News & Events

Renal Patient Feedback Group 2018 Meetings

Renal Patient meetings are being held at Health Sciences Centre, Seven Oaks General Hospital, St. Boniface Hospital and via teleconference for all other dialysis units.

Cy Bona – 92 Year Old Dialysis Patient Serenades in Unit Waiting Rooms

Music has always been part of 92-year-old Cyril Bona’s life. From the time he was a teenager, he loved to play and sing. But it took a bit of courage for him to get used to playing for others.

“At first I was very shy about going on stage and playing and singing,” he remembers. “I found that it brings so much joy to people, so I kept going at it.”

Cyril, who goes by Cy, sings and plays pretty much every day. From karaoke nights or church, to playing at his local army and navy legion, the senior’s calendar is packed full of singing gigs.

Since he started dialysis treatments at Health Sciences Centre in January 2018, he even started bringing his guitar to play and sing in the dialysis unit waiting rooms.

He says dialysis has made him feel better and given him the energy to keep up his singing schedule.

“Anybody who is afraid of dialysis, they don’t need to be afraid of it. It will save your life and make you feel better. It’s worth it.” He also credits his doctors and nurses for helping with the transition.

“The nurses and doctors are so great. It’s taken all the stress away.”

Valerie Williams is a friend of Cy’s who sings and plays with him in the dialysis unit waiting rooms. She was initially worried about Cy having to on dialysis.

“I was concerned for you when dialysis was going to start in January,” she says, sitting beside Cy. “It hasn’t slowed you down. If anything I think you’ve sped up.”

Valarie and Cy met at an open mic night and right away Valarie hoped they would get to sing together.

“Do you remember what you said to me?” She asks Cy. “You said, I generally don’t sing with anyone.” The pair laughs as they recall the moment.

Valarie and Cy have been making YouTube videos of their singing and playing with some hopes to get the attention of Ellen DeGeneres. Cy admits he never p

planned on being a YouTube star, but if it involves singing and playing than he is up for it.

Apart from singing, he also volunteers on top of his dialysis schedule which is five hours in hospital, three times a week.

Cy is a second world war veteran who joined the army at age 18 and spent time in the air force. He was born in Halifax but has been a long-time Winnipeg resident.

At the age of 92, Cy continues to make the most of each day with no plans of slowing down.

“I’m 92 years of age, but I feel like I’m only 91,” he jokes. He says that his lifetime of experience has led him to looking for the positives in every day.

“I’ve been all through a shooting war and about five car write offs and I say to people – look, you’re lucky to be alive. What more could you want in life than that.”

Click here for more YouTube videos of Cy and Valarie!


Summer Session of LKKM Exercise Program Open for Registration

The summer session of Lean Keen Kidney Machines is starting in July. Registration starts now! LKKM helps people living with all stages of kidney disease incorporate more physical activity into their lives which can have positive impacts on their health.

Manitoba Organ and Tissue Donation Task Force’s Report

Manitoba Renal Program (MRP) is pleased to see the release of the Manitoba Organ and Tissue Donation Task Force’s report this week and appreciated the opportunity to participate in the groundwork that helped frame these recommendations. Since 2010, the number of people needing life-sustaining dialysis has increased by more than 35 per cent. 

“When dialysis patients move on to receive a transplant, we are very happy to see that outcome. If there is any way to increase those numbers, we fully support it.” says Dr. Mauro Verrelli, MRP medical director. “Unfortunately kidney transplant is not an option for every dialysis patient and the rate of chronic kidney disease is growing in Manitoba.

“For that reason, the report’s recommendation to explore a provincial surveillance system focused on early detection of organ disease is very important. Ultimately, we want to have less people with kidney failure and do whatever is possible to delay or prevent the progression of kidney disease. Early detection and treatment is a way to help achieve this.

“Alongside early detection programs, we need to ensure all Manitobans have access to the appropriate supports and resources they need to facilitate healthy living including primary health care, healthy foods and more. We look forward to continuing work with our partners in health care, research and government on achieving the goal of a reduced burden of kidney disease in Manitoba.”

MRP encourages everyone to sign up to be an organ donor at and to make sure they visit their doctor for regular yearly checkups to find out how their kidneys are doing. To learn more about kidney health visit


MRP Using Innovative New Peritoneal Dialysis Equipment

In the fall of 2017, Manitoba Renal Program began piloting the use of a new home peritoneal dialysis (PD) machine. The new machine operates overnight while users sleep and has features such as a large touch screen, visual aids and voice prompts as well as the ability to community remotely with nurses in Winnipeg. The machine uses cellular towers to send treatment information to Winnipeg PD programs at Seven Oaks General Hospital and St. Boniface Hospital.

For patients like Jeremy Starr, this new equipment is a game changer. After losing his vision to complications of diabetes, doing twin-bag peritoneal dialysis became a challenge. Jeremy started on the new machine last fall and is thrilled to be able to manage most of his home dialysis treatments himself in addition to having his days free now that he only dialyzes at night.

Jeremy lives in Sagkeeng First Nation about 130 kilometres northeast of Winnipeg. The remote-monitoring ability of the equipment reassures both Jeremy and his care team at Seven Oaks General Hospital. They know he can be closely monitored to ensure he is getting the best quality dialysis treatments and his health is stable. Jeremy recently talked to CBC News and Aboriginal Peoples’ Television Network about his use of this new machine and the positive impact it has had on his life.

CBC:Dialysis machine that can be monitored remotely a ‘life-saving friend’ for Sagkeeng man

APTN: New dialysis machine gives man freedom to go home safely