One Man, One Bike, One Dream: Canadian Dialysis Patient Keeps His Dream of Biking Across Canada Alive

ST. JOHN'S, June 1, 2015 /CNW/ - Today in St. John's Newfoundland, Dale Calibaba, a 46 year old Canadian without functioning kidneys, will set off on a challenge many Canadians would not dream of; he will ride his bicycle across the country.  But unlike others who have gone before him, Dale will make the grueling journey with an unusual piece of luggage:  a peritoneal dialysis machine.

Every day, 15 Canadians are told their kidneys have failed.i  Over 2.5 million Canadians have kidney disease ii and rates are expected to rise dramatically as our population ages.  Dale is one of these Canadians.  At 18 years old his kidneys failed due to a rare condition called Alport Syndrome.  He was on dialysis for one year before receiving a kidney transplant.  After 18 years, his body rejected the kidney and for the past 10 years he's been using home-based automated peritoneal dialysis (APD) to stay alive.

Dialysis replaces normal functioning kidneys by cleaning the blood of waste and fluid that accumulates in the body.iii  There are many options for dialysis including:  in-centre hemodialysis (HD), at-home hemodialysis (HHD) and peritoneal dialysis (PD).  PD, which is what Dale is using, is a home treatment that cleans the blood inside your body using your peritoneal (abdominal) cavity as a filter.  This can usually be done without aid during the day at work, or at home overnight while you are sleeping.

"I want to inspire Canadian patients to believe in your dreams even if you are on dialysis.  PD has given me the freedom to attempt my dream of riding across Canada, and it can change your life too," Dale says. "Not every dialysis patient will be able to do – or even want to do – something as extreme as what I'm doing.  But, I want people to know that anything is possible.  For me, PD has allowed me to live life to the fullest on my bike; for others that may mean more time gardening or playing with grandchildren."

With his 18 year old daughter, Haley, following closely by car, Dale aims to bike an average of 120 km per day, six days a week. The nearly 8,000 km ride will take 94 days, ending in Victoria, British Columbia on September 4th.  At the end of each day Dale will spend up to eight hours undergoing his dialysis treatment while he sleeps. 

Shad Ireland, the first dialysis patient to ever finish the Ironman race in Lake Placid, the founder of The Shad Ireland Foundation, and Dale's sponsor and coach, will be supporting Dale as he rides across Canada.  "Dale is inspiring dialysis patients – all Canadians really – to believe they can feel better, do more, and achieve their dreams," said Shad Ireland.  "It has been an incredible journey working with Dale to get him ready for this trek and to see his strength and determination.  He's going to amaze you as he comes through your city."

The number of Canadians receiving treatment for kidney failure has more than tripled in 20 years.iv Those at greatest risk of kidney disease are people with diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, the elderly, and individuals with a family history of kidney disease.v  The concern is that this number will continue to rise due to our aging population and the increasing number of people with diabetes and high blood Given this, there is an urgent need for kidney donors and Canadians are strongly encouraged to make a life-changing difference by becoming a donor. 

"We are thrilled to be seeing Dale off from St. John's today, and to be part of his amazing quest to increase awareness of kidney disease," said Trina Ralph of the Kidney Foundation of Canada, Atlantic Branch.

Dale's ride will stop in more than 70 cities and towns across Canada.  You can follow Dale's journey, and come out to support him when he is in a city near you.  Watch for updates at:  His full ride will be chronicled through regular video blogs and made into a documentary:  The Definition of Impossible.  You can also follow his progress on twitter at:  @IMHealthUS.

