Dialysis patient Michael Lefebvre (l) and Dr. Paul Komenda at Seven Oaks’ 2014 One Sweet Affair gala. The event raised funds to support kidney and chronic disease research.

Home dialysis option a result of research and coordination

Excerpted from a speech by dialysis patient Michael Lefebvre at the 2014 Seven Oaks General Hospital Foundation’s One Sweet Affair fundraising dinner

October 21, 2014

Good evening ladies and gentleman and honored guests.

It is truly my pleasure to speak to you on this auspicious occasion and share with you my journey and experiences with kidney disease and how my family and I have benefited from the research that Dr. Komenda and his team at Seven Oaks have been doing these past many years.

I inherited the kidney disease that my mother suffered from all her life and after decades of monitoring my disease progressed to the point where I faced a decision about starting dialysis.

After many discussions with the staff at Seven Oaks and yes, doing some light reading and homework, we settled on Peritoneal Dialysis with the twin bag to start and after some training, progress to the cycler. While thinking back to all of these events all I can remember is how easy the staff at Seven Oaks made this transition for me and my family. I started twin bagging in September 2011 in earnest.

That means that I insert a solution through the catheter into my abdominal cavity and draw off the waste that my cardiovascular system and kidneys aren’t able to process.

After a few weeks on the twin bag system my strength was returning and I was able to be more effective at work and in the gym and start contributing more on the hockey teams that I played on instead of just being one of the pylons!

So, ladies and gentleman fast forward 3 years and that’s how long I’ve been on the PD. Every day I remind myself on how lucky I am that I still have the flexibility to do whatever I want, well, mostly whatever I want! and that I can still enjoy our cottage at the Lake of the Woods, work full time, workout regularly, and still play the wonderful games of hockey and golf. However, I must say, that lugging the cycler to the cottage and back along with all of the supplies can get tiresome, but when I consider the alternative, I remind myself that it isn’t all that bad!

It has been my experience that something that goes that smoothly takes a lot of planning and organization and hours of hard work. I am certain of two things: 1. that I am benefiting from all of this hard work and 2. my easy progression would have not been so easy without this research and knowledge.

That is why we are here today ladies and gentleman so that the research on the disease that affects so many Manitobans can continue at Seven Oaks and that future kidney patients can have easy progression to dialysis that I had.

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