About Us

About the PKD Foundation of Canada

Established in 1993, the PKD Foundation of Canada has now positioned itself as a nation leader of clinical research and fellowship funding in the field of 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 to END PKD.

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


To promote programs of research, advocacy, education, support and awareness in order to discover treatments and a cure for polycystic kidney disease and improve the lives of all it affects.


No one suffers the full effects of polycystic kidney disease.


“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).

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.  

Jarrett Osborne

Jarrett Osborne’s son, Harrison, was born with PKD ironically on World Kidney Day. His wife Angie, and their other two children, Clark and Madelynne, have dedicated their creative passions, entrepreneurial and philanthropic spirits to fight PKD and further support research, education, advocacy, support and awareness. The Osborne’s social enterprises include ‘POP Remedy’, a comic strip syndicate that marries artists with causes and ‘PLAY4PKD’, a gaming vlog that inspires friendly competition, playful penalties and matched donations. Jarrett believes Harrison is the best thing that could have happened to his family and they are exponentially better because of him. They are indebted to him and will by any means, continue to fight and forge for a cure for PKD.

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.


Stephanie Vardzel

Stephanie is a passionate supporter of the PKD Foundation of Canada. She has dedicated herself to the foundation in memory of her daughter Abigail, who passed away due to ARPKD in infancy. She is honoured to bring her organizational and life skills, Master’s education and drive to the organization. Stephanie and her husband are dedicated to finding a cure, so no other parent has to endure the heartache that they experienced.

Sara Hillier

I’m Sara Hillier and have been involved in the PKD community with the PKDFOC for as long as I can remember. My grandmother had PKD and my mom also has the disease. It has affected all of my family’s lives. My grandmother fought PKD with all of her might, and now my mother is doing the very same!

It is my turn to do my part in the fight to end PKD. I am excited to be a part of the Board of Directors, and look forward to advocating and fundraising for advancements in treatment options. It is my hope to one day see a cure for polycystic kidney disease.


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 to END PKD.

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.

Keara Johnson, Foundation Coordinator

Keara is a seasoned volunteer within her community and is passionate about health, environmental, affordable housing and women’s issues.  She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in geography from the University of Guelph and then went on to complete a post-graduate certificate in non-profit leadership and business management.  Keara is excited to be a new member of the PKD community and is eager to join the fight to end PKD.

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

The PKD Foundation of Canada is committed to raising funds towards finding a treatment and cure for polycystic kidney disease (PKD). Please find our most recent Annual Financial Report below.

2019 PKDFOC Annual Report