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Kidney Cancer Canada: By Patients, for Patients

Circle of Hands
Circle of Hands

Kidney Cancer Canada is a community of patients, caregivers, and health professionals who work together to support every Canadian touched by kidney cancer.

Two patients, Deb Maskens and the late Tony Clark met accidently in a waiting room at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in 2006. They made a goal — to form a small onsite support group. From two patients, it became four, and by 2011 numbered over 2,000 kidney cancer patients and caregivers across Canada.

Kidney Cancer Canada continues to grow and thrive — a national community of patients, caregivers, and health professionals who work together to provide every Canadian touched by kidney cancer with support, information, education, and advocacy for treatment options.

Programs and services are bilingual. The Annual National Patient & Caregiver Forum was held in cities across Canada until 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic forced a change to virtual meetings. The Forum in spring 2021 will bring the Canadian kidney cancer community together and feature medical and treatment information by Canada’s top kidney cancer doctors. Segments on wellness, stress management, and patient stories will also play an important part. 

Virtual Forum

Webinars held throughout the year offer resources on cooking, nutrition, exercise, and mindfulness along with latest information on treatment and clinical trials. Peer support and Coffee Chats offer a safe environment for patients and caregivers to meet virtually and discuss all topics. Kidney Cancer Canada’s website has a wealth of information including the Video Knowledge Library which provides information and answers to every question by leading doctors.

The support received from informal Coffee Chats to updates of latest research and treatments have been a lifeline,” says member Eve N. “Just a phone call away, Kidney Cancer Canada connects us all, so you know you’re not alone!

Coffee Chat

Kidney Cancer Canada funds innovative research through support from generous donors including patients, caregivers, family members, friends, and the Warren Y. Soper Charitable Trust, and by teaming with the Kidney Cancer Research Network of Canada, a nation-wide collaboration of doctors and researchers committed to finding better diagnosis, treatment, and hopefully a cure. The annual fundraiser Move To Beat Cancer, held in September, encourages supporters to do an activity that is within the individuals ability. One of its 2020 supporters wrote a poem and others participated by knitting and baking cupcakes.

Kidney Cancer Canada believes every cancer patient deserves access to quality treatment. It advocates with government policy makers at national and provincial levels and teaches patients how to advocate for their own treatment plans. 

Additionally, Kidney Cancer Canada helped to establish Cancertainty, a coalition of 35+ Canadian patient groups, health charities, and caregiver organizations which collaborate to ensure Canadians with cancer have fair, equal, and affordable access to oral take-home cancer medications.

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