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.


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