Peter Quaife of the Kinks on “The Ligher Side of Dialysis”

The bassist for the The Kinks was on kidney dialysis for 11 years?

Peter Quaife / The Kinks

I’ve worked for the National Kidney Foundation of Utah & Idaho for a long time.  So today I was clearing our shelves of dusty, outdated kidney patient support and services pamphlets (that are all now available online) when I ran into this little ditty.

How did I miss this?

I had worked for the Kidney Foundation of Utah for 7 years when Peter Quaife started dialysis treatments.  I’d worked here for 12 the year he ultimately passed away from kidney failure.  I’m kind of devastated.  I thought I knew all the famous people who were on dialysis or who’d had a kidney transplant (Gary Coleman, George Lopez, Selina Gomez, Nick Cannon, Tracy Morgan, Sarah Hyland).  But somehow I’d missed Peter Quaife, The Kink’s bassist. I can sing at least 7 of their top 10 songs by heart like every other kid who lived through the 1970’s.  I looked over all his sketches, and read each joke thinking about the artist, a former rock star, sitting on dialysis letting the difficulty of that, fuel his wicked humor.  The English are so much better at the ‘stiff upper lip’ and ‘self effacing’ humor than Americans to begin with.  But I found myself really admiring the spirit of rebellious observation in which he drew cartoons and jokes about some really awful realities of dialysis.  Dark humor is always the best humor in my book.  I think that’s what makes it so delicious.  I’m on the hunt now for Volume 2, which I guess I’ll have to find on if all else fails.  But I am sad that I missed this chapter.  I am a little younger than Mr. Quaife was when he went on dialysis.  No one wants to go on dialysis, or have their kidneys fail.  There are a lot of depressed people on dialysis trying to make the most out of life, and mourning the life they had ‘before’ dialysis.  I don’t know about you, but being a freaking rock star, like LEGIT British Invasion rock star, would be a hard thing to mourn the loss of.  I’m certain he’d settle way down by the time his kidneys were failing.  But wow.  He’d been bigger than life, toured the world –one of the hippest cats out of England.  And kidney failure still found him.

Famous People Do Their Best

We hardly even heard about George Lopez and Selena Gomez having kidney failure. They didn’t seem to miss a beat between kidney failure and kidney transplant. Unless you follow them on Instagram or something, who knew? Other kidney patients, that’s who.  But no famous person on dialysis, to my knowledge,  ever sat down to write a book (and really marinate) about how much dialysis sucks.  And then also make it funny. So today, 12 years too late I’m honoring the memory of Peter Quaife “He Really Got me Now.”  So I’m sharing my personal favorite sketches from The Lighter Side of Dialysis, Volume 1.  I’ll keep you updated when I find  Volume 2.

Salty joke

He’s making fun of medieval blood letting. But ironically, the enzyme in leeches is actually how dialysis works.

Bananas are not very ap-peeling.

A Special Tribute to Senator Orrin G. Hatch, National Kidney Foundation of Utah’s first Honorary Chairman

As Honorary Chairman of the Board of the National Kidney Foundation of Utah and Idaho, we honored Senator Hatch with the Gift of Life Award in 1988. He helped craft legislation that made kidney transplant and immunosuppressive drugs accepted therapies covered by private insurance and Medicare at a time people could either afford to pay out of pocket or could not receive these miracles of medical advancement. Here is an excerpt from the Program that is particularly relevant to all those who suffer kidney disease: “A night to honor Senator Orrin G. Hatch for his leadership in the US Senate establishing the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Act of 1983, his efforts in furthering funding for ongoing accessibility of immunosuppressive drugs, his strong commitment to biomedical research, his leadership in initiating and supporting health care legislation, continuing advocacy of home health care services. We salute you Senator Hatch for your compassion and dedication to better health care for all Americans.”

As Ronald Regan said of Senator Hatch on the occasion of his award: “Orrin is one of the most responsible, hard-working members of the US Senate. He lives right, he thinks right, and he cares deeply about the people who sent him to Washington. He is a representative the people of Utah can be proud of.”

This photo was sent to us yesterday by one of our NKFU&I staff members during a private tour of the United States Capitol Building. We are grateful to remember one of our first NKF of Utah champions because of what he did first and foremost, to promote and support organ donation and kidney transplantation as biomedical pioneer champion.