He is the “BOSS” but not under cover!



Last November  was a  rewarding time for my brother Bob Johnston.

He was a participant in “Undercover  Boss Canada” for the Sudbury Blue Door Soup Kitchen.

Just like in the show, in our family he is known as “the Boss”. He loves to control everything and be in charge.


For a person living with juvenile (type 1-insulin dependent) diabetes it is very difficult to feel like you are in control or in charge. I suppose that is why he has been boss in every other aspect of his life.


Diet, exercise, stress, and infection play a major part in controlling glucose levels. Not to mention knowledge, and prevention..


Little did many know that during the taping of the show he was battling issues with his left foot.

The past thirteen years have been spent in and out of hospital and community care due to complications of diabetes such as ulcers, infection, amputations of toes etc.

After having an open foot ulcer for over a year, he was glad to see it was finally closed and thought it was healed.

Unfortunately MRI results validated osteomyelitis in his left foot. Osteomyelitis is an infection to the bone which is most often caused by bacteria in the blood stream or surrounding tissues. Three weeks later he was prepped for surgical intervention for a below knee amputation and walks with a prosthesis.

Since then a fistuala has been inserted into his left arm for access to the blood stream to provide dialysis.


Through the physical, emotional and financial burdens of diabetes he has always maintained his great outlook on life , his peculiar sense of humor and strong personality.

At this time all I can do is support and encourage him…. He is now on the transplant list for a kidney and pancreas.


Over the years he has maintained employment in our community as an advocate working in group homes, and feeding the hungry. He has volunteered in numerous charitable organizations and he is

presently volunteering at the Blue Door Soup Kitchen, the food bank and has organized programs for troubled teens such as life skills, CPR training, first aid classes and food handlers courses.


Being a recipient of a generous organ donor empowers him to believe he has many more years with his wife and 8 year old adopted son.


Costs associated with transplant surgery are very high with little financial remuneration available. Associated transplant costs range between $5000-7000 dollars which covers hotel accommodation, meals and transportation to hospital. A transplant recipient is hospitalized for 3 days post transplant then has to remain within 10 kms  of  the transplant hospital for 1 to 4 weeks.

I have decided to assist my brother in this troublesome monitary situation and have planned a fundraising dinner among  50/50 draws and silent auctions to take place  September 28th 2014 at the Caruso Club from 4 to 8 pm.


For those choosing to make a difference in the life of a kidney recipient ,

donations entrusted to Robert Johnston can be made at the Ukranian Credit union

Tickets for the “transplant gift of life dinner” can be purchased at :

Ukranian Credit Union -Kathleen Street

Gloria’s Restaurant -Regent Street

Laurentian Chrysler – Kingsway

Erica Vaillancourt call 705-918-1247


We thank you in advance for your donations, kind words, prayers and hugs!

Thank you Sudbury!


Written by Erica Vaillancourt

385 Haig St, Sudbury, ON P3C 1C5
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