About Home Dialysis
In Canada, although home dialysis is more cost effective for our health care system and allows people to do their therapy in their own homes, less than 30 per cent of people on dialysis are on this type of therapy.vii There are two types of home dialysis; peritoneal dialysis (PD) and home hemodialysis (HHD).  PD is a treatment solely done at home and removes waste products and excess water by using the peritoneal (abdominal) cavity as a filter.viii  HHD cleans the blood through an artificial kidney machine (this treatment is also done in-clinics).  For home dialysis patients, treatment can be more flexible and convenient compared to in-hospital or clinic HD, as depending on where the patient lives they may need to travel long distances, at least three times a week, for treatment.  Research also shows that PD increases quality of life,ix  offers greater convenience for work and travel, allows for a more liberal dietx and offers survival advantage.xi 

About Kidney Disease in Canada
Over two and a half million Canadians suffer from kidney disease.xii This number, and the costs associated with managing it, are on the rise and are going to continue to increase as our population ages. In fact, the number of Canadians receiving treatment for kidney failure has more than tripled in the past 20 years. Kidney disease can strike anyone at any agexiii but those at greatest risk are people with diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, the elderly and people with a family history of kidney disease.xiv

About Dale's Sponsors
The Shad Ireland Foundation is a non-profit organization that is exploring ways to further develop and expand its global impact on kidney disease and their leading causes. Committed to education, prevention and awareness, the foundation aims to lead the development of tools and resources to positively impact the individuals, families and communities affected by or living with kidney disease.

IMHealth is proud to partner with the Shad Ireland Foundation in support of Dale Calababa's epic ride across Canada.  As an organization we have developed a Clinical Methodology & Stability Model and combined it with the smart and innovative use of mobile technologies.  Our approach delivers improved outcomes, compliance, and better quality of life for patients with kidney disease while significantly reducing healthcare costs.  We believe that Dale represents what patients everywhere can achieve; Stability through a better disease management approach resulting in an ENGAGED, EDUCATED and EMPOWERED patient.  Our work in Canada is just beginning this summer with Dale, and we are looking forward to helping every Canadian patient believe in the possibility and make that possibility their reality.  Learn more about IMHealth at

Baxter is a global medical products and services company and will be delivering the necessary PD supplies to Dale at various stops across the country.

Notes to the editor:
Dale will be passing through communities in Canada on the following days: Deer Lake : June 7-9, Moncton, NB: June 18-19, Quebec City, QC: June 26-27, Montreal, QC: June 29-30, Mississauga, ON: July 7-9, Barrie, ON: July 11, Thunder Bay, ON: July 25, Brandon, MB: Aug 2, Regina, SK: Aug 5-6, Medicine Hat, SK: Aug 10-11, Kamloops, BC: Aug 24-26 and Vancouver, BC: Aug 31-Sept 2.

During Dale's journey he will be speaking with local patients and government officials regarding access to home dialysis therapies. Interview opportunities are available as he passes through each community, and a full list of the sites he will be visiting are available at For those interested in more information or to coordinate an interview, please contact the representative below.     


vi Common Causes of Kidney Disease, Kidney Foundation of Canada, (Accessed February 23, 2010)
vii Yeates K, Zhu N, Vonesh E, Trpeski L, Blake P, Fenton S. Hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis are associated with similar outcomes for end-stage renal disease treatment in Canada. Nephrol Dial Transplant. 2012:advance access.
ix Mehrotra R, Chiu YW, Kalantar-Zadeh K, Bargman J, Vonesh E. Similar outcomes with hemodialysis  and peritoneal dialysis in patients with end-stage renal disease. Arch Intern Med. 2011;171:110-118.
x Ipema KJ, van der Schans CP, Vonk N, et al. A difference between day and night: protein intake improves after the transition from conventional to frequent nocturnal home hemodialysis. J Ren Nutr. 2012;22:365-372
xi Chertow GM, Levin NW, Beck GJ, et al. In-center hemodialysis six times per week versus three times per week. N Engl J Med. 2010;363:2287-2300.
xiii Kidney Foundation of Canada – Fast Facts Sheet, Kidney Foundation of Canada, (Accessed February 23, 2010) 

SOURCE Shad Ireland Foundation

For further information: For more information or to set up an interview please contact: Sheba Zaidi, Environics Communications, Tel: 416-969-2652, E-mail:

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