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High Blood Pressure and Your Kidneys

Your Health

Kidney-Link Winter 2013

A Foundation study highlights the economic benefits of kidney transplantation to the Quebec’s healthcare system The government could save approximately $250,000 per patient over five years. More on page 4

The Kidney Foundation of Canada – Quebec Branch

On May 26, let’s walk the Walk

The Kidney Walk Needs You! The Kidney Foundation needs your help so it can continue funding research and raising public awareness about kidney disease and the importance of organ donation. On May 26, walk the Walk with The Kidney Foundation! More on page 3

The Foundation has lost a great volunteer Last October, Lévi Trottier passed away suddenly, leaving the Foundation with a deep void once filled by an invaluable and much-loved volunteer. Results of the economic study conducted by Dr. Yves Rabeau

More on page 3

Volunteers Honoured ................................................... 2

Patient Services............................................................ 6

The Kidney Walk........................................................... 3

Research ...................................................................... 7

Organ Donation............................................................ 5

News from the Chapters .............................................. 8

The foundation of kidney care

The personal information you have provided is used only to send you this newsletter. To stop receiving it, please e-mail us at or call us at 514-938-4515. Readers: You can help enrich our newsletter by sharing your experiences with kidney disease or kidney transplantation. Please send a text of no more than 300 words, along with a high-resolution photo, to COORDINATION AND WRITING Antoine Ardiley GRAPHICS AND PUBLISHING Ardecom PRODUC TION Ardecom CONTAC T US: The Kidney Foundation of Canada – Quebec Branch 2300 René-Lévesque Blvd West, Montreal, QC H3H 2R5

Five volunteers receive the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for their work with The Kidney Foundation As part of the celebrations marking the 60th anniversary of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s accession to the Throne as Queen of Canada, 60,000 deserving Canadians were recognized. Luciano D’Ignazio, Dr. Pierre Nantel, Denis Marquis, Christopher Gobeil and Tetiana Gerych each received one of those medals. The Kidney Foundation is pleased to highlight the awarding of this prestigious distinction to these dedicated volunteers. This medal recognizes their outstanding involvement in the fight against kidney disease. Luciano D’Ignazio has been involved with the Quebec Branch of the Foundation since 1993. He is the Chairman of the Founder’s Award Campaign, a fund-raising initiative that calls upon a partnership between all leaders of the corporate milieu and which has become one of the largest sources of revenue for the Quebec Branch of the Kidney Foundation of Canada. As Chairman of this Campaign, he has helped raise millions of dollars in the last 19 years through many activities such as the Founder’s Award Golf Classic and the Founder’s Award Gala. In 2010, he was awarded the National Special Appreciation Award for his fundraising successes.

TELEPHONE 514-938-4515 or 1-800-565-4515

Dr. Pierre Nantel is the driving force behind several kidney health programs in Quebec. He is the Branch’s representative with the Ministère de la santé. He initiated, organized and acted as speaker for the Symposium on Chronic Kidney Disease Prevention of The Kidney Foundation. This symposium is held every year in a different region of Quebec.

FAX 514-938-4757 E-MAIL Circulation: 10,000 copies The Kidney-Link newsletter and Your Health insert are published three times a year by the Quebec Branch of The Kidney Foundation of Canada. Distributed in English and French to all people suffering from kidney failure, these publications provide valuable information on the Foundation’s services and activities, including the latest findings on kidney disease and organ donation.

Denis Marquis has been a Foundation volunteer for over 25 years. He has served as Quebec Branch president on two occasions: from 1989 to 1990 and from 2004 to Dr Pierre Nantel 2006. Over his many years as a Foundation volunteer, he has been highly involved with the Quebec Branch’s Board of Directors, having served as both member and treasurer. He also received the David Ornstein Distinguished Service Award in 2006, the Harold W. Ashenmil Award, and the National President’s Award in 2009. These three National Recognition awards are conferred by the Kidney Foundation of Canada to recognize the exceptional work of volunteers.

The opinions expressed in KidneyLink and Your Health do not necessarily reflect those of the Quebec Branch of The Kidney Foundation of Canada, its directors, employees or members.

Christopher Gobeil has been involved with the Foundation for over 20 years. Mr. Gobeil is the President of The Kidney Foundation of Canada, Quebec Branch.

Articles may be reproduced provided that the source is quoted. Kidney-Link • Winter 2013

Denis Marquis

Tetiana Gerych has worked with the Foundation since 1989. Originally volunteering at one of the Foundation’s branches, she began playing an active role on the national level in 2008.

