The true meaning of being alive to strive… or the story of Kassandra


If you are like many people, you probably wish for health, joy and happiness at the beginning of a new year. Those are certainly things we wish for our loved ones, especially when we know that a loved one is deprived of them, or one of them. Well, for Kassandra, her health was an issue since she was 2 ½ years old, living with cystinosis, a kidney disease that kept her on dialysis. This year, at 19, wishing her better health was not simple words in the air…

2014 started on a good note when Kassandra received a kidney transplant on January 23rd. Since then, almost a month down the road of her new life, she feels good. Her transplant is a success, she has more energy and she is so happy with the amount of free time that she now has. Going to her medical appointment only once a week is a huge change for Kassandra compared to her previous dialysis routine. She now enjoys being able to go out with friends more often and being more flexible with her schedule by not having to squeeze everything in between her dialysis treatments.

Looking back at the past year, she says that her life is now positively changed by her participation in the Let’s Get Moving group training by Top Shape Fitness. She says that before attending this group training class, she was not a very active person. It opened a whole new world for her. Even though she does not participate in the program at the moment, she goes to the YMCA gym near her house once or twice a week, and she walks 2.2 km with her mother almost every day. How is that for a positive energy? She is grateful for the two Alive to Strive fitness grants that have allowed her to participate in the Let’s Get Moving Group classes. “The program gave me more confidence, and I was able to meet new people in a non-judging and secure environment. Everybody is the same; we all have one thing in common” [editor’s note: dialysis patients]. She also decided to register for the Alive To Strive race and will be doing the 1K on April 27th.


With her new energy and her new kidney, she is looking forward, preparing for her return to school, probably in September. She wishes to apply at Algonquin College, but is still deciding between two different programs that resonate with her.

Kassandra, we are extremely happy for you! Thank you for being such a good example of honoring this great gift of life. You certainly are “alive to strive”… We are looking forward to seeing you in April!

If you wish to join Kassandra on April 27th for this amazing family race day, you can register here.

For questions regarding the Let’s Get Moving program, or to apply for a grant, you can visit our website or contact us:

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