FRANÇAIS

Stories
CHOICE AMBASSADOR
(Spice It Up! Issue Spring 2011)

(NC)—François-René Dussault may look like a regular middle-aged male, but there’s a lot that’s extraordinary about him. It’s not just that he’s a thriving lawyer who succeeded in having Ottawa City Hall agree on a tax credit when his home hemodialysis treatment made his water and sewer bills skyrocket. And it’s not just that he’s living well with an hereditary form of kidney disease, Alport Syndrome, that caused both his kidneys to fail a decade ago. It’s that his kidneys may have failed – but his stamina and vision haven’t. He’s volunteering with The Kidney Foundation to help others realize that a lot has to do with choice.

“When I first participated in The Kidney Foundation’s Peer Support Program, I felt I could make a difference just by listening. I found, with time, that the listening helped me too,” says François-René, who has undergone three types of dialysis (peritoneal, home hemodialysis and institutional hemodialysis) and two organ transplants from deceased donors to stay alive since 2000. “I hear people say how hard it is to receive a kidney failure diagnosis – or how hard it is to do home hemodialysis. I myself quit the
first time I tried it. I stopped the training after one week, and then, after a break, I went back. I listen to people and I tell
them it takes time and they have choices, they can make choices that are good for them.”

The Kidney Foundation of Canada really supports choices in treatment modalities,” says Paul Shay, The Kidney Foundation’s National Executive Director. “We know that a transplant isn’t possible for everyone – even if it is generally the preferred treatment for persons whose kidneys have failed.” The Foundation’s website at www.kidney.ca, provides a range of information on
treatment choices, how to get peer support and how to live well with kidney disease.

François-René is living well with a transplant, able to travel and also able to offer support and to act as an ambassador to increase awareness of the need for Canadians to make a positive choice with regards to organ donation. He knows the value that comes from making that positive choice, as do the thousands of Kidney Foundation volunteers who knock on doors throughout March, Kidney Health Month in Canada, for donations to fund the Foundation’s programs, such as research into kidney diseases. “It takes time,” says François-René, “but it does get better.” Having the right support to make the right choices helps.

François-René is living well with a transplant, able to travel and also able to offer support and to act as an ambassador to increase awareness of the need for Canadians to make a positive choice with regards to organ donation.



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