September 29, 2012
This article is a reprint from our March 2010 issue. Jeff Robertson has continued to fight tirelessly to eradicate polycystic kidney disease and we felt it was important to feature him and his cause again.
Jeff Robertson is an accomplished drummer and musician, but his real passion is his role as the executive director of the Polycystic Kidney Foundation of Canada (PKDFOC), a not-for-profit registered Canadian charity.
Jeff Robertson’s mother Jan has suffered from polycystic kidney disease (PKD) for over 30 years now, and has required two liver transplants — thankfully, both successful. Despite being one of the most common, life-threatening genetic diseases in the world, affecting 1 in 500 people, very few people know about it. Currently there is no treatment or cure for PKD.
Jeff became deeply involved with the charity almost five years ago as a volunteer, and in 2008 was asked to take on the role of executive director to really grow the organization and create more awareness of PKD in both the patient community and the general population in Canada.
In less than two years [at time of original printing] Jeff has spearheaded the establishment of additional PKDFOC chapters and support groups across the country. His full-time involvement has helped to dramatically increase the number of volunteers, chapter meeting attendees, and funds raised. The PKDFOC signature fundraising event is the Walk for PKD, which takes place each September in Toronto as well as in other regions of Canada.
Jeff works with medical professionals in Toronto and across the country to ensure their patients get additional support related to PKD, and he is also working with a number of media outlets to further spread awareness. Through such things as End PKD fundraisers, educational materials, brochures and more, Jeff continues to create new ways to promote PKD awareness. He has spoken at a number of events on topics ranging from organ and tissue transplantation to polycystic kidney disease to the importance of youth involvement in the not-for-profit sector.