Moving? Please let us know at


Luciano D'Ignazio

Christopher Gobeil

Together we can make a difference

Tetiana Gerych

The loss of a great volunteer The Kidney Foundation of Canada wishes to pay tribute to Lévi Trottier. Mr. Trottier, volunteer for 11-years with the Abitibi-Témiscamingue Chapter, passed away suddenly on October 6, 2012. Deeply affected by the kidney failure of his eldest son, who received a transplant in 1999 after three years on peritoneal dialysis, Lévi took up the challenge of restarting the March Drive. The revenue of this fundraising Campaign has steadly increased every year. He also initiated and organized the “healthy brunch” fundraiser which is the closing event of the campaign. Attracting some 225 people, the event will celebrate its 7th anniversary this year. Making countless phone calls and somehow managing to convince 285 volunteers to canvass La Sarre and the 24 neighbouring parishes, he was strongly committed to the cause of kidney disease. In his early days with the Foundation, he also fought for the creation of the dialysis centre in La Sarre.

Husband of 54 years, father of four and grandfather of 10, Lévi loved his family dearly. Despite working tirelessly in the food industry, he found a way to give generously of his time to his family and the community: he served as school commissioner for 41 years, spent 33 years as a volunteer firefighter, and dedicated his last 12 years Lévi Trottier to The Kidney Foundation of Canada. His passing has created a void that will be difficult to fill. His determination and perseverance will inspire us to continue his work. For his dedication and contribution, The Kidney Foundation of Canada would like to thank Lévi Trottier and to extend its deepest appreciation and sincerest condolences to his family.

The Kidney Walk The 2012 Kidney Walk attracted nearly 2,000 walkers and raised over $270,000. Help The Kidney Foundation of Canada set new records by joining us on Sunday, May 26, 2013, to promote organ donation and help people suffering from kidney disease. This year’s Walk will take place simultaneously in Dolbeau, Dollard-desOrmeaux, Gatineau, Montreal, Quebec City, Saguenay, Saint-Jeansur-Richelieu, Sherbrooke and Trois-Rivières. A bicycle edition will be held the same day in Laval and is sure to be a hit with cycling fans. The Walk’s objective is to help fund research and raise public awareness about kidney disease and the importance of organ The start of the 2012 Walk in Montreal donation. It’s a perfect opportunity for dialysis patients, transplant recipients, donors’ families, living donors, the medical community and the general public to promote renal health and organ donation. Organ donation needs have greatly increased due to the rapid rise in the number of people living with kidney disease. The shortage of transplantable organs is a harsh reality for thousands of people in Canada. As of December 31, 2011, 1,264 Quebecers were on a waiting list for an organ transplant, 988 (78%) of whom were waiting for a kidney.* For more information, and to register online, please visit In Sherbrooke, hundreds of people took to the

streets to raise public awareness on kidney disease.

*Transplant Québec Kidney-Link • Winter 2013

Your donation goes a long way at The Kidney Foundation


Transplantation costs society less An economic study conducted by Dr. Yves Rabeau, professor of economics at UQÀM, in conjunction with Dr. Michel R. Pâquet, chairman of The Kidney Foundation of Canada’s Provincial Organ and Tissue Donation Committee, has demonstrated that the government could reap significant savings by placing emphasis on kidney transplants. According to estimates, dialysis treatments cost the healthcare system approximately $65,000 a year per patient, compared with $23,000 for a kidney transplant, to which a further $6,000 a year must be added for antirejection drugs. Compared with hemodialysis, a transplant leads to savings of approximately $250,000 per patient over a five-year period. Beyond these figures, we must also take into account the improved quality of life enjoyed by transplant recipients, who can lead active lives and return to the labour market.

A kidney transplant is the treatment option yielding the greatest improvement in quality of life Kidney transplantation delivers a number of economic benefits to society: • Transplant recipients can return to the labour market, hold down a full-time job and be just as productive as their coworkers; it is estimated that 50% of transplant recipients are able to return to the workforce. • The government stops paying social assistance benefits to kidney recipients, who were previously on dialysis and therefore unable to work to meet their financial needs. • The government collects income taxes from transplantees once they return to work. • Transplant recipients return to contributing fully to Quebec’s economy and increase their spending power, thereby enabling the government to collect even more taxes.


