From Start to Finish Line

Dale Calibaba Adds Kidney Transplant to Epic Journey

On May 4, 2016, Dale Calibaba received a phone call that would change his life - he learned that he was going to receive a new kidney. After undergoing the necessary tests and a successful kidney transplant surgery, Dale is now recovering, feeling well and excited to begin this new chapter of his life.

Before receiving the call, Dale was about to embark on the last leg of his 7000 kilometer bike ride across Canada, which began in June 2015 in St. John’s, Newfoundland. After taking some time off to recover from an infection on the cuff of his catheter, he was set to finally complete his journey in Victoria, British Columbia at the end of May 2016, but Dale again had to delay completing the ride to recover from his recent transplant surgery.

“I feel so thankful and fortunate to have a new kidney and for the outpouring of support that I’ve received,” said Dale. “Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a determined man, so I’m still going to carry out my dream and complete my ride once I’m fully recovered.”

Dale, now 47, has been on quite the journey to get to this point. He was born with Alport Syndrome and his kidneys failed when he was 18 years old. After being on dialysis for one year, he received a kidney transplant and for the next 18 years, his transplant “worked like a charm” according to Dale. In 2005, his body rejected his kidney transplant, and Dale was able to go on peritoneal dialysis (PD),which is a therapy managed by patients at home. The method of PD therapy that Dale used is automated peritoneal dialysis (APD), which involves solution getting infused and drained automatically by a cycler machine while the patient sleeps. Dale credits APD for giving him increased quality of life and the ability to receive treatment remotely.

“My PD cycler machine was easily transportable, leaving me free to travel. For me, it wasn’t a burden because once you get the hang of it, it becomes second nature, a part of your life,” explains Dale. “I’m normally really good at taking care of my exit site, but pushing myself so hard to complete the race resulted in a small infection during my race, so I unfortunately had to end PD treatment for a few months before going back on it. This was not ideal as PD gave me the ability to live the life I wanted to live while I waited for potential news about a kidney.”

Dale has been on a mission to raise awareness about home dialysis and the organ donor registry, as well as to empower others with kidney disease. More than 2.5 million Canadians have kidney disease and every day, 15 of those with the disease advance to kidney failure. ii Approximately 19 percent of dialysis patients in Canada are receiving PD therapy. iii

“I want to touch lives and let people with kidney disease see the possibilities, so they can feel empowered.” Dale’s advice to other people with kidney failure who are beginning dialysis is to “educate yourself and be your own advocate in the treatment you choose.”

Dale has received a tremendous amount of support and encouragement from people across Canada, members of his healthcare team as well as his family. In fact, Dale’s daughter Haley, 19, has managed the bike ride and drove the support vehicle that followed Dale every kilometer of the way. His sons Derek and Brook, daughter-in-law Victoria and grandson Ashton have also been part of Dale’s support system.



Baxter Canada has been a proud sponsor of the ride, supplying Dale with shipments of APD solutions and supplies at predetermined locations every two weeks as he biked across the country, a new bike for him to use and all related expenses needed during the course of his journey.

“We are thrilled that Dale was able to undergo a successful kidney transplant surgery,” said, Stephen Thompson, General Manager and Region Head, Baxter Corporation. “It has been incredible for our organization to watch his passion and dedication during the bike race, even when he experienced some challenges along the way. Dale is such an inspiring and positive individual, and Baxter is proud to support his journey.”

For information and updates about Dale, visit his blog at http://www.believeinthepossibility.org/.

References
i The Kidney Foundation of Canada. http://www.kidney.ca/document.doc?id=1376. Accessed May 17, 2016.
ii The Kidney Foundation of Canada. http://www.kidney.ca/facing-the-facts Accessed May 17, 2016.
iii Canadian Institute for Health Information. https://www.cihi.ca/en/types-of-care/specialized-services/organ-replacements/corr-frequently-asked-questions accessed may 27, 2016.

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