Ottawa Stroll

A lineup of Stroll for Liver participants walk holding a large Stroll for Liver banner

Join us for the 2020 Ottawa Stroll for Liver!

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Join us for Ottawa’s 14th annual STROLL for LIVER, a day of entertainment, lunch, health fair, raffles, and fun activities for adults and children! Our STROLL will be returning to the Ron Kolbus Lakeside Centre in Britannia Park, overlooking the Ottawa River.

We’re excited to help increase awareness of liver disease and organ donation and to promote liver health at this national event. Of course, a day in the sun is an excellent way for organizations, friends and families to get out and enjoy some fun and fitness!

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!

Fighting the Stigma: Abby’s Dad is Gone, but His Work Goes On

Abby’s dad, Dale, spent his entire life helping people overcome their addictions to substances. He was well-known in his community for his 25+ years of sobriety. So, when people assume that his death from liver disease had something to do with alcoholism or drug abuse, that’s a problem that Abby is motivated to fix.

Dale’s story begins in July 2013 with him visiting his family doctor with complaints of sharp pains in his abdomen. So severe was his pain that the doctor instructed him to go to the hospital immediately. Soon, Dale was told that he was in advanced liver failure and that he likely did not have long to live. The damage was quite extensive, they said.

Unbeknownst to all of them at the time, Dale was one of the more than 250,000 Canadians who unknowingly was living with Hepatitis C. To continue reading their story click here.

Join Abby and her family on June 13 at Britannia Park and help us raise funds for liver research and education. Register here.

Registration is free for those who help us fundraise, and every dollar raised will go towards our mission of bringing research to life for all Canadians by providing more studies into how we can better prevent, diagnose, treat or cure liver disease. Your participation will help increase the level of liver disease awareness in your community!

Register now

Registration, Health Fair and Raffle: 10:00 AM to 10:30 AM
Opening Remarks and Warm Up: 10:30 AM to 11:00 AM
Walk: 11:00 AM to 11:45 AM
Lunch and Family Entertainment:11:45 AM to 12:35 PM
Thank You and Raffle Draw: 12:30 PM to 1:00 PM

The Ron Kolbus Lakeside Centre is located at 102 Greenview Ave in Ottawa (closest main intersection is Pinecrest Rd and Carling Ave).
Free parking available around the 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.

Fighting the Stigma: Abby’s Dad is Gone, but His Work Goes On

Man holding a cigarDale’s story begins in July 2013 with him visiting his family doctor with complaints of sharp pains in his abdomen. So severe was his pain that the doctor instructed him to go to the hospital immediately. Soon, Dale was told that he was in advanced liver failure and that he likely did not have long to live. The damage was quite extensive, they said.

In the time of reflection that followed his prognosis, Dale and his family realized that he had actually begun exhibiting symptoms of liver failure as early as 2007, but, in spite of several visits to the doctor, he had gone undiagnosed for almost seven years. As is common, his doctor had never checked his liver, even after the appearance of his first very noticeable symptom–swelling in his feet and ankles. Dale would often jokingly say that he felt like he was “walking on loaves of bread.”

The family also wondered if his passionate work in the field of mental health and addictions had actually worked against Dale’s timely diagnosis. “It had been a common joke in our household,” says Abby, “stemming from a complete lack of understanding about liver disease, that one thing Dad didn’t need to ever worry about was his liver.”

Unbeknownst to all of them at the time, Dale was one of the more than 250,000 Canadians unknowingly living with Hepatitis C.

Dale’s prognosis was bleak, and he was quickly placed on the transplant list. Family members were considered and screened for their ability to be living donors, but no one was suitable. For the next two years, Dale was in and out of the hospital. He had some very close calls, but pulled through each time. Throughout the numerous ER visits and lengthy hospital stays, Dale maintained an optimistic outlook. He was determined to live, and he was determined to make the best of a terrible situation, routinely cracking jokes at his own expense.

A woman wearing a mouth cover, her dad and sisterIn spite of his good attitude and everyone’s best efforts, Dale’s health deteriorated rapidly. By May 2015, he was diagnosed with cancer in his abdomen. In that dark time, a spark of hope came through; one month after the cancer diagnosis, Dale received the call he had been waiting for: he had a liver waiting for him in London! That night, he and his youngest daughter, Rebeccah, made the drive to the hospital, and the next morning, which happened to be Rebeccah’s 20th birthday, Dale received his much-anticipated liver transplant. It seemed as though a breath of relief could finally be sighed.

Recovery after the transplant was slow and difficult, but everyone was optimistic. While his overall health was improving, Dale did end up back in the hospital at Thanksgiving. He had an infection and early signs of rejection. The transplant team increased his dosage of anti-rejection drugs and released him after just a few days in the ICU. By Christmas, Dale appeared to be back to his old self and was even well enough to go back to work. His energy levels were finally increasing, and he could walk for more than 10 minutes without needing to sit down and rest.