“From an economic standpoint, it’s obvious that kidney transplantation lessens the financial burden on our healthcare system. Moreover, the strictly monetary costs associated with dialysis—transportation, medication and loss of revenue—also exact a heavy toll on society, as kidney patients have to undergo dialysis treatments three times a week just to survive and are often forced to withdraw from the workforce,” explains Dr. Yves Rabeau, professor of economics at UQÀM. Kidney-Link • Winter 2013

The need to minimize the economic and social impacts of kidney failure in Quebec is urgent. The number of people suffering from the condition is on the rise, due mainly to the increase in diabetes and high blood pressure, which are the two main precursors to kidney disease. “We would like to see an increase in the number of kidney transplants. In fact, this particular avenue needs to be given priority within our healthcare system. It’s the solution that offers patients the greatest chance at a normal quality of life, and it’s the most economical option for society,” said Dr. Michel R. Pâquet, nephrologist at CHUM’s Notre-Dame Hospital and chairman of The Kidney Foundation of Canada’s Provincial Organ and Tissue Donation Committee. Current estimates place the number of Quebecers on dialysis or in predialysis at more than 12,000. At present, some 1,000 Quebecers are on the waiting list for an organ transplant, and the wait time is around two years. In Quebec today, 250 transplants are carried out each year. The Kidney Foundation of Canada’s Organ Donation Committee has set itself the ambitious objective of increasing the number to 350. To reach this goal, the Foundation is determined to submit to the Government of Quebec a number of proposals aimed at reorganizing the healthcare system in such a way as to prevent the loss of organs from consenting donors and promoting living donor transplants. In Quebec, transplants involving living donors account for less than 20% of all transplants carried out, whereas the rate is 50% elsewhere in Canada. These measures will lead to: • shorter wait times for transplants; • improvements to patient quality of life; • longer potential lifespans for transplanted organs; • significant savings to society. The economic study is available in PDF format on our site at under “Organ Donation.”

Together we can make a difference

Organ Donation “Gift of Life” Humanitarian Award Rewarding employers for making organ donation easier Have you donated a kidney to a loved one or received a transplant yourself? Did your employer support you by continuing to pay your salary throughout the transplant process or allowing you to take a leave of absence to undergo medical exams? Why not nominate your employer and let the world know just how generous your employer has been? Simply complete the registration form available on our Web site at by March 30, 2013. In 2012, the Foundation conferred the “Gift of Life” Humanitarian Award on Xstrata Copper Canada – Horne Foundry, for its commitment to organ donation. This award is the Foundation’s way of recognizing the company’s humanitarian efforts, which greatly helped Gaétan Turcotte donate a kidney to a friend.

Martin Munger, Director-general of The Kidney Foundation of Canada – Quebec Branch Natalie Ouellette, Gaétan Turcotte’s wife; Gaétan Turcotte, a warehouse employee who gave one of his kidneys to a friend in 2011; Mario Julien, Director, Human Resources; Michel Galarneau, a warehouse employee who headed the a fundraising created by the company.

A Quarter Century of Transportation for CODA! This year, the Canadian Organ Donation Association (CODA) is celebrating 25 years of ground transportation success. In all, the organization’s vehicles have travelled 1,450,679 kilometres, the equivalent of circling the globe 36 times! In 1983, Richard Tremblay was working as a police officer in metropolitan Sherbrooke. Demonstrating his sincere desire to help and to serve through his job, Richard was unwittingly on his way to creating one of the strongest links in Quebec’s organ donation chain, the Canadian Organ Donation Association. At the time, his friend Jean-Jacques Bégin was desperately awaiting a kidney transplant. On learning about the painfully long wait his friend had to endure, Richard decided to act. As host of the television show Télé-patrouille on RadioCanada’s Sherbrooke station, not to mention an active police officer, Richard contacted the station’s executives to pitch his idea for an organ donation telethon. The goal: raise public awareness of the importance of signing an organ donor card. The project made headway, and in December 1983, the Opération greffe de vie telethon was broadcast on RadioCanada stations across Canada for six hours straight. The first Opération greffe de vie telethon was hosted by Richard, his friend Jean-Jacques and Christine Mercier, under the patronage of honorary chairman Dr. Paul David, Senator and founder of the Montreal Heart Institute, and the show was a resounding success! The telethon was held the two following years as well. However, in 1987, CODA reinvented itself and launched what would be a North American first: the overland transportation of organs, tissues and medical

equipment. “Back then, organs were transported by taxi or ambulance, which practically put the brakes on organ transplants in outlying reRichard Tremblay, gions. And that made no sense,” CODA President said CODA’s founding president. So Sherbrooke became the home of the first organ, tissue and medical team transportation unit operated by volunteers, all members of Quebec’s police forces. The project gave rise to others like it, and 25 years later, CODA has 11 transportation units across Quebec, including the permanent unit at Pierre-Elliot Trudeau International Airport, yet another North American first! Today, CODA still pursues its mission, which now includes part of Ontario. In the meantime, the organization took on a second mission, that of posthumously recognizing deceased donors, as well as living donors, their families and the police officers who give of their time to transport organs, tissues and medical teams. Every year since 1994, CODA has held a recognition ceremony in Sherbrooke. “Recognition is a very important part of what we do. It has become a tradition to use this event to recognize donors and families who, like war heroes, have saved lives with their selfless acts,” said Mr. Tremblay. Source: Transplant Québec, Julie Perreault

