Spring Brings Hope and Renewal

It's spring and summer is just around the corner! The grass is getting green, leaves are appearing on the trees, birds are making their nests, and our thoughts are turning to the outdoors. It's a season of renewal and hope. It's also a time to remember the strides that are being made in the diagnosis and treatment of Kawasaki disease - improved and faster diagnostic techniques through better patient/parent and medical staff education, new and more effective treatments, and improved follow-up protocols.
While such activities give us hope for improved outcomes in our young patients, they come at a cost. Please consider making a donation to Kawasaki Disease Canada.

American Heart Association Revises Guidelines

An esteemed member of our Advisory Council, Dr. Brian McCrindle, has led a team to review and revise the American Heart Association (AHA) guidelines with respect to the diagnosis, treatment and long-term management of Kawasaki disease. The information was published at the end of March.
Although the cause remains unknown, the document highlights new insights into the epidemiology, genetics, biological mechanism that leads to the disease, pathology, natural history, and long-term outcomes of the disease.
Prompt diagnosis is essential, the report emphasizes, and updated procedures define supplemental information that can be used to assist the diagnosis when classic clinical criteria are incomplete.
Although intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) is the mainstay of initial treatment, 10 to 20 per cent of patients do not respond to initial IVIG and the report recommends additional therapies that can be used in those cases.
Careful initial management of evolving coronary artery abnormalities is essential, necessitating an increased frequency of assessments and escalation of medication to prevent blood clots, the study reports. Guidelines for long-term management are provided. Patients with aneurysms require life-long and uninterrupted cardiology follow-up.

Kawasaki Disease Canada participates in SickKids Conference

For the first time in its brief history, Kawasaki Disease Canada participated in the SickKids Labatt Family Heart Centre Family Conference on April 22, 2017 in Toronto.
Kawasaki Disease Canada hosted a session for Kawasaki disease families, which included a group discussion focused on critical issues facing families affected by the disease. The session allowed participants to connect with other KD families and provided insight into ways the organization can further support families.
A special thanks to Nita Chahal, a nurse practitioner and researcher from SickKids who specializes in Kawasaki disease, for helping to facilitate the session.  

Photo: Nita Chahal and Carin Lin, 
Chair of Support Committee

Spotlight on Our Volunteers
Ankur Gupta & Garima Verma

In this edition we highlight a husband and wife couple who both volunteer with Kawasaki Disease Canada.
Ankur Gupta is Treasurer of the organization and a member of its Board of Directors. His wife, Garima Verma, is a member of the Awareness & Education Committee.
The couple moved to Kitchener when they got married in 2015. Verma moved from India and Ankur from Toronto. Their families remain in India.
Garima has a Bachelor's degree in English Literature "but my passion is baking. I also have a diploma in bakery and confectionery."
Ankur completed an Engineering degree in India and after two years working as a research engineer, he decided to pursue an MBA in finance which brought him to Canada. He graduated from the Schulich School of Business and is currently working at ScotiaMcLeod as a Wealth Management Associate.
While in India, Garima had a home bakery where she catered small events and sold her baked goods at festivals. Currently, she works remotely as a part-time Project Manager at an IT firm and part time as a decorator at a Kitchener bakery.
"Back in India," said Garima, "we both worked for non-government organizations working on various causes including teaching children from low income families mathematics and how to read and write in Hindi and English."
"When we moved to Canada, I heard about Kawasaki Disease Canada through my network at work," said Ankur. "This is when we found out more about the condition, got interested, and joined Kawasaki Disease Canada last year.
"The reason we wanted to be a part of this organization was because we had no idea about the existence of the disease earlier," said Ankur. "It made us want to work towards making people aware of it and to recognize its symptoms."
"Since becoming a part of the organization, we have tried to do our bit by attending awareness campaigns and sharing ideas about how to raise awareness," Garima concluded.

Kawasaki Disease Canada's Student Research Award

Congratulations to Alicia Fisch, Kawasaki Disease Canada's Student Research Award recipient! 
At a presentation in Toronto in April, Alicia shared an overview of her research, "Elastin-Derived Peptides in the Development of Kawasaki Disease". Alicia's research is supervised by Dr. Rae Yeung, Professor of Paediatrics, Immunology and Medical Science at the University of Toronto and the Senior Scientist in Cell Biology Research  at The Hospita l For Sick Children.                           

You will need to stay tuned to learn all about Alicia's findings as the research has yet to be published, but you can see an overview of it on our website by clicking here.
  Photo: Alicia Fisch and Elizabeth Heald, Chair of Board

Running for Isaiah and 
Kawasaki Disease Canada

Congratulations to Clayton Madokoro on completing his first full marathon in support of Kawasaki Disease Canada! 

He ran 42.2 km on Saturday in honour of Kawasaki disease 
warrior, Isaiah, and raised over $1000 dollars.  

Thank you, Clayton, for raising awareness of Kawasaki disease!   Your dedication and perseverance is inspirational.
You can still support Clayton and donate to Kawasaki Disease Canada by visiting his CanadaHelps page
Photo: Clayton Madokoro

Kawasaki Disease Canada | 226-218-5100 | info@kdcanada.org | www.kdcanada.org

Charitable Registration #: 81190 4572 RR0001
Canada Revenue Agency: www.cra-arc.gc.ca/charities

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