Dialysis patient cycling across Canada makes stop in Winnipeg

Dialysis patient cycling across Canada makes stop in Winnipeg

Takes time to inspire local dialysis patients

Richard Calibaba

Dale Calibaba speaks about using cycling to fight kidney disease, while dialysis patient Richard Tychynski (right) cycles during a treatment.

Winnipeg Health Region
Published Friday, July 31, 2015

Manitoba Renal Program welcomed Dale Calibaba to Winnipeg July 30. The B.C. dialysis patient has been biking across Canada for two months, covering more than 4,000 kilometres since leaving Newfoundland on June 1.

During the morning, Calibabavisited Health Sciences Centre’s Sherbrook Dialysis Unit to chat with patients who were biking while receiving dialysis.

Calibaba, along with his coach, American dialysis patient and Ironman athlete Shad Ireland, talked with patients about staying active and overcoming physical barriers.

Calibaba then made way to a welcome celebration at St. Boniface Hospital where he addressed a crowd of patients, staff and community members. He shared his story of kidney disease and treatment and what inspired him to bike across Canada.

“I was lethargic. I was overweight.” Calibaba said being active helped him get out of a depression, lose weight and motivated him to achieve his dream of biking across the country. “I wanted to show people what was possible.”

MRP nephrologist Dr. Clara Bohm was also on hand to welcome Dale. “It is inspiring to see Dale take on this challenge and to not let his kidney disease and dialysis treatments be a barrier, but to use them as motivators.”

Bohm shared the results of MRP’s Kilometre Crunch! Keeping up with Dale Calibaba exercise challenge. “I am proud to say that amongst our dialysis units, home dialysis patients, kidney health clinic patients, staff and supporters we logged over 11,000 kilometres and 135,000 minutes of physical activity.”

MRP hemodialysis patient Joseph Kollar, also an avid cyclist, had messages of encouragement for dialysis patients wanting to start being active. “Start small – maybe one block of walking. Then maybe one kilometre.”

Several attendees chatted with Calibaba after the event, sharing their stories and talking about how he has been an inspiration.