Kidney-Link • Winter 2013

Your donation goes a long way at The Kidney Foundation


Patient Services To receive documentation and information about the programs offered by the Quebec Branch of The Kidney Foundation of Canada, refer to the “Patient Programs and Support” and “Organ Donation” sections of our Web site at, or contact: Hélène Boisvert, Programs Director The Kidney Foundation of Canada – Quebec Branch 2300 René-Lévesque Blvd West Montreal, Quebec H3H 2R5 Tel.: 514-938-4515, ext. 224, or 1-800-565-4515 E-mail:

Income Tax Did you know that people living with kidney failure are entitled to tax credits? For more information, refer to the Web sites of the Canada Revenue Agency ( and Revenu Québec ( You may also obtain the required forms and get advice from The Kidney Foundation of Canada’s programs director.

Celebrating Christmas: Bombardier Aerospace Renews its Commitment to The Kidney Foundation of Canada On December 9, 2012, over 100 people took part in the traditional Christmas brunch for all the children in Saint-Justine Hospital’s kidney dialysis and transplant unit, after which the gifts under the tree were handed out. The activities that followed in the afternoon included games, crafts and dancing for young dialysis patients. The Kidney Foundation of Canada would like to extend its most heartfelt thanks to Maryse and Normand Pineault, as well as to the entire team of volunteers, for organizing this wonderful party. Thank-yous also go out to the Bombardier Aerospace Employee Charity Fund for purchasing all the gifts for the children and for putting together the scrumptious buffet for the brunch. We would like to underline Claudia Côté’s role in the event’s logistics and thank her for attending the brunch with several Bombardier employees.

Do the Foundation’s programs and services meet the needs of patients and members? Last Fall, the Foundation conducted a survey on member and patient perceptions of its programs and services. We were pleased with the high response rate and would like to thank you for having taken the time to voice your opinion, which we truly value. The survey results will be published this spring in the next issue of the newsletter.

The Foundation unveils the results of its diabetes and hypertension education and screening program From 2010 to 2012, The Kidney Foundation of Canada carried out a diabetes and hypertension education and screening campaign in high-risk communities (Asian, South Asian, Afro-Caribbean, Latin American). In Canada, an estimated 2.6 million people suffer from chronic kidney failure or are at risk of developing it, and we know that the two main causes of kidney failure are diabetes (34%) and hypertension, known commonly as high blood pressure (19%). The screening campaign carried out from January 2010 to June 2012 reached 4,400 people (53% women and 47% men) who were able to get tested at one of the Foundation’s 62 kidney health booths. The results showed that South Asian communities are at the greatest risk of developing hypertension: 30% of the 750 people of South Asian descent who were tested were found to be at risk. Mainly from India or Pakistan, these people present an elevated risk of developing high blood pressure. On the opposite end of the scale, people of Latin American descent have a lower risk of developing the condition. Only

15% of the 1,000 people tested were at risk of developing hypertension. On average, 23% of the 4,400 people tested, all communities combined, were at risk of developing high blood pressure. In terms of diabetes, the South Asian, Asian and Afro-Caribbean communities were those with the highest risk of developing the disease. Our study also found that men over 40 were at greater risk of suffering from hypertension and diabetes. This major screening campaign aimed at high-risk communities helped the Foundation raise public awareness about the importance of healthy living, while disseminating information on how to make good use of available health services. The campaign is the product of a close collaboration between community organizations, the Publ ic Health d ivision of the Montreal Health and Social Services Agency, and the De la Montagne, Ahuntsic and Montréal-Nord Community Health and Social Service Centres (CSSS). The project was made possible thanks to a contribution from the Public Health Agency of Canada.

Together we can make a difference

Your Health The Kidney Foundation of Canada – Quebec Branch

Winter 2013

High Blood Pressure and Your Kidneys riod ranging from a few weeks to several months. Blood pressure is deemed to be high when it exceeds 140/90 mm Hg at rest. “Blood pressure at rest” is the pressure measured after five minutes of resting in a sitting position in a relaxing environment. In people suffering from diabetes or chronic kidney failure, blood pressure at rest should be below 130/80 mm Hg. Keep in mind that blood pressure target values vary from one person to the next. Ask your physician about your target values.

