How Our Grants Form Community: Angie’s Story

Angie and her son at his graduation

Angie and her son at his graduation

Angie's two daughters

Angie's two daughters

“I started dealing with kidney failure in 2001,” Angie shared. “I have family and friends. They’re there and they listen and support me but there’s always this feeling that they don’t fully understand what I’m going through — how tired I feel or the pain or the diet or the endless doctors’ appointments.”

 Alive to Strive awarded Angie, a mom of three who is on disability, with her first fitness grant a few years ago. More than helping her stay active, the program introduced her to a new support system and the reassurance that she’s not alone in her daily health struggles.  

 Register now for our 2016 Alive to Strive race. This annual fundraiser enables us to continue our work supporting people like Angie in the Ottawa community!

 Angie’s story: How a simple flyer opened a network of support

 The exact cause of Angie’s kidney disease is unknown. She had a transplant in 2001, which lasted just under 12 years. In September 2012, she started dialysis for the second time.

 Staying fit while on dialysis is a challenge. Not only do patients sit for hours on end, they also face extreme fatigue. While there are known health benefits to an active lifestyle, it can be difficult to stay motivated or to have the extra cash to put towards a fitness class.

 “At dialysis, there were some flyers about Alive to Strive. One of the nurses told me what she knew about it and then a social worker helped me apply for a grant.”

 With her first grant, Angie did two sessions with Let’s Get Moving.

 The Let’s Get Moving fitness classes bring together individuals with similar experiences to help support and motivate each other in a positive and comfortable environment. The classes are adapted to individuals living with chronic kidney disease.

 It’s at one of these classes that she met and connected with Kim — our 2015 Alive to Strive Race Ambassador (Read Kim’s story here).

 “Kim completely understands what I’m going through,” Angie explained. “It’s not better support than family and friends, but it’s a better understanding.”

Kim & Angie at their Zumba Gold Class

Kim & Angie at their Zumba Gold Class

 Today, the two friends keep each other accountable. They meet each week to walk together in the mall. They also take a weekly Zumba class together that was covered by another Alive to Strive grant.

 “It’s very easy to get into the routine of going to dialysis and coming straight home and before you realize it you think, ‘wow, I haven’t socialized or been out of the house except for doctors’ appointments.’ We push and challenge each other,” Angie said.

 This year, Angie will be attempting the 5K run/walk at the Alive to Strive race with Kim and others by her side.

 “It’s about the personal challenge,” she said. “I like this race because you can walk, jog or run. There’s no pressure. It’s a very encouraging environment. It’s also nice to see that you’re not alone. A lot of the people there have been touched by kidney disease in some way. Having them there reassures me that people care.”

People of all fitness levels and experience are encouraged to join us for the 2016 Alive to Strive Race on Sunday, April 24. Register now or find out more about our grant program.

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