“Exercise is key to feeling healthy. Doing hemodialysis three times a week doesn’t leave you with much time to exercise, but [the dialysis patients] still do it,” said Dr. Jack Kitts, President and CEO of the Ottawa Hospital, on a recent tour of the Ottawa Hospital’s Home Dialysis Unit (HDU). “They are inspiring.”
On January 22, Dr. Kitts toured the HDU after hearing about the fundraising campaign of staff in the HDU and Progressive Renal Insufficiency (PRI) units for the Alive to Strive Kidney Fitness Project. Once a week, staff contribute $1 to wear an Alive to Strive T-shirt. Their goal is to raise awareness of the fitness grants available to chronic kidney patients.
“Alive to Strive can help so many renal patients,” says RN Marie-Lise Haché, who spear-headed the fundraising campaign at the Ottawa Hospital. “The more I knew what Alive to Strive could do for renal patients, I felt our unit could do more to promote it. Wearing the shirts is a nice way to remind patients that the grants are there for them and to raise interest within the hospital for others to find out more about it.”
Dr. Kitts will also wear his Alive to Strive T-shirt to support the fitness grants. Alive to Strive’s fitness grants are available for almost any activity that keeps a person active, such as gym memberships, fitness classes, personal training sessions, and bowling, just to name a few examples. To date, 125 grants have been awarded to individuals with less than 30% kidney function.
The organization’s main fundraising event is the Alive to Strive Race, a 1km, 5km and 10km walk/run taking place on April 24, 2016 at the Terry Fox Athletic Facility. 100% of participants’ registration fees go to supporting the fitness grants. You can register for the race at www.alivetostrive.ca.
Dr. Kitts will also be participating in the Alive to Strive Race by joining the 3KG Challenge team! On race day, he will wear a weighted 3KG (6.6 lbs) vest to simulate the typical fluid gains that dialysis patients experience in between their treatments.
“I look forward to the race!” said Dr. Kitts. We do, too, Dr. Kitts!