A Few Figures What is blood pressure? Blood pressure is the force exerted on artery walls by the blood pumped by the heart. It is expressed using two values: • Systolic pressure (the peak of the pressure wave following the contraction of the heart) • Diastolic pressure (the valley of the pressure wave between two heartbeats) For example, a blood pressure reading of 130/85 mm Hg means that the systolic pressure is 130 and the diastolic pressure is 85. Both values are important.

What is high blood pressure? In medical circles, high blood pressure is known as hypertension. A diagnosis of arterial hypertension usually comes after taking a number of blood pressure readings over a pe-

Over five million Canadians 12 and over have high blood pressure. According to estimates, more than 90% of Canadians with an average lifespan will experience high blood pressure at some point in their life. In Quebec alone, over a million people suffer from hypertension. The number of people with hypertension continues to grow, and this epidemic is placing an increasingly heavy burden on Canada’s healthcare system. Also, according to the results of The Canadian Health Measures Survey (CHMS) conducted between 2009 and 2011, 17% of people with hypertension are unaware of it. That’s why high blood pressure is nicknamed “the silent killer.”

Source: Statistics Canada 2011

The publication of this booklet was made possible thanks to the financial support of

YOUR HEALTH • Winter 2013


Your Health What causes high blood pressure? One of the major risk factors for hypertension is a family history of the condition. Lifestyle factors also contribute significantly to high blood pressure, including: • a diet lacking in fresh fruits and vegetables, fibre and low-fat dairy products • excessive consumption of sodium (salt) and saturated fats • lack of physical exercise • excess weight • excessive alcohol consumption (more than two standard glasses a day) • too much stress

How to tell if you’ve got high blood pressure Hypertension is an insidious disease. By the time symptoms appear, hypertension will have already caused years of damage to your organs. To find out if you’re hypertensive, you need to have your blood pressure measured by a health professional. Because the values used to indicate blood pressure can vary greatly, a single elevated reading does not necessarily mean that you’ve got hypertension. If the first reading is high, make sure to have your blood pressure checked again. In fact, you should have it measured regularly and keep track of your results.

fact, controlling your blood pressure is the most important thing you can do to slow kidney failure’s progress.

How are high blood pressure and kidney failure linked? While kidney failure can lead to hypertension, the opposite is also true: high blood pressure increases your risk of kidney failure. High blood pressure can damage your kidneys. The resulting salt retention can in turn aggravate hypertension. The most effective means of treating hypertension is also the best way to delay or prevent the onset of kidney failure, which in turn will reduce the need to resort to dialysis or a transplant.

What can I do about high blood pressure? It’s important that you know your current and target blood pressure readings. Your systolic and diastolic pressure readings should both match your target values. A healthy lifestyle is the key to controlling hypertension. Most people with kidney failure will need to take medication to keep their blood pressure in check. Often, they will have to take more than one drug. Here are just a few of the healthy lifestyle choices you can make to control your high blood pressure: • Eat food that’s low in fat and sodium (salt)

Why it’s important to control high blood pressure? If you don’t control your blood pressure, you’re at greater risk of experiencing serious health problems, such as heart attack, stroke, heart failure, kidney failure, terminal kidney failure, and blood vessel damage. If you suffer from kidney failure and diabetes and you are hypertensive, you need to be especially vigilant about monitoring your blood pressure. In


YOUR HEALTH • Winter 2013

• Consult a dietician who specializes in nephrology: you can work together to develop a healthy eating plan • Get regular exercise • Maintain a healthy weight • Monitor or reduce your consumption of alcohol (no more than two standard glasses a day) • Don’t smoke • Use relaxation techniques to reduce stress

Your Health Will I need to take medication? If your blood pressure remains above your target values, you will probably be on medication… for the rest of your life. There are many kinds of antihypertensive medications. Because needs vary from one person to the next, your physician will decide which medication is best for you. Controlling high blood pressure is a team effort, but you’re the captain of that team. See your doctor regularly. Don’t stop taking your high blood pressure medication without your doctor’s approval. Properly controlling your hypertension will lower your risk of experiencing other health problems later on. A healthy lifestyle and the right medication can help you control your blood pressure.


The average Canadian’s salt intake is higher than the value recommended for good health. On average, Canadians consume around 3,500 mg of sodium a day. This is well above the level recommended for maintaining good health. To help prevent and treat hypertension, a daily intake of 1,500 mg is recommended for adults 50 or under; 1,300 mg/day for adults 51 to 70; and 1,200 mg/day for adults 70 and over. Epidemiological studies and studies with human subjects have shown that a high sodium intake from food is a major cause of hypertension, the main risk factor for early vascular disease. The research indicates that a reduction in sodium intake to recommended levels could eliminate a million cases of hypertension, double the number of hypertension cases brought under control, and prevent 13% of cardiovascular events in Canada, which would save the Canadian healthcare system approximately $2 billion a year.

