When she was 18, doctors told Marie-Eve Chainey that her kidneys had failed.


“That was the last day I lived without dialysis,” remembered the uOttawa student.


The diagnosis was a shock for the competitive high jumper.


“Dialysis is very exhausting for the body,” she said. “I lost a lot of my strength and I was very weak. Dialysis is hard.”

She got a fitness grant through the Shad Ireland Foundation, which helps people with kidney disease get active again.

Eight years later, Chainey is now the Canadian co-director of the Shad Ireland Foundation, which launched its first-ever event in Canada Monday. The Simply Fit Family Friendly 1K and Competitive 5 and 10K, to be held at the Canada Aviation Museum on August 15, is a fundraiser and a way to raise awareness for kidney disease, said Chainey.

Himself a dialysis patient for 28 years, Shad Ireland attended the conference by video.

“I found that exercise and nutrition is a great model for stabilizing and rehabilitating people with this disease,” said Ireland, who is the world’s first dialysis patient to complete an Ironman competition.

With help from the Shad Ireland Foundation, Marie-Eve Chainey ran her first-ever 5K race last fall. “Exercise has given my life a second chance,” she said.