Join us for the 2nd Cornwall & SD&G Stroll for Liver!
Sunday, June 21, 2020
Help us change the future for Canadians with liver disease! Join us for Cornwall and the United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry 2nd annual STROLL for LIVER, a day of a healthy walk, entertainment, lunch, health fair, raffles and fun activities for adults and children. We’re excited to help increase awareness of liver disease and organ donation and to promote liver health at this national event.
Your liver plays a critical role in maintaining your overall health. Getting involved in physical activities is a great way to keep this vital organ healthy. By taking a Stroll, you can take control of your liver health while helping raise much-needed funds to continue funding lifesaving liver research and education programs. Register Today!
1 in 4 Canadians may be affected by liver disease – Kim is one of them.
Kim’s hard work and busy life kept her unaware of the danger that was growing in her liver.
It was totally by chance that Kim was alerted to her dangerous situation. She had offered herself up as a mock patient for radiologist’s training on the use of a new machine, and it was then when they found a spot on her liver and suggested that she see a specialist. That bit of luck that can be attributed to her giving nature and willingness to always help others. After seeing many specialists who misdiagnosed her, Kim was finally told that she had a liver tumour of the size of a watermelon.
Kim’s journey, living with liver disease, has been a true roller coaster, but her passion, determination, and the caring people who stayed with her, keep her going. To continue reading her story click here.
Meet Kim and her team at the Cornwall STROLL this summer. Register now!
Our STROLL will take place at Lamoureux Park which is a large park running along the shoreline of the St. Lawrence River in the Downtown area of Cornwall. This site connects to Cornwall’s Waterfront Trail, a multi-use recreation path that spans the entire city’s waterfront, offering stunning views of the St Lawrence River.
Registration, Health Fair and Raffle: Starting at 10:00 AM (Lamoureux Park’s Lion’s Club Bandshell)
Opening Remarks/Warm Up: 10:30 AM – 11:00 AM
Walk: 11:00 AM – 11:45 AM
Lunch and Entertainment: 11:45 AM – 12:45 PM
Thank You and Raffle Draw: 12:45 – 1:00 PM
Location: Lamoureux Park located at 100 Water St E, (Water and Pitt) Free parking available on site.
Register Now! Click here.
Already registered? Print a pledge form and don’t forget to bring it with you everywhere you go. Can’t make the stroll? You can still support the event by making a donation from your desktop or mobile device.
Kim hadn’t been feeling right for quite some time, but, like so many people do, she chalked it up to hard work and exhaustion. She had been working lots of overtime on a project she loved, so she kept going and going. “Kind of like the Energizer bunny,” she says.
One spot of fun in Kim’s busy days was her carpool to work, and among her commuting friends was a radiology technician who had been put in charge of training her colleagues in the use of a new piece of imaging equipment. Kim volunteered to be a mock patient, and after two training sessions, her friend approached her with a suggestion that she should see a specialist. The machine had revealed a very small but pronounced spot on Kim’s liver.
Initially, Kim’s doctor referred her to someone who didn’t seem to give her concerns due consideration, but by the time that consultation happened, she was beginning to experience some pain, so she insisted on a second opinion. Then a third. And a fourth. Finally, after a year and a half of follow up, Kim was seen by a liver specialist team in Ottawa. They found that the spot on her liver had grown to the size of a watermelon.
When medication meant to shrink the tumour didn’t work, the team advised surgery. The hope was that removing 2/3 of the tumor would alleviate Kim’s symptoms, but within three months, it had re-grown to its original size and begun to mutate. A second surgery was scheduled to remove the tumour, but tests leading up to that procedure showed that the tumor had impeded two of the three veins going into her liver, allowing only one vein to function. Additionally, the walls of the tumour had fused with the wall of the main portal vein. Surgery was impossible under those circumstances. Kim would need a liver transplant.
Life while waiting for a transplant was very difficult. Kim had to endure a drain that was put in so that bile could drain away—about two litres each day for a year and a half. Then, of course, there was the pain that was increasing as time went on. Eventually, Kim was left with no choice but to take a leave from work. Depression soon overtook her, and, feeling that her story was not going to have a happy ending, Kim began to put her personal affairs in order.
Three attempts to get a viable organ failed, as did Kim’s hopes. When a fourth call came, Kim couldn’t muster any excitement, but went through the motions in spite of herself. Numb and indifferent, she went to the hospital. She got “prepped.” The more time passed, the more hopeful things seemed. Soon it became clear. This liver was going to be “the one.”
On April 30, 2014, Kim received the most precious gift she could ask to receive—a life renewed by a donated liver. “I was on my way to a new life all because of the kindness, unselfishness, and love of this donor—a total stranger who saved me.” Hope returned.
Transplant stories don’t end with the transplant surgery, however. Kim experienced some post-surgical complications. Sadly, these will keep her from returning to the job she loved for so long. But none of the medical complications were so troubling to Kim as the loss of some friends and family who were unable understand her experience. “They don’t know what to say,” Kim comments. “They don’t know what to ask, when to broach the subject.” Worst of all was the loss of her biggest supporter, her mom, who passed away recently.
Even as her social circle was shrinking in some areas, Kim found it was opening wide in other areas. The Canadian Liver Foundation hosts an annual Stroll for Liver event, and Kim attended the one in her area of Cornwall, Ontario. Her “bestie” participated with her, one of the rockstar friends that Kim gives credit for sticking with her through the tough times. Kim and her friend, Cindy, felt it was important to give back to the community and encourage others who are also affected by liver disease.
“I think I know why the CLF calls the event a ‘stroll,’” Kim says. “Because when you stroll with someone, you talk with them. You bond. You may begin a friendship, and most likely, you talk about how you’re feeling.”
Kim’s goals for the future are simple: good health, good times, good friends, and a determination to give back to the community–supporting, encouraging, and helping those who are suffering from liver disease.
Will Kim do the STROLL for LIVER again? Definitely. She says she wants to “literally walk the talk.”
Join Kim and her team at the Cornwall STROLL this summer. Register now!
The Canadian Liver Foundation acknowledges the following organizations for their support of the CLF’s mission of “bringing liver research to life” to benefit the liver health of all Canadians through research, education, patient support and advocacy.
1 in 4 Canadians may be affected by liver disease – Colby is one of them.
Colby is a teacher, friend, brother, son, husband, and most importantly, a father. All his other accomplishments pale in comparison to his role as a father to his three beautiful children.
In 2006, Colby was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis, and after a lengthy process of poking, prodding and drinking what seemed like gallons of vile tasting concoctions for several different tests, the doctors discovered that his liver functions tests were atypically high. A year later, in the summer of 2007, Colby was finally diagnosed with Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis (PSC).
With no known cure for PSC or even effective medications to slow its effects down, Colby’s goal is to raise funds for liver research to help find a cure for PSC and other liver diseases.