Two Calgarians pledge $1M for kidney research



Candice Ward/For Metro Calgary


Roy Baay gets a smooch from wife Vi and daughter Sharon Kelly after the Bays announced their donation to the Roy and Vi Baay Chair in Kidney Research at the U of C yesterday.


The donation of $1 million from two generous Calgarians has given hope to kidney research in southern Alberta.

Roy and Vi Baay’s philanthropic gesture has helped the Kidney Foundation and Reach! raise a total of $3.2 million for the creation of the largest research chair in the history of the University of Calgary Faculty of Medicine and the first chair of its kind in kidney research in Canada.

"Our reason for doing it is — I’m alive," said Roy Baay, who was diagnosed with nephrites, an inflammation of the kidneys, more than 20 years ago.

Thanks to the work of his doctors he is able to give back to the medical community.

Funds raised by the Roy and Vi Baay Chair in Kidney Research will be matched by the government of Alberta to bring the total to $7.2 million.

"It is a great, passionate and intellectual commitment from the Baay family to kidney research," said Ken King, president and chief executive officer of the Calgary Flames and co-chair of Reach!

Reach! is a joint fundraising initiative between the Calgary Health Region and the University of Calgary in hopes to raise $300 million in three years for Calgary’s health system.

With about a 10 per cent increase in new dialysis patients each year, this new chair will help bring Albertans access to the newest developments in kidney research and care.

"We will be able to move quickly from the research bench to the bedside," said King.