Update from the Alive to Strive Race committee…
It’s September already! Back to school for some, end of summer vacation for many. It is also that time of year when the members of the Alive to Strive race committee begin race planning! While our heads are already spinning around new ideas for the 5th edition of our growing event, we thought that sharing some of our accomplishments with all of you would be a good way to give this year a nice kick start.
First, the Alive to Strive participants (yes, you!) raised a total of $19,761.23 in donations. This amazing amount is allocated between four organizations: Kidney Foundation of Canada, $4,573.59; Canadian Diabetes Association, $848.32; Kidney Research Center, $ 9,352.85 and Alive to Strive, $4,986.47. On top of it all, another $30,000 was raised for our grant program. Wow! A simple thank you doesn’t seem powerful enough to tell you how happy and grateful we are for your enthusiasm and generosity in supporting kidney health and kidney research.
This summer, we visited each of these organizations in order to learn how your generous donations help people in our community. We want to share with you some of what we learned.
As an example, at Kidney Foundation of Canada, financial assistance is offered to patients in Ottawa in many ways. The organization provides transportation to and from dialysis treatments, accommodation and financial assistance for groceries, blood pressure equipment or medication, and opportunities for patients and their families to stay at Camp Dorset for one week during the summer season, with on-site dialysis at the camp.
In August, some members of our committee had the privilege of meeting with staff at the Kidney Research Center (KRC), where we learned about some of the research currently underway. One of KRC’s studies is called the iTouch Study, an iPhone application that would help patients to make food choices, determine portion sizes, calculate approximately the amount of phosphate in their meals and provide patients with the amount of phosphate binders (i.e. TUMS) to take.
Another very promising study is evaluating a possible solution to early detection of kidney disease. Drs. Burger and Kennedy showed that specialized kidney cells called podocytes, which form the main filter of the kidney, release tiny bits of themselves (called micro-particles) into the urine when stressed under diabetic conditions in mice. These micro-particles can be detected even before the earliest signs of diabetic kidney disease become apparent. Testing for these micro-particles could potentially identify patients who are at risk of developing more advanced kidney damage.
Our visit to Canadian Diabetes Association regional headquarters also brought smiles to the staff, with a nice cheque to help them continue their mission in advocacy, education, services and research. At CDA, services include sending kids to the Banting Camp for kids with type 1 diabetes.
Last but not least, the Alive to Strive grant program was able to give out nine individual grants last year (gym memberships, personal trainers, memberships for a specific physical activity), five grants for group training (5-7 people per group) and one grant for a 5K training group to get ready for the race. This year, the totality of the $4,986.47 raised will be used for the “Let’s Get Moving/Faut que ça bouge” group training. We have two new groups already organized, starting October 7 and 8, two times a week, one hour each session, for six weeks. We also want to mention that all Alive to Strive committee members are volunteers. This is important for us, so that all money raised goes back to patients.
After these motivating and inspiring meetings with each of these organizations, the Alive to Strive race committee is excited to get back to work preparing for our 5th year anniversary. You can mark April 26, 2015 on your calendar! Stay tuned for upcoming news… and connects with us on Facebook and Twitter.