The Mattamy Homes and Kidney March Connection

Kidney March is honoured to have many remarkable supporters that help champion its growth and success, making it the impactful movement it is today. One of those vital supporters has been Mattamy Homes, sponsoring our cause and community again for their sixth year. 

Mattamy Homes, also plays an active role in volunteering at the march. Many staff have been impacted by kidney disease and some have personally completed the 100KM challenge.

“We focus on giving back to the causes that matter most to our team and Kidney March is one of them. We are thrilled to have increased our donation this year to include The Spa, Finish Line and Tent Cities.”
– Mattamy Homes

At the core of Mattamy’s culture is its value for communities. This dedication to making a positive impact starts with their Founder, Peter Gilgan and flows into the actions of their leadership team and employees. Mattamy Homes’ commitment to Kidney March has had a significant impact on Kidney March exceeding its goals, creating more funding to support vital research and patient needs.  

“It’s been a fantastic experience being involved in Kidney March. To feel like we’re making a difference in people’s lives and the lives of our own employees who have been impacted. It’s an incredible feeling to support such a worthy cause.”
Mattamy Homes

Jon Hislop, New Home Technician for Mattamy Homes in Calgary has marched and volunteered on behalf of Mattamy

“Kidney March is extremely organized, inclusive, and everyone is just happy to be there. I had an opportunity to hand out shirts at the finish line and it was special to be a part of it. You see exhausted yet happy people walking up who feel very proud of what they just accomplished.”
– John Hislop

Hislop is on team Renal Defenders again this year. He is proud to be Marching for his nephew Liam who received a lifesaving transplant and in honour of his Nana who fought kidney disease.

Kidney March and Mattamy Homes have an invaluable partnership.
We are beyond grateful for their involvement and six years of dedicated support. 
Thank You Mattamy Homes

Say hello to Mattamy Homes staff marching and waiting for you at the finish line!

Learn more about Mattamy Homes at  Mattamy Homes’ Calgary Division

The Story Behind the Memorial Hill Banner

At Kidney March, you will cross paths with some of the most incredible people on the planet whose generosity extends far beyond fundraising for our cause. Meet Jimmy Lock and Pierre Lebrun, Creators of the Memorial Hill Banner.

Brought together through a mutual friend, Jimmy and Pierre’s compassion for our Kidney March community is inspirational. 2019 was Jimmy’s first year marching, and he has been a monumental part of our community ever since. Pierre got a glimpse of Kidney March in 2019 as a spectator and volunteer and is now a three-time participant too.

“I came to support my friend at a cheering station and I was amazed. So many participants. I could not believe the commitment of the walkers. I have no personal connection to kidney disease. Just a big heart, wanting to do good for others.”- Pierre Lebrun

When a Kidney March family suffered a tragic loss, Jimmy and Pierre came together with big hearts to show their support by creating a new tradition to honour those we have lost, the Memorial Hill banner. They collected the names of passed loved ones from fellow Marchers and Crew and wrote them on the banner with the intention of displaying it at the top of the route’s steepest climb on day two in 2020.

The banner will finally be displayed on the route for the first time this year. It will be an emotional experience as it waits at the top of the big hill, “Memorial Hill” to commemorate our loved ones.

Pierre and Jimmy want to extend the opportunity for everyone to honour those they’ve lost on the banner. To add a loved one’s name to the banner please contact Pierre directly at,

Why We March, Meet Andree Fedoruk

Thirteen-time Marcher Andree Fedoruk featured on this year’s poster, gives us a glimpse of the camaraderie and spirit that brings her back to Kidney March every year.

Andree and her husband Steve took a leap of faith and joined Kidney March in its first year. Ready to give back after Steve received a lifesaving transplant in 2001 from his sister, Marilyn, the couple registered to March and Crew and have not missed a year since.

“It’s been unbelievable to see the progression of Kidney March. Growing year after year. We are friends. We are family. The benefits with this community are limitless.” Andree Fedoruk

This year’s poster image represents our community of support and compassion. Andree, on the left side, explains what was happening.

