SPRINGHILL – The Springhill, Oxford and Area Chapter of the Kidney Foundation is not as strong as it used to be.
© Christopher Gooding photo
The Springhill, Oxford and Area Kidney Foundation’s membership has thinned out in recent years, leading to a call for new members to help the group raise money and support the dialysis unit at the All Saints Hospital.
Membership has dwindled down to a core of about a dozen people who meet in Springhill once a month. Some of them have been with the chapter since it opened in the mid-to-late 1970s.
“We’re getting older and I’m one who can confess my cane is hanging off the back of my chair,” Edythe Blair said. “We have members in their 90s now.”
The chapter holds a popular Boxing Day breakfast each year that draws a faithful crew of volunteers every year but the chapter is looking for new blood to help with its work outside of the holidays. This year the chapter is looking at minimal participation in the Kidney Foundation’s March Drive. Last summer it held its first fundraiser golf tournament and some extra hands would be greatly appreciated if it is going to go ahead this year.
“If we had one new member for everyone here – and younger – we’d be much better off,” Don Blair said.
Ninety per cent of the proceeds raised by the chapter go to the Kidney Foundation for research, while the remainder goes towards supporting the QEII’s satellite dialysis unit at the All Saints Hospital, a significant facility for people requiring dialysis in the area.
“Without our local dialysis people would have to travel to Truro, Halifax or Moncton,” Edythe said. “We ask the nurses what they need – it might be blood pressure machines or a step ladder, and try to provide them with what they need.”
Auxiliary support to its staff and the patients in the form of simple kindness – like cookies on special occasions – help keep spirits up while treating or being treated for kidney disease.
“We like to let them know we’re thinking of them,” Marion MacDonald said.
The chapter meets every second Tuesday of the month at 1 p.m. at the Springhill seniors Recreation Centre next to the Nova Scotia Community College’s Cumberland Campus. Taking the summer months of June, July and August, it means nine meetings a year for prospective members, outside of any fundraiser activity the chapter is doing.
Anyone interested in becoming involved can reach Don Blaire at 686-3234 for more information, or visit