Being diagnosed with kidney disease is life-changing and can happen with little or no warning, but The Kidney Foundation’s Peer Support Program can provide hope and help at a time filled with so much uncertainty.
While doctors and nurses can answer medical questions, speaking to someone who has traveled a similar path and understands what it’s like to live with kidney disease can be life-changing, according to the Kidney Foundation.
Maureen Rush, a Kingston resident living with kidney disease, sought out the Kidney Foundation’s Peer Support program and has been attending meetings (virtually) as a way to connect with others with the disease.
“It’s good to hear other people’s stories and know you are not alone,” she said. “The connection with others who truly understand was so helpful. It’s helping me to be a better educated patient and ask the right questions.”
After receiving support, Rush wanted to do more, and has recently begun the training process in order to facilitate a new group here in Kingston.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had an impact on every facet of life, and it continues to have the greatest impact on the most vulnerable segments of the population, including Canadians living with kidney failure, the Foundation said.
“We’ve seen a sharp increase in demand as many patients experience feelings of isolation and anxiety,” said Craig Lindsay, Manager of Programs. “Peer support volunteers don’t offer medical advice, but they do share their experience with kidney disease and how they balance family life, work and social activities — that’s why the program is so incredibly valuable.”
Peer support is available in group format — now delivered virtually through a variety of group sessions — and through one-on-one sessions by phone or online through kidneyconnect.ca. The new group in Kingston is slated to launch later this year.
While participants are free to join their local group, they are also able to join any group in the province depending on their schedule. Learn more at kidney.ca/peersupport or call 1-866-390-7337.
The Kidney Foundation’s programs and services are made possible through generous donors who support various fundraising initiatives, including The Kidney Foundation’s online raffle Kidney50/50. The online raffle was launched last year as The Kidney Foundation sought new fundraising avenues to meet the increased demand, the foundation said.
Tickets can be purchased from the comfort of home at kidney5050.ca. Purchases help generate much needed funds to support The Foundation’s peer support program and short-term financial assistance.
The spring draw is now underway with the grand prize draw scheduled for Tuesday, May 11, 2021. Additional draws will take place in the summer, fall and winter of 2021. Tickets are $10 for 5 numbers, $20 for 30 numbers, and $40 for 100 numbers. Participants must be physically located in the Province of Ontario to buy a raffle ticket.
Full prize rules are available at www.kidney5050.ca. Lottery License #: RAF1201430