New Year’s Day saw Dale back in the ER with pain and discomfort. There were numerous tests, consuming the entire month of January, and then Dale was flown back to London to be examined. In early February, Abby and the rest of the family got the news that Dale had been overprescribed the anti-rejection drugs during his Thanksgiving hospital stay and that he now had terminal cancer and only months to live.

Those months turned out to be less than 3 weeks. On February 23rd, 2016, at the age of just 49 years old, Dale passed peacefully away.. Dale’s family was devastated, tortured by thoughts of the many ways and times their loss may have been prevented: if only the Hepatitis C had been diagnosed sooner; if only he had received a transplant sooner; if only his medication had been better managed.

Even now, years after Dale’s passing, the family still wonders how things might have been different. And, in addition to their own thoughts, they often are keenly aware of the thoughts of others. “One of the most common responses I get, when I tell someone that my dad passed away due to a liver-related illness, is the assumption that he must have been an alcoholic or some other kind of substance abuser,” says Abby. “These kinds of assumptions and this stigma are particularly troubling as the underlying implication is that the person made decisions that resulted in an adverse health outcome and are therefore less worthy of sympathy.”

“We don’t know how or when my dad contracted Hepatitis C, but we know that it is a common virus, afflicting more than a quarter million Canadians, many of whom don’t know they have it, and all of whom are deserving of sympathy and respect.”

Incredible advances in the fight against Hepatitis C have been made, however, an estimated 250,000 Canadians have this life-threatening virus and don’t even know it. Like Dale, they may not receive the treatment they need until it is too late. Increasing awareness is key to increasing testing, and that has been Abby’s primary goal throughout her involvement with the Canadian Liver Foundation.

To join Abby in this year’s STROLL for LIVER in support of liver research and education,  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.

 National 2020 Sponsor

Exclusive running retail sponsor

Running room

Regional Sponsor

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Bayshore

Bayshore Foundation logo

In-kind sponsors

Allison photography sponsor
Ottawa bbq rental
Dumounchel Stroll logo

DR RD logo

Rogers TV logo
SHS logo
Tim Hortons
UPS Store logo
yu
Dr. Yu Ming's Ottawa sponsor

2019 Gallery

2018 Stroll highlights

Trisha Nagpal’s family – They raised over $7400! The Nagpal family started the Stroll in 2006 in memory of their daughter and sister, Trisha, who passed away from Wilson’s disease, a rare inherited disorder that causes copper to accumulate in the liver, brain and other vital organs.  Daljit greets the Stroll for Liver participants every year and his wife and daughters play a key role in volunteering to make the event the success that it is.  Thank you Trisha Nagpal’s family for your ongoing support to fund life-saving liver research.

Kleiboer Team – They raised over $2500! Debbie Kleiboer celebrated her 6th Anniversary as a liver transplant recipient this year thanks to her live donor, her brother David.  Debbie’s sister Cindy wrote their family’s journey in supporting Debbie through the experience of receiving a transplant and put it all together in a journal for Debbie.  The incredible gift her brother shared and the ups and downs of navigating the healthcare system are captured in the journal and Debbie shares it to help inform others.

Team Faith – They raised over $2300! Faith Arial was born without bile ducts so her bile damaged her liver. At 5 months old she received a liver transplant, thanks to her mother and liver donor, Jennifer O’Byrne.  They have been incredible supporters for the CLF along with Faith’s Grandfather, Gary O’Byrne.

We would like to extend a heart-felt thank you to everyone who donated and participated in this year’s Stroll. It was the goal of CLF’s Eastern Ontario Volunteer Planning Committee to inform, entertain, and provide a liver-healthy forum for our members and their families, all while raising much needed funds for lifesaving liver research and education programs.

Robert Ottwa volunteerIt was back in February 1988, when Robert found himself struggling to walk home from school. After undergoing a multitude of tests, he was diagnosed with autoimmune hepatitis, a chronic disease in which the body’s immune system attacks the liver and causes damage.

With medication, Robert was able to manage his health for many years. In the back of his mind, Robert knew that one day his liver would begin to fail. That day came in 2009 and when his condition began to worsen, Robert was added to the liver transplant list.

With the help of the Canadian Liver Foundation, Robert was able to connect with other liver transplant recipients who shared their personal stories and experiences with him. Robert received a liver transplant in early 2010. His surgery was a great success and he was declared their healthiest patient only 33 days after his surgery. He thanks his surgeon and the transplant team and is extremely grateful to his anonymous donor and the donor family for their gift of organ donation.

Today, Robert is feeling great; his energy is back. He joined his local Running Room walking group and participated in their ‘learn-to-run’ training program. Robert has gone on to run in local races and become an instructor for the ‘learn-to-run’ program.

Robert has been an active volunteer for the Canadian Liver Foundation in Eastern Ontario for the past 8 years, supporting our fundraising efforts and assisting with major events. Robert provides peer support to future liver transplant recipients, offering guidance, comfort and confidence.