Family affair

Kidney care is a family affair

Over the past 20 months, Samar Zeid has settled into a familiar routine at St. Boniface Hospital.

Three times a week – Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays – a family member, sometimes her husband, Munther, brings her to the hospital.

She’ll go up to the fourth floor for hemodialysis. It is a treatment that cleans the blood by eliminating waste and excess water. The blood passes through an artificial kidney which cleans it.

“I sit in my chair and make myself comfortable,” she said. “Different nurses and doctors come and go, and they watch everything. They work to make sure we are all happy.”

Samar Zeid was first diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease in her twenties. She began to suffer from significant kidney failure in her early 40s. Last year, she had both of her kidneys removed.

Now, at 47, she is on Transplant Manitoba’s waiting list for a kidney transplant.

“Right now this is what God wants me to have and that’s how it is. Without kidneys it’s hard. I’m limited in what I can drink and how much. I choose to be positive. Life will become easier with a transplant.”

Samar Zeid is not alone.

Up to one in 10 Manitoba adults has some form of kidney disease. The kidneys can lose 80% of their function before symptoms set in. Manitoba has some of the highest rates of kidney disease in Canada (

St. Boniface Hospital provides kidney health care to people at all stages of kidney disease and works in partnership with the province’s renal health care provider, the Manitoba Renal Program. Resources in St. Boniface include the 22-station unit where Samar and other patients receive their four-hour hemodialysis treatments.

For the Zeids, appointments add to an already busy schedule.

The Zeid family owns and operates five FOODFARE grocery stores in Winnipeg. Munther Zeid’s father, Wajih “Moe” Zeid, played a pivotal role in the growth of the chain of stores after he arrived in Winnipeg from Palestine in 1977. Moe is still involved in the family business, along with his sons and his daughters and many grandchildren.

For many of Samar’s dialysis appointments, visitors to the hospital were not allowed, due to current pandemic restrictions. Yet she chose to come to the hospital rather than undergo peritoneal dialysis, a different treatment that can be done at home. Home treatment must be carried out daily and requires the presence of another person.

“Our children are older. They are building their own lives. They have a school and a career, and I don’t want them to have another commitment.”

To pass the time at her appointments, she abandons television in favor of her telephone.

“I talk to my three sisters at my home in Ramallah (in Palestine).”

At the top of the list when his health permits?

“We want to travel and visit home.”

March is Kidney Health Month. Currently, more than 29,000 Canadians like Samar are receiving dialysis treatments, according to The Kidney Foundation of Canada. He indicates that currently 3,400 Canadians are on the waiting list for a donor kidney and 1,700 kidney transplants are performed each year.

You can be a lifeline for hemodialysis patients like Samar. In fact, making a donation in support of the Hospital today will improve patient care everywhere: at the Kidney Health Clinic, Peritoneal Dialysis Clinic, Hemodialysis Unit and many more. other units. St. Boniface Kidney Health Program staff are also involved in innovative medical research on kidney disease.

Consider becoming a monthly donor – your donation will ensure the Kidney Health Clinic is always ready to provide the best possible care.

Help write the next chapter.

Donate today.