Dialysis patient biking across Canada

Renal Health Program challenges Manitobans in advance of visit

dialysis patient biking
A dialysis patient using an exercise bike while undergoing treatment.

Winnipeg Health Region
Published Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Manitoba Renal Program (MRP), the province’s kidney health-care provider, is set to welcome B.C. dialysis patient Dale Calibaba as he stops in Winnipeg on his cross-Canada bike tour.

The Winnipeg stop happens at 12:30 p.m. on July 30 in St. Boniface Hospital’s Sisters’ Garden.

“It’s great for patients and staff to see someone maintaining such an active lifestyle while on dialysis,” says MRP nephrologist, Dr. Clara Bohm.

Dale Calibaba

Dale Calibaba.

In support of Calibaba’s journey and to build momentum for his visit, MRP has launched the “Kilometre Crunch! Keeping up with Dale Calibaba” exercise challenge. The challenge encourages patients, staff and supporters to sign up and log their minutes or kilometres of activity during the two weeks leading up to Calibaba’s visit. Physical activity is one tool individuals living with kidney disease can use to help manage multiple aspects of the disease.

Bohm has led development and implementation of physical activity initiatives in the province’s kidney health program.

“The idea behind these initiatives is to increase the level of activity in people with chronic kidney disease in an effort to improve their daily function and quality of life,” she says. “Benefits can include decreased need for medication, symptom improvement, increased ability to do daily tasks independently and even making dialysis more tolerable.”

Programs include stationary cycling during hemodialysis treatments, exercise and education classes and an exercise counselling clinic. MRP serves over 6,500 people with varying stages of kidney disease.

So far, challenge participants have logged over 733 kms and 3,600 minutes of activity. Calibaba is currently in Marathon, Ontario and has logged over 3,500 kms cycling during the day. At night, he uses peritoneal dialysis (PD) treatments to perform the task his kidneys usually would,  removing fluid and waste from the body.

During PD, the blood is cleaned inside the body, using the peritoneal membrane as a natural filtre. Through a surgically inserted catheter, an individual’s abdomen is filled with dialysis solution that absorbs waste from the blood over a period of time before being circulated back out of the body and replaced with fresh solution. About 19 per cent of Manitoba’s dialysis patients use peritoneal dialysis to perform their own treatments at home.

To learn more about kidney disease and who is at risk of developing it, visit MRP’s website at You can find more information about the welcome celebration on July 30 and track Calibaba as he continues his journey.

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