“That was the Sunday leaving camp. Carrie and I were walking out and saw Kristine crying. It’s an emotional day. We put our arms around to support her, console her, reminisced about the weekend, and motivated each other to keep marching on.”  

Andree shared her Kidney March advice, and we couldn’t have said it better ourselves.

“It’s not about looking at the finish line. It’s about what happens between the start and finish. Meeting the people, learning their stories, sharing laughs, tears, and being inspired.” 

Look for Andree at this year’s Kidney March and say hello. She can’t wait to create more memories again this year!

Why We March, Meet Brenda Brown

Third-time Kidney Marcher, Brenda Brown is an Unstoppable Force

Member of Team BeCauseYuKan, Brenda Brown from Abbotsford BC, is a go-getter, mother of three, grandmother of three, organ donation advocate, transplant recipient, and returning Kidney Marcher. After two years of virtual events, September 9 – 11, 2022, will be her first time participating in-person, side by side with hundreds of others dedicated to the Kidney March cause.

Nine years ago, Brenda received a life-saving kidney through The Kidney Paired Donation program, where her then 22-year-old daughter donated her kidney to a stranger. Today Brenda and her daughter are healthy and well. Brenda now uses her time, passion, and skill to advocate for the transplant community. She has taken on the role of President of the Canadian Transplant Association and participates in many more initiatives to support organ donation awareness.

After getting a second chance at life, Brenda made the empowering decision to do three new things every year, and in 2020 Kidney March was one of those things. We are glad she decided to join up and run – or should we say, march – with it.

Kidney March is a physical challenge, but it is much more. Patients, loved ones, doctors, nurses, and researchers participate side-by-side, connecting the community and building bonds that go far beyond the event itself. Sign up today and join Brenda and her teammates on Team BeCauseYuKan for an amazing journey this September.

Meet Lead Sponsor Pipella Law

What Kidney March Means to Lead Sponsor, Pipella Law

Pipella Law was founded in the 1960s by Edward S. Pipella, Q.C., to represent people who had suffered injuries as the result of someone else’s negligence. Today, Pipella Law continues its practice and specializes in personal injury litigation. Daughters, Tara D. Pipella, and her sister, Kimber R. Pipella, followed in his footsteps, and have carried on his legacy, by continuing to help those who have sustained catastrophic injuries for many years.

This boutique law firm is proud to support Kidney March and continue their father’s legacy of serving the community as a Lead Sponsor this year. Our Dad taught us that we are servants to the community and we need to help others. He passed that on to us, and we will continue to honour his legacy through Kidney March. He would be proud of our involvement in the march, and would want us to be a part of this important cause.”– Kimber Pipella 

Additionally, The Kidney Foundation holds a special place in the Pipella family’s heart, as their father passed away from kidney disease. All three sisters, Sloan, Tara, and Kimber marched in his memory in 2015. “Being in Kidney March was such a heartfelt experience. It is a wonderful community of people with true selflessness and passion. We met so many incredible, giving individuals.” – Kimber Pipella.

Thank you Pipella Law for your continued support for Kidney March!

In the black hats from left to right, Sloan Pipella-Clark, Tara Pipella and Kimber Pipella, with Kidney March Crew members on the route in 2015. 

Meet some of our ‘Moms on the March’

Why these moms are walking 100 kilometres for their kids

Kidney March is not your average walkathon. It is the largest walk of its kind in the world fighting against kidney disease and for organ donation. Danielle Sinclair, Laura McKenzie, and Kim Ball are three of the many moms who take part every year. For them, kidney disease is a lifelong battle they never imagined they would have to face.

There is no age limit to kidney disease and kids with kidney disease experience unique challenges that impact the whole family.  Danielle Sinclair is marching for her 10-year-old daughter, Teagan. Teagan has a rare kidney disease called Cystinuria that almost went undetected. She was diagnosed at five years old and has had six surgeries to remove large cystine kidney stones. Due to her disease, Teagan lost her right kidney. Danielle’s hope is that Teagan will not need a transplant in her lifetime. 

