March 31, 2020

March 2020 PKD e-News


March 2020


Welcome to the PKD Foundation of Canada's February e-News! We have provided information important to helping you take action in your journey with PKD.


*POSTPONED*-Hamilton and Niagara Chapter Meeting: Transplantation and Organ Donation

Attention friends in the Hamilton and Niagara area!

Due to Covid-19, we have made the obvious decision to postpone the upcoming Hamilton-Niagara Chapter educational meeting that was to be held on April 14th at St. Joseph's Hospital in Hamilton.

As always the health and safety of our attendees, volunteers and guest speakers remain at the forefront of our mind and we look forward to resuming our education meetings when the time is appropriate.

Watch for updates on and our social media channels in the coming weeks.


Be Prepared: Kidney Patient Prep for Coronavirus

What You Should Know
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person contact. Older adults and people with serious chronic medical conditions, including kidney disease, seem to be at higher risk for more serious illness.  Therefore, it is especially important for people with PKD to take actions to reduce your risk of exposure.
Depending on the severity of the outbreak in your community, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) recommends the below to slow the spread and reduce the impact of the disease.
  • Stay home if you feel sick or have any symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills.
  • Avoid others who are sick. Limiting face-to-face contact with others as much as possible.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw it in the trash can. If you don't have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve, not your hands.
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If you don’t have soap and water, use hand sanitizer with 60%-95% alcohol.
  • Clean very often the things that get touched a lot, like door handles.
  • Avoid touching your face, especially your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Practice social distancing by staying away from places with a lot of people (like restaurants or mass gatherings) and maintain a distance of about 6 feet from others when in public if possible. Avoid hugs and handshakes.
  • Wear a facemask if your healthcare team or someone from the public health office says you should.
Patients with early-stage kidney disease or who are post-transplant should consult with their doctors to see if any additional preventative measures are necessary.

For more information related to the coronavirus and dialysis, transplantation and home preparedness, visit our website here.

For general updates about the coronavirus outbreak, and travel advice, visit the Public Health Agency of Canada's website here.

Social Distancing: What You Need to Know

What does Social Distancing mean?
This means making changes in your everyday routines in order to minimize close contact with others, including:
  • avoiding crowded places and non-essential gatherings 
  • avoiding common greetings, such as handshakes
  • limiting contact with people at higher risk (e.g. older adults and those in poor health)
  • keeping a distance of at least 2 arms lengths (approximately 2 metres) from others, as much as possible

Here’s how you can practice social distancing: 
  • greet with a wave instead of a handshake, a kiss or a hug
  • stay home as much as possible, including for meals and entertainment
  • shop or take public transportation during off-peak hours
  • conduct virtual meetings 
  • host virtual playdates for your kids 
  • use technology to keep in touch with friends and family
If possible,
  • use food delivery services or online shopping
  • exercise at home or outside

    Learn more about social distancing and download your #IStayHomeFor shareable page HERE.

Check out and share these info-graphics for best practices to keep safe during the spread of COVID-19 here.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding COVID-19, don’t hesitate to reach out to us anytime.

We’re here to help you and your family during this difficult time.
Stay safe & stay home!


PKD Health Note: Kidney Disease & Women

"While kidney disease can affect people of all ages and races, women tend to face more specific challenges linked to kidney disease. The risk of developing Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is at least as high in women as in men and may even be higher. CKD affects approximately 195 million women worldwide and it is currently the 8th leading cause of death in women, causing 600,000 deaths each year [1]. CKD poses risk of morbidity and in many cases progreses towards the renal failure, requiring renal replacement therapy – dialysis and/or kidney transplantation." 

You can read the full article here.

WEBINAR- Best Practices When Working From Home

Webinar: Best practices for working from home:

In response to COVID-19 and social distancing, many individuals across the Can-SOLVE CKD Network have transitioned to working from home. While there are definite advantages to remote work, there are also challenges to navigate.

Join us for a special webinar Friday, April 3 at 11:00 a.m. PDT / 2:00 p.m. EDT to learn some coping strategies and best practices that will help smooth the transition for yourself and your team members.

Click here to learn more!


March is National Kidney Month!

Thank you for participating in the 31 Days of PKD Challenges!

Kidney Month is recognized in March across Canada and the United States. We spend this time raising awareness of the importance of our kidneys to our overall health, and to reduce the frequency and impact kidney disease and its associated health problems have on an international level.

In honor of March’s National Kidney Month, we once again took on daily challenges to raise awareness of polycystic kidney disease (PKD). We appreciate and want to thank everyone who helped raise awareness in the 31 Days of PKD Challenges!

You can check out our past 31 Days of PKD Challenges on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Thank you to all who participated! #PKDChallenge, #KidneyMonth, and #endPKD.

"Favourite School Bus Driver Gets Kidney Donation From Former Passenger"

"After waiting almost two years, Miramichi school bus driver Pat Jepson is counting the hours until he receives a new kidney Thursday.

The woman donating her kidney to him is Natalie Woods, also from Miramichi, a former passenger on his bus. Woods says Jepson was her favourite school bus driver. 

"He was the nicest one there and I remember him because one day he came to pick us up and he was wearing a big clown wig and I never forgot it," said Woods. 

The two, along with Jepson's wife, Adeline will travel to Halifax on Tuesday and have the transplant surgery Thursday." 

You can read the full article here.

Willie & Nettie Van Dyk, Beamsville ON

Willie Van Dyk
"When I was around the age of 35 (1996) I was diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease.  PKD is an inherited disorder where clusters of cysts to develop within your kidneys, causing your kidneys to enlarge and lose function over time." 

Nettie Van Dyk 
"When my husband, Willie, needed a kidney transplant, never did it occur to me that I would be his donor! He always said one of his brothers would donate. Just out of curiosity, I spoke to my doctor about my blood type."

You can read their full stories here.

 Help People SEE ADPKD: Share Your Story Today!


Polycystic kidney disease (PKD) is one of the world's most common, life-threatening genetic diseases. Your stories can help people paint a more powerful picture of PKD and the lives it affects.

Help give a voice to a widely unknown disease by sharing your story here.

You can read some of our Voices of PKD here! 


April is BeADonor Month!

"April is BeADonor Month in Ontario! You can help spread the word by sharing our social media graphics via your social media accounts.

Each year, advocates, hospitals, first responders and more, come together throughout the province to help increase registration rates for organ and tissue donation in Ontario."

To learn more about BeADonor month, look out for PKD's upcoming social posts on our
Facebook, Twitter and Instagram or visit the Trillium Gift of Life Network website, here.

If you live in Ontario, you can learn more or register to become a donor here.

If you live outside of Ontario, you can learn more and register to become a donor here.

National Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Week is April 19th-25th!

"National Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Week (NOTDAW) celebrates organ and tissue donation and raises awareness about the critical need for more donors across the country.

Canadians are encouraged to visit to register as organ and tissue donors during National Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Week. They are also reminded to have important conversations with loved ones about their organ donation wishes. And to spread the word about the critical need for more donors.

Canadians have a valuable role to play. Canadians are encouraged to join forces with health-care providers, governments and Canadian Blood Services to help us create a day when no one in Canada dies waiting for a transplant."

If you live in Ontario, to learn more or register to become a donor click here.

If you live outside of Ontario, you can learn more or register to become a donor here.


Working for a cure,
Your Friends at the PKD Foundation of Canada

Every gift - no matter the size - can make a difference in the fight against PKD. Please consider making a donation today.