Joel Robinet was 26 years old, in good physical condition and working in construction. Out of nowhere, his ankles began to swell like footballs. You can imagine his surprise when a biopsy confirmed that he had MGN (Membranous Glomerulonephritis), a form of kidney disease.
His first course of treatment was medication. He fought this disease for 13 years before it took a turn for the worst. His kidneys were declining in function at a more rapid rate and he became very weak and sick. No longer having a choice, he was forced to go on peritoneal dialysis and was put on the transplant waiting list.
After 13 months on dialysis, Joel got a call from London. They had a match for him. On May 23, 2019, he received two paediatric kidneys. He has had no issues since and has been feeling great since!
Joel attributes his increased quality of life to advances made in kidney disease research over the years. A lot of this is due in part to funding provided by The Kidney Foundation. Now that he is feeling great, he feels it is his duty to pay it forward. He has volunteered in the past with The Kidney Foundation, but became involved in the Kidney Walk in 2019, then later as a Chapter Advisory Committee member and Peer Support volunteer.
“This year I am honoured to have been chosen as the Windsor-Essex Kidney Walk Ambassador. Together, with my family, we will raise funds and walk in support and in honour of everyone living with kidney disease. We will help spread awareness, and we will contribute to the valuable programs and services offered by the Foundation, that helps patients through their difficult journeys,” says Joel.
Joel encourages others to help make a difference as well, by getting involved in the Kidney Walk on September 26th. This year’s Walk is once again in a virtual format, meaning you will chart your own path and walk in your own neighbourhood. The process is simple. Register online at www.kidneywalk.ca. All of your fundraising can be done online, or if you prefer a paper pledge form, they are available to print under ‘Fundraising Tools’ on the website. Joel and The Kidney Foundation hope to ‘see’ you on September 26th!