“If my daughter and all the other people on dialysis and with kidney transplants can go through these challenges, I can challenge myself to complete 100 kilometres,” said Sinclair. By raising funds for research and walking the 100 kilometres, Sinclair said she’s able to take an active role in creating change and finding a cure. She hopes that her participation also inspires people to become organ donors.

This past year has been especially hard for first-time Marcher, Laura McKenzie who is facing the new diagnosis of her four-month-old daughter. Laura had to go through a lot of this alone. Due to COVID19 protocols, only one parent was allowed at appointments. “You try to stay strong but … there is only so much a mother can do on her own without breaking down.” Until Laura decided to do Kidney March and share her story, she hadn’t told family and friends. “No one can really do anything for you… but with Kidney March, they now have a way to help and a way to support us.”

“There is just so much love and support in the community and it’s comforting to know that I am not alone,” McKenzie said.

One of the greatest things about Kidney March is it reinforces the support of the community for patients, families, and healthcare professionals. Everyone can rally around the same cause, support each others journey, and connect from their shared experience.

 “Being part of the Kidney March family really gives me a sense of belonging,” explains Kim Ball, Calgary urologist and mother of three. Kim’s two-year-old son Liam’s kidneys have failed, he is on dialysis every night and needs a transplant. “As a mom, we want the best outcomes for our kids, we don’t want to see them suffer. So having this opportunity to hopefully better his future means a lot.” Liam’s father is just starting the process of testing through the donor program as he is the best potential match for Liam.  They are hoping Liam will be big enough soon so he can receive a living kidney donation by the end of this year.

Dr. Julian Midgley, former chief of pediatric nephrology at the Alberta Children’s Hospital in Calgary, participates alongside many health-care workers in the unit to show support for their patients and raise awareness in the community.

“We get to know these patients very well and this is another point of contact and support for them,” he said. “I’m very proud how the Kidney March has become a bigger and bigger event every year.”

“Every year, we fund incredible research projects, that improve the treatments of kidney disease and bring us that much closer to a cure,” explains Joyce Van Deurzen, Executive Director at The Kidney Foundation of Canada Southern Alberta Branch. “There have been many advances made by our researchers, and Kidney March is a big part of that.”

1 in 10 Canadians has kidney disease. There are also very few warning signs. Up to 80% of kidney function can be lost without any noticeable symptoms.  Genetics can cause chronic kidney disease and kidney failure, especially in children and adolescents. Some of these diseases can be rare or even ultra-rare, and a lot is still unknown about them. These moms are marching so that more research can be done to find answers to those unknowns. Not only for their own little ones, but for future families.

2020 Returning Sponsors The Ruparell Family

Vinay, Bhavini, Asha, and Jyoti have a lot to be thankful for and being part of the Kidney March family is one of those things. 

Although Bhavini Ruparell laughs when she says, “she will never ‘walk’ Kidney March again,” she and her whole family are proud to support and be a part of Kidney March. They have marched, crewed and are multi-year sponsors. The past two years they have been our massage tent sponsor, a necessity for every marcher’s tired body after a long day of walking. Although there isn’t a massage tent this year, their sponsorship will go a long way to support those living courageously with kidney disease. We thank them for their unwavering sponsorship. 

We also want to thank them for everything they do to raise awareness for the importance of organ donation. 

Kidney Marcher Bhavini is a kidney transplant recipient from a deceased donor and a proud advocate for organ donation, “…the best way we can honour them[donors] is by following their example.” Bhavini has a message for everyone who is registered to donate. “It’s really important for people who are now signing their organ donation cards or registering themselves to have that conversation with their family.”