Where does all this salt come from? Nearly 80% of the sodium we consume comes from processed and fast foods like pizza, sandwiches, subs, burgers, hot dogs, ready-made soups and instant noodles. Also, sodium is added to practically every industrially prepared food (bread, canned vegetables, cold cuts), not just to salty snack foods. Cooking or table salt accounts for 10%, while salt naturally found in our food accounts for another 10% of our daily intake.

YOUR HEALTH • Winter 2013


Your Health How can I change my eating habits and reduce my salt intake? Check food labels for salt content • If possible, buy unsalted or low-salt foods • Look for claims such as “No sodium,” “Reduced-sodium,” “Contains less sodium,” or “No salt added” • Compare the “Nutrition Facts” tables and choose products with a lower salt content • Look for foods that contain less than 360 mg of salt per portion • Cut down on processed foods, even those that don’t taste salty • Eat out less: restaurant meals are an all-toocommon choice • Smaller is better: the bigger the portion, the higher the salt content Does your diet suffer because you don’t have time to cook? Here are a few suggestions that can help you significantly reduce the amount of salt in your diet when you’re in a hurry:

• Always keep frozen or ready-to-serve vegetables on hand, like prewashed lettuce, sliced mushrooms and cherry tomatoes • To replace commercial pasta sauces, whip up your own using canned tomatoes with no salt added • For healthier sandwiches, replace cold cuts with fondue meats, which are sliced thin and cook up in seconds • Freeze the water you cook vegetables in and use it later as a stock for home-made soups, or opt for reduced-salt commercial vegetable bouillon powder • Use home-made dressings to give even more life to your salads • Avoid sea and vegetable salts, which are equivalent to table salt • To give your foods flavour, go wild! Try fresh ginger, toasted sesame oil or seeds, citrus zest, jalapeño peppers, sambal oelek, curry powder, cardamom, “Chinese 5 Spices” mix, seasoned vinegars, dried herbs, and garlic, celery or onion powder Your taste buds will need some time to adjust to less salty foods. But if you keep at it, you’ll end up really appreciating the lower-salt recipes you’ve concocted. Try starting out with the half-half trick: mix salted nuts with unsalted nuts, or mix half a glass of regular vegetable juice with half a glass of the lowsodium version. Source:


YOUR HEALTH • Winter 2013

Services auxResearch patients

Biomarkers: Tools to Help Kidney Disease Prevention and Early Detection by Dr. François Madore

Dr. François Madore is a Nephrologist at Montreal’s Sacré-Coeur Hospital. He also heads up the University of Montreal Nephrology Research Consortium. He and his team are conducting basic research, concentrating on biomarkers − tools that could assist with the prevention or early detection of kidney disease.

“Early detection is really important in kidney disease,” says Dr. Madore, “because many people are not even aware that they have a disease. The reason for this is that kidney diseases are often silent. People don’t have any symptoms. Since they don’t feel that they are sick, they don’t seek medical attention.” These individuals are missing prized opportunities to have their kidney function checked through very simple blood and urine tests. “In terms of population health, I think what is really needed is to improve the level of awareness regarding kidney diseases,” insists Dr. Madore. “Individuals must know whether or not they are affected and whether or not they need to take special care regarding their kidneys. I think in recent years we’ve become much better at evaluating kidney function earlier when a patient comes to see a doctor. For instance, we’re very aware of the roles of high blood pressure and diabetes in contributing to renal deterioration. So I think physicians are much more aware of the risk factors, and we’re much better at identifying them and attempting to prevent progression of kidney problems.” Biomarkers, the area of Dr. Madore’s research, assist in the prognosis of kidney disease and response to therapy. “Basically, a biomarker is a molecule or something that we can measure either in the blood or in the urine that will help us to predict how a patient is going to evolve in the future. So if we can measure protein in the blood of

Dr. François Madore received support and research grants from the Foundation’s Biomedical Research Program. He also sits on the Program’s Scientific Committee.

someone, that level of protein will tell us if this patient is going to require chronic dialysis or transplantation. This is very important.” stresses Dr. Madore, “because if you know that someone is likely to progress towards something specific, you may treat this patient very differently and you may be more aggressive in terms of treatment. Biomarkers are very helpful in predicting who is going to respond – or not - to therapy.” Cholesterol is probably the best known biomarker. It can be measured in the blood and helps predict whether or not someone will suffer from myocardial infarction or cardiovascular disease. Cardiovascular disease is Canada’s number one killer and kidney disease patients are more likely to die of cardiac complications than either renal failure or prolonged dialysis. Dr. Madore notes that research such as his will help to “identify why patients with kidney disease have this increased risk of cardiovascular disease.” And this is an important step towards enhancing future treatment and potentially, prevention of kidney disease.

