About Us

About the PKD Foundation of Canada (PKDFOC)

Since its creation in 1993, the PKD Foundation of Canada has raised more than $1 million towards research, support and help for families living with polycystic kidney disease (PKD). From the first research grant awarded in 1999, the PKD Foundation of Canada has set up chapters and support groups across the country, built an expansive and passionate volunteer network, and connected with PKD groups around the world to support our most notable fundraising event – the Walk for PKD.

Today, the PKD Foundation of Canada is the only national organization solely dedicated to fighting PKD through research, education, advocacy, support and awareness.

“The PKD Foundation of Canada is always helping me and my family. I am not a doctor but I know, when the time comes, I can reach out to them for support, for education, for assistance.” – Jarrett Osborne, father of PKD hero, Harrison

Board Of Directors

Our board of directors are proud volunteers of the PKD Foundation of Canada, and are passionate advocates for support, research and education to help all those affected by polycystic kidney disease (PKD).

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Joseph Brant

Joseph has a personal connection to PKD as both a patient and through his father. Following his father’s death from a brain aneurysm, doctors discovered that his kidneys and liver were both covered with cysts. The next day, his family members were assessed to determine if they too were carriers of the PKD gene. Joseph was diagnosed with PKD at the age of 16. He gives back to the community through his time as Board Chair for the PKD Foundation of Canada, appearing on television interviews, participating in bi-monthly support group meetings, and hosting various fundraising events. In 2011, Joseph’s efforts were officially recognized when he was presented with the Toronto Chapter Volunteer of the Year Award.

 

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Michelle Risi-Anagnostopoulos

PKD has deeply affected Michelle Risi-Anagnostopoulos and her family. She is passionate about contributing to the PKD Foundation of Canada and is optimistic that future generations will experience a different outcome for PKD - namely, a cure. Throughout her career, Michelle has always sought out opportunities to participate in volunteer committees and task forces, both in the corporate and charitable sectors. In 2015, Michelle was recognized and honoured by Portraits of Giving for the work she does within the community. She is also a self-proclaimed creator, enjoying hobbies such as painting, music, photography and writing.

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Doug Robertson

Doug Robertson is a founding member of the PKD Foundation of Canada. His involvement with PKD began as a result of his wife Jan’s diagnosis in 1980, at the age of 27. Since then, she has had two liver transplants and expects to receive a kidney transplant in the future. Doug and Jan have two adult children, Megan and Jeff. Prior to his role as Treasurer, Doug served as the Board Chair from 1994 to 2011.  

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Dianne Hillier

PKD runs in Dianne’s family with both maternal grandparents and her mother having this disease. Over 15 years ago Dianne’s father donated his kidney to her mother. Dianne and her family are excited to continue their support of the PKD Foundation of Canada, and remain dedicated to advocating for future treatment options that will improve the lives of those afflicted with PKD.

 

Staff

The PKD Foundation of Canada’s staff strives to uphold the mission and values of the Foundation in day-to-day activities, from growing chapters across the country to coordinating our annual Walk for PKD.

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Jeff Robertson, Executive Director

Jeff has been involved with the PKD Foundation of Canada for many years, as a volunteer for his local chapter and Walk Coordinator in Toronto. His life has been deeply impacted by polycystic kidney disease (PKD) – both his mother and grandmother were diagnosed with the disease when Jeff was young. As a result he has always been passionate about the importance of self-advocacy, volunteerism and community involvement. Having seen the increase in national exposure the PKD Foundation of Canada has received over the last eight years, Jeff is confident that the Foundation will continue to achieve even greater success.

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Vilija Batten, Foundation Coordinator

Vilija is excited to support the continuing growth of the PKD Foundation of Canada, bringing a wealth of non-profit expertise, project management and love for database systems gained through her previous work with the Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation, Habitat for Humanity Edmonton and her role on the board for Jasper Place Child and Family Resource Centre. She believes communities function at their best when there is shared input and fair access to services, information and education.  A mom to three active young boys, Vilija currently volunteers for her local school council providing support to their fundraising initiatives.

Scientific Advisory Committee

We are privileged to have the support of the American PKD Foundation’s Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC), which is comprised of 12 of the foremost physicians and scientists in North America. The SAC oversees the American PKD Foundation’s medical and scientific programs with the goal of discovering and delivering treatments for polycystic kidney disease (PKD), which align with the PKD Foundation of Canada’s goals. The SAC’s role involves meeting several times throughout the year to discuss relevant medical issues, offering guidance to the American PKD Foundation staff, and reviewing and approving research applications for grants and fellowships in the field of PKD science.

Financial Information