Learn more about this generous kidney family in the below Calgary Herald News story from 2018, ‘The Legacy of Organ Donation’

Marching for their Princess Warrior

Calgary resident Robin Somji had heard of Kidney March before, but something piqued her interest this year and she didn’t know why. “In March I remember hearing the ad on the radio, and I said to myself I should do that. And then I thought, why would I do that? I heard the ad several times, including into the COVID shutdown when I wondered why they keep advertising this when no one can take part?” Little did she know that two months later the unthinkable would happen. Robin’s young daughter Alysha was not feeling well, the family learned her kidney function was only 4% and failing fast. Alysha at only five years old was swiftly put on dialysis, and the family was thrust into life with kidney disease. “Funny how the universe was hinting at me and preparing me,” remarks Robin. “We spent a month in the hospital and now do dialysis at home for 16 hrs every day and will do so until she is ready for a transplant. I am hoping I can be her donor.” 

A person can lose up to 80% kidney function without any symptoms, it can affect any age group, and there is no cure. 78% of Canadians waiting for an organ transplant are waiting for a kidney.

In this year’s Kidney March participants will complete their march in their own communities. The Somji family will be walking in Springbank starting August 10th. Their team, along with the other participants, will connect virtually for the final three days of Kidney March, September 11 – 13, to walk 10 kilometres per day and complete their 100-kilometre goal. Cheer for their family if you see them walking around Springbank in this bold journey for Alysha.

The Somji’s goal is not only to raise awareness about kidney disease but to also raise funds towards research to improve the future of kidney health and transplant outcomes.  Alysha will likely need more than one transplant in her lifetime, but by supporting research the family is hopeful Alysha will only need just one from her mom.

Learn more about their story from:




87-year-old Calgary woman steps up to help fellow kidney patients

In the News: Learn more about this year’s Kidney March and meet Sylvia and Kasthon as they gear up to take on their own 100 KM journeys with tremendous support! Check out the Global News story by clicking the image below to view the video. 
Thank you kidney community for stepping up to show our Kidney March spirit!

“Organizers of this year’s Kidney March have had to make some changes because of the COVID-19 pandemic. But as Gil Tucker shows us, they’re getting some great support from a very determined patient.” –  Global News Calgary 


Cancelling ‘Not an Option’ for Kidney March 2020
Kidney March is going ahead in an exciting new format for 2020, keeping in theme with their annual motto “Failure is Not an Option.” This will be the 11th year for the three-day, 100-kilometre event held every September in the Calgary area and foothills of the Rocky Mountains.

The true impact of Kidney March, is beyond the numbers, it’s made up of every participant’s powerful story and the incredible impact is has on the lives of Canadians living with Kidney disease.

Meet Marcher Sylvia Shields, an 87-year-old kidney patient from Calgary. This year’s new virtual format will allow her to participate, and she is taking full advantage of it. She will be walking her 100 KM down the halls of her condo building the Aviemore in Calgary, with the help and encouragement of the other condo residents. Specifically, she will be cheered on by her core group of supporters and fellow Kidney Foundation volunteers known as the Aviemore Angels. She plans to walk about 2.6 kilometres per day, “Each floor is about 1.3 kilometres, so if I circle it twice, that will give me the distance I need per day. If it is nice out, and my health allows it, I will walk outside too.” Due to her health conditions, there was no way for her to participate in the outdoor, 3-day, 100 KM event in the past. “This is a wonderful opportunity for me to make a difference,” Sylvia said with excitement in anticipation of the challenge she is about to take on. Sylvia lost one of her kidneys early in her twenties and with only 11% kidney function remaining, she is now facing kidney failure, but Sylvia tells us that will not stop her from participating in Kidney March. “With the support of the Kidney Foundation, I have discovered unlimited resources that have allowed me to maintain a healthier lifestyle. Although we are living through unprecedented times, I am determined to do my part to give back to a foundation that has helped me and millions of Canadians.

A Mini Marcher – Cause for Applause

In the News:  Mini Marcher Sam continues to advocate for the Kidney Cause one little step at a time.  Read his article in Our Canada magazine A Mini Marcher Cause for Applause  “The unrelenting determination of a three-year-old boy”

“He became an immediate inspiration to those suffering with the disease. It’s our dream for people to hear Sam’s message and consider donating to the Kidney Foundation of Canada or maybe even consider becoming an organ donor themselves. We hope to see a world where kidney disease is curable and no longer devastates so many families. Until that day comes, Sam will keep walking.”