The foundation of kidney care

Kidney-Link • Winter 2013


News from the Chapters MONTREAL-METROPOLITAIN Kidney Kids Camp Volunteers Honoured at the Founder’s Award Gala CPA, CA, of Schwartz Levitsky Feldman LLP, and which was under the honorary presidency of Tony Loffreda, CPA , Head, National Client Group, Quebec, and Regional Vice-president, Commercial Financial Services, RBC Royal Bank.

Kidney Kids Camp volunteers, along with Luciano D’Ignazio and Tony Loffreda, Founder’s Award Campaign Chairman and Honorary Chairman, respectively

For its annual gala, held this year under the theme “Bollywood Dreams,” The Kidney Foundation of Canada conferred the 2012 Founder’s Award on all Kidney Kids Camp volunteers and organizers. Held November 8 at Montreal’s Le Windsor Ballrooms, the Gala paid tribute to all those who strive to make the Kidney Kids Camp a reality. The Foundation’s Kidney Kids Camp celebrated its 20th anniversary last year. For kids 8 to 18 who suffer from kidney disease or who’ve had a transplant, the summer camp is an opportunity to experience all the joys of a sleepaway camp in a setting carefully organized around their unique needs. Campers enjoy a week of fun under the supervision of a volunteer medical staff from SainteJustine Hospital and the Montreal Children’s Hospital. The Gala is the closing event of the Founder’s Award Campaign, which was chaired by Luciano D’Ignazio,

Over the past 22 years, the Campaign has raised over $14 million thanks to the invaluable dedication and support of the Campaign’s Cabinet members. The Gala’s Organizing Committee was made up of Howard Levine, Salvatore Santangello, Roberto Catalogna, Claude Jodoin and Perany Hassan, and was co-chaired by Colleen Wicha, Karen Kear-Jodoin and Norma Passaretti. The Kidney Foundation of Canada wishes to pay tribute to Harry H. Feldman, who passed away on July 5, 2012. Since 1992, Harry was a very active member of the Founder’s Award Campaign Cabinet, raising over $2 million to fund research, patient services and Harry H. Feldman the promotion of organ donation. As an eminent member of Montreal’s business community and someone determined to help others, he contributed significantly to raising awareness of the needs of people with kidney disease. In recognition of his outstanding commitment to the Foundation’s mission, Harry Feldman was conferred The Kidney Foundation of Canada’s Founder’s Award in 2003.

SAGUENAY/LAC SAINT-JEAN Christmas surprise at Chicoutimi Hospital


On December 19, 20 and 21, 2012, the Saguenay–Lac-SaintJean Chapter handed out snacks to hemodialysis patients at Chicoutimi Hospital to celebrate the Christmas season. Every patient also received a $20 President’s Choice gift card. Kidney-Link • Winter 2013

Together we can make a difference

News from the Chapters EASTERN TOWNSHIPS The Minister of Health and Social Services attends the 17th Jean-Jacques Bégin Dinner The traditional benefit dinner in honour of Jean-Jacques Bégin took place on October 12, 2012, at the Club de golf Sherbrooke , under the Chairmanship of Dermapure Founder and Director, Marilyne Gagné. The dinner was an occasion for the many guests attending to enjoy a sumptuous oyster dinner and buffet. The event raised $16,000, which will be used to conduct research into kidney disease, promote organ donation and organize activities for people with kidney disease, those awaiting a transplant, transplant recipients and dialysis patients. Dr. Réjean Hébert, MNA (Saint-François) and Minister of Health and Social Services, attended the dinner along with MP Pierre-Luc Dussault (Sherbrooke) and MNA Serge Cardin (Sherbrooke). Dr Réjean Hébert

The Foundation wishes to thank all of the event’s generous sponsors: Olympique Métal, IGA Couture, the Nephrology Department at Université de Sherbrooke’s university hospital, and Barefoot. Josée Parenteau, President of the Eastern Townships Chapter, was proud to accept the Morty Tarder Award on behalf of the Chapter. This distinction is presented to the Chapter that has best supported The Kidney Foundation of Canada in all aspects of its mission, including fundraising and patient services, over the course of the past year.

