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Kidney Foundation Launches First National Targeted Screening Program

The Kidney Foundation of Canada Launches First-Ever National Targeted Screening Program for Chronic Kidney Disease Thanks to the Support of CN & ABC Recycling

April 8, 2011 – Canada’s first national targeted screening program for chronic kidney disease (CKD) was announced today by The Kidney Foundation of Canada (KFOC). The program, titled See Kidney Disease or SeeKD, is being made possible by an innovative funding arrangement with CN that will enable The Kidney Foundation to fulfill one of its cornerstone mandates: early detection and prevention of chronic kidney disease (CKD).The funding for SeeKD will take the form of CN donating out-of-service railcars to Kidney Metals, an initiative of KFOC, BC Branch in partnership with ABC Recyling Ltd. CN has pledged $600,000 over a three-year period, which will enable the SeeKD program to support early identification and prevention of chronic kidney disease in communities across the country.

CN marked the announcement by presenting The Kidney Foundation of Canada with a cheque that represents the first year’s commitment to the initiative. “We are delighted to be part of such an innovative program that will help save so many lives across the country,” said Karen Phillips, vice president public and government affairs.

ABC Recycling, a leading metal recovery and recycling firm, amazed onlookers at its Burnaby operation when it “sheared” a CN railcar resulting in 30 tons of metal now destined to improve the health of Canadians at risk of developing kidney disease. “We are happy to be able to contribute our recycling expertise to help The Kidney Foundation save lives,” said ABC’s CEO, David Yochlowitz. “We are proud of our involvement in both Kidney Metals and Kidney Car because we know from personal experience just how important kidney health is. Ten years ago I donated a kidney to my wife.”

Chronic kidney disease is defined as the presence of kidney damage, or a decreased level of kidney function, for a period of three months or more. As many as 2.6 million Canadians have, or are at risk of developing, kidney disease and many are not aware of their condition. SeeKD is targeted at those most at risk of developing chronic kidney disease such as individuals with diabetes, hypertension, evidence of vascular disease, a family history of kidney disease and/or who are over 55 years of age. Certain ethnic groups are particularly at risk, such as people of Aboriginal, Asian and South Asian, African and Hispanic descent.

“Targeted screening programs have been shown to detect 93 per cent of all chronic kidney disease in the community,” says Dr. Joanne Kappel, who helped design the SeeKD program and who currently serves as chair of The Kidney Foundation’s Public Policy Council.

“We are delighted that CN has recognized the importance of the SeeKD initiative in helping to reduce the burden of kidney disease,” noted Lorraine Gerard, executive director of The Kidney Foundation’s BC Branch.

Kathryn Richardson, national president of The Kidney Foundation, whose son received a living donor kidney transplant when diagnosed early with kidney disease, reiterated: “There is no cure for kidney disease, but disease progression can be stopped or prevented if detected early enough, making initiatives such as this new SeeKD program invaluable.”

To find out more about kidney disease and the importance of screening to assist early detection and disease management, or for a list of screening events in your region, visit

The Kidney Foundation of Canada is the national volunteer organization committed to reducing the burden of kidney disease through funding and stimulating innovative research; providing education and support; promoting access to high quality health care; and increasing public awareness and commitment to advancing kidney health and organ donation.

For more information, please contact:

Pauline Buck, APR
Communications Manager
The Kidney Foundation, BC Branch
Tel.: 604-736-9775, poste 230 (o), 604-812-1995 (c)
Email: [email protected]

Irene Aguzzi
National Director, Communications and Marketing
The Kidney Foundation of Canada
Tel.: 514-369-4806, x227(o), 514-458-5342 (c)
Email: irene.a[email protected]

Kelli Svendsen
Senior Manager, Public and Government Affairs
Tel.: 604-589-6512
Email: [email protected]