Hope and joy, despite the pain

Kidney Foundation begins its annual canvass in District 69

Kira Kilbank kept a positive attitude throughout her life

Kira Kilbank kept a positive attitude throughout her life

Canvassers have begun to fan out across Qualicum Beach and Parksville as Kidney Foundation Volunteers knock on doors to raise money to fight kidney disease.

The campaign comes as Canada marks Kidney Health Month with a campaign of hope.

The Stories of Hope campaign Throughout March, Kidney Health Month, Canadians are invited to submit their Kidney Story of Hope through a new tool available on the KFOC website at www.kidney.ca/storiesofhope, which allows them to create a personalized story page.

Each regional winner will also receive $500, courtesy of Shire Canada.

Mona Sanderson, the Kidney Foundation District leader for Parksville and Qualicum Beach, shares one such story.



She was only 16 when she died.  Kira Kilbank was her name.

Kira was diagnosed with Mitochondrial Disease at the young age of eight, a rare and degenerative disease which causes fatigue of the most basic functions within the body, robbing it of all energy and eventually causing renal failure.

She was far too young to be experiencing this kind of life but no one would have guessed she was dying because she lived life to the fullest in her few short years always finding a way to accomplish what she wanted to do with the greatest of zeal and joy.

Her attitude of love touched many hearts — especially her school mates — and her amazing smile was always with her. This disease could not dampen her spirit to live.

Life for Kira was difficult, yes very difficult, and yet she made the best of a difficult situation.

Having the strong support of family, school and friends made it easier for her mother, as a single parent, to care for her. Besides the difficulties inherent in daily living, costs were prohibitive for at least one of the medications to keep her alive.

Fortunately because of the kindness of The Kidney Foundation, the most costly of her medications was covered.

Yet Kira was someone who exuded love, joy and a great deal of fun and humour. Somehow, she was blessed with the ability to rise above her pain, live in the light of goodness and feed the souls of those around her.

We remember her today because she was a true model of living the life of sharing with a ready smile for everyone she met.

She was also the recipient of the kindnesses from people like you and me who help others by offering of our time, services or money to organizations like The Kidney Foundation.

The Kidney Foundation provided Kira with medications that were extremely costly and would otherwise not have been available for her. Her family is so thankful to The Kidney Foundation for their immeasurable care and unexpected support.

So we are reminded of how important it is to help those in need as we too could be those in need one day. And we can give in so many ways — the ways are limitless.

A smile goes a long way, a hello makes us feel important, a pat on the back is often what is needed, a helping hand is appreciated, an opened door welcomed, a seat given up at the right time, a word to a spouse or partner “did I tell you today I love you?” Kindness comes in many forms and ways and speaks volumes to the heart.

Let’s keep the kindnesses alive and remember to share of what we have with a donation of money when a canvasser comes to your door this month.

Contact www.kidney.bc.ca if you want to donate online or consider donating of your time as a canvasser — an opportunity to share your kindness from what you already have.

More Kidney Foundation volunteers are still needed to canvass in the  Coombs and Errington areas.


Just Posted

The proposed running track upgrade at Ballenas Secondary is now on course. (PQB News file photo)
RDN: Parksville track upgrade project gains some traction

Staff recommends board approve $204,000 funding

The total earnings of Town of Qualicum Beach council and mayor amounted to $186,649 in 2020, including expenses. (Town of Qualicum Beach photo)
Nine Qualicum Beach town employees earned more than $100K in 2020

Mayor and council received earnings totalling $186,649

(PQB News file photo)
Fireworks report highlights enforcement challenges for Regional District of Nanaimo

Director: ‘I just think it’s wasting everybody’s time’

Terry Mazzei next to a truck after it was struck by lightning, with him inside, on Wednesday afternoon, June 9. He walked away from the incident without injury and the truck sustained only mild damage; a blown front tire and newly broken gas gauge. (Wendy Mazzei photo)
Nanoose Bay man walks away unscathed after lightning strike

VIDEO: ‘We like to think that his dad was watching over him’

Douglas Holmes, current Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District chief administrative officer, is set to take on that position at the Regional District of Nanaimo come late August. (Submitted photo)
Regional District of Nanaimo’s next CAO keen to work on building partnerships

Douglas Holmes to take over top administrator role with RDN this summer

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Most Read