Dominic Lapointe

Josée Parenteau accompagnée de Christopher Gobeil

Josée Parenteau, on behalf of themembers of the Eastern Townships Chapter’s Board of Directors, also presented the Chapter’s Volunteer Award to Dominic Lapointe, President of Uni-d conception publicitaire. This award is given to a volunteer who has contributed in an exceptional way to the growth and development of the Chapter’s activities. Kidney-Link • Winter 2013

Your donation goes a long way at The Kidney Foundation


News from the Chapters QUEBEC CITY Kindness and comfort at the Christmas Brunch

On December 2, 2012, more than 175 people attended the Quebec City Chapter’s annual Christmas brunch to celebrate the Christmas holidays in a joyful atmosphere.

For over 30 years, Solange has been volunteering with kidney patients, serving them coffee at the Quebec City’s Hôtel-Dieu Hospital while promoting the Foundation’s activities.

Although the festivities were undoubtedly enhanced by the door prizes on hand, the day’s real highlight was when Solange Bouchard received the JeanJacques Bégin Award from the Quebec City Chapter.

Another party was also held on the same day at Hôtel-Dieu for patients undergoing dialysis. A big thank-you to all the volunteers who helped organize these two events!

Solange Bouchard receives the JeanJacques Bégin Award in the company of members of the Foundation’s Quebec City Chapter: President Gaétan Rhéaume (left); Development Coordinator Maryse Néron; Isabelle Langevin, administrative assistant, Development; and outgoing President, Marcel Bédard.


Kidney-Link • Winter 2013

Together we can make a difference

News from the Chapters SAVE THE DATE The Kidney Health Tour The Foundation will be setting up its screening kidney health center in cities throughout Quebec this coming March, National Kidney Health Month. The Foundation’s objective is to detect diabetes and hypertension, two main precursors to kidney disease. In Quebec, 200,000 people are unaware that they are diabetic, and thousands either have kidney disease or are at risk of developing it.

Would you like to find out if you’re at risk? Drop by one of our kidney health centers! Trois-Rivières: March 1, 2013 Centre Les Rivières – 4225 Des Forges Blvd Quebec City: March 12, 2013 Galeries de la Capitale – 5401 Des Galeries Blvd Sherbrooke: March 14, 2013 Carrefour de l’Estrie – 3050 De Portland Blvd Montreal: March 20 & 21, 2013 Salon ma santé, Complexe Desjardins – 150 Sainte-Catherine Street West Gatineau: March 26, 2013 Les Promenades de l’Outaouais – 1100 Maloney Blvd West As part of the Kidneys for Life Tour, Dr. Sacha De Serres will give a lecture on kidney research on March 20, 2013, in the Mauricie region ( details will be posted on our Web site).


The next


The next Quebec City Golf Tournament will be held June 10, 2013, at Club de golf Le Montmorency. For more information, contact Maryse Néron at 418-683- 1449 or

Annual General Meeting The Quebec Branch of The Kidney Foundation of Canada will hold its annual general meeting (AGM) on May 4, 2013, at the Best Western Plus Hotel, 131 Laurier Street, Gatineau. Kindly register by April 2, 2013, by contacting Jocelyne Renaud at 514‑938‑4515, ext. 230, or at 1‑800‑565‑4515.

support us by holding

The Door-to-Door Campaign Returns this Spring

your own fundraising

The Foundation’s traditional Door-to-Door Campaign will return this March and April in the Outaouais, Three-Rivers, Saguenay– Lac-Saint-Jean, the Lower Saint-Lawrence and the North Shore, where a great team of dedicated volunteers will be knocking on doors raising funds to improve the quality of life for people suffering from kidney disease. They will also take the opportunity to raise public awareness about organ donation. To get involved or find out more, contact Maryse Néron, Provincial Door-to-Door Campaign Coordinator, at 418‑683‑1449 or

Would you like to

activity to benefit the Foundation? To find out how, call Linda Pellas, Director of Development at 514-938-4515, ext. 227. Kidney-Link • Winter 2013

Your donation goes a long way at The Kidney Foundation


The mission of The Kidney Foundation of Canada The Kidney Foundation of Canada is the national volunteer organization committed to lessening the burden of kidney disease through: • funding and stimulating innovative research; • providing education and support; • promoting access to high quality healthcare; and • increasing public awareness and commitment to advancing kidney health and organ donation.

Quebec Branch 2300 René-Lévesque Blvd West Montreal, Quebec H3H 2R5 Tel.: 514-938-4515 1-800-565-4515 Fax: 514-938-4757


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Kidney-Link • Winter 2013

Your donation goes a long way at The Kidney Foundation

Kidney-Link winter 2013  

Kidney-Link Kidney Foundation of Canada winter 2013