involved with The Foundation, my parents were involved as well!

How do you feel your volunteerism impacts our diverse kidney community?
The impact of my volunteerism is something I don’t know how to measure. I just try to do my small part to help the big picture.
For the past 14 years, I’ve been involved with The Foundation’s board, as a Kidney Walk Committee chair, as a past volunteer board president for various fundraising events and an advocate for the Lion’s Club Camp Dorset.

What has been your most memorable experience volunteering?
My most memorable experience was volunteering at a Windsor fundraising festival event. I enjoyed the people, the food and drinks and the jobs I had to do.

Meet volunteer Pauline CernigojPauline, Andy and great niece

How did you first get involved with The Kidney Foundation as a volunteer?
I first became involved with the Kidney Foundation 27 years ago when I was approached and asked to be the secretary for our local chapter. 

Why do you choose to volunteer in this way?
I volunteer with The Kidney Connect Peer Support Program and help facilitate Kidney Connect meetings in my community; the monthly meetings suit my schedule. I was impressed with the Living with Kidney Disease Patient Manual that I received when I first became a patient so I wanted to help and to learn more about The Kidney Foundation. This was a convenient way because at that time I was busy as a full time mom and on hemodialysis 3 times per week and at the meetings I was able to learn about what the Kidney Foundation did!

Tell us about your most memorable experience volunteering? 
My most memorable experience was as a Peer Support Volunteer when I was matched up with a pre-dialysis patient who was extremely afraid of starting dialysis. Through several conversations this individual was able to name their fears and together we were able to come up with strategies for coping. I remember feeling proud of my peer for being able to open up about such profoundly private feelings and also honoured that these feelings were shared.  

Why would you encourage someone else to volunteer at The Kidney Foundation?
First off, volunteering is rewarding in and of itself. The Kidney Foundation offers a wide range of volunteering opportunities that can be short term from selling tickets, helping out at an event, to longer time commitments such as participating on committees, preparing for the Kidney Walk, assisting with the March Dive door to door canvassing, etc. It’s both rewarding and fun to help. Many friendships have resulted from volunteering! 

But the best reason is twofold: funds raised go to help improve the lives and health of kidney patients for TODAY and for TOMORROW! Research funded by The Kidney Foundation has directly resulted in significant improvements in the health of renal patients. So dollars raised go to fund future improvements and also to helping us live with kidney disease today.  The Kidney Foundation offers and continues to develop ways to provide support to patients and their families/caregivers to help us manage our health as we live day to day with renal disease. I believe that ‘many hands make light work’ but I would like to add that ‘many hands contribute to successful work’.  Volunteers working together and with The Kidney Foundation of Canada employees contribute to an organization that makes a difference. A win-win for everyone! 

What are your current volunteer roles with The Kidney Foundation?
I am currently helping with our Kidney Connect Support Group, our individual Peer Support Program and I volunteer with the annual Kidney Walk.   

Jessie ChungJessie Chung

鍾思晴

I am currently a Grade 10 Student enrolled in St. Robert Catholic High School’s Pre-IB Program. Born and raised in Toronto, Ontario, I initially gained exposure to The Kidney Foundation’s Chinese Renal Association (CRA) through the Albert Au 2014 Toronto Concert, during which I worked alongside other passionate volunteers. It was once said that the youth of today are the leaders of tomorrow. As a high school student, I have adopted this saying as a personal philosophy. I am ceaselessly propelled by this philosophy to lead and inspire change by giving back to the community. Furthermore, I am a highly motivated individual, yet I recognize that I am also the most recent addition to the CRA. As so, I hope to acquire a vast number of new skills in order to expand my mind and to nurture my continual growth as a “leader of tomorrow”.

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