Dr. Oz Explains Symptoms of Chronic Kidney Disease for Oprah


Remembering Gary Coleman

Gift of Life Gala 1987-- Gary Coleman bringing public awarness to kidney diseaseGary-Coleman-Wonder-WomanI’m Gary Coleman’s age.  He and I grew up together….only he was on TV every week.  About the time I reached puberty and grew 3 inches in a single summer, I learned he would never grow taller than 4’8 because of kidney failure.   I didn’t really watch Diff’rent Strokes that much, but I do remember it was the first time I’d heard of Kidney Failure or dialysis.  The idea that I would grow up, and he would forever be child-sized always stayed with me.   Later, when I came to work for the National Kidney Foundation of Utah, Gary Coleman –still pretty fresh from his stardom on TV came to many NKF events to help bring public awareness about kidney disease.  Gary’s life after the show was difficult and he was often in the news doing shocking things.  But he’d had a rough life; he’d worked really hard as a kid actor, was living with kidney failure, and would never grow to be the tall man he would have been were it not for kidney failure—all while in the public eye after being a child star.  I know his trouble didn’t stop when he came to Utah.  I always wondered why he settled in Santaquin. I hope he found some peace here in Utah Valley.  I know life on prednisone and other immunosuppressants (post transplant drugs) can make you really cranky, fuzzy, sick and a whole plethora of crazy. But what I want to remember is that, he used  his early celebrity status to help raise awareness for other people living with kidney disease.  Now days, there is early testing, better medicines to control underlying conditions that cause kidney failure, better transplantation techniques.  If Gary had been born even 10 year later than he was, perhaps his experience with Kidney Failure would not have been such a big part of his life story.  But it does not escape me, that he was my age, of my era, he lived in my town, he had kidney disease and I worked for the Kidney Foundation.  Now he’s gone at the age of 42.  I hope he is remembered for his charity work.  My deepest condolences go to those who loved and will miss him. –Luz Lewis

What a Mom Really Wants


Hey! Here’s an idea for Mother’s Day. Give Mom’s old minivan to the National Kidney Foundation Kidney Kars donation program and get that woman some new wheels. That’s right…maybe Mama needs a Porsche 911 Turbo Carrera or a BMW Z4 instead of some lame card and some flowers. Just a thought…You know, because what some Moms really want for Mother’s Day is to drive away in a really, really fast car without room for the whole family. 

And remember, for that old minivan—when you donate it to Kidney Kars, towing is free and donations make a great tax deduction!  For more information, or to donate your car, van, truck or boat, call 1-800-TOW-KARS (869-5277) or donate online at www.towKars.org




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Kidney Patient Scholarship

My name is Christine N., I am the recipient of the $700 scholarship from the National Kidney Foundation of Utah & Idaho.  I can’t describe how happy and thankful I was when I first read the letter explaining I had received a scholarship to go back to school.  This time has been so financially trying (insurance benefits changed, and I had to pay an increase in my co-pay).  I had to take out a loan last year for school, but that always makes me very worried (what if I’m not healthy enough to pay it off when it comes due?). The tuition assistance was a wonderful peace of mind.  I am on track, ready to start the semester and continue studying!  Thank you from the bottom of my heart.  –Christine.

Kidney Kars Donations Help Grandpa on Dialysis

Dear Kidney Foundation of Utah, It is very hard to put into words how much you have helped me since my kidney failure.  Because of your help, I have stayed alive long enough to see my grandchildren grow up.  This Summer, I was able to arrange to dialyze away from home and visit them in Oregon.  It is so hard to live on dialysis, but with your help, I have been able to make memories with my Grandkids that no one can ever take away.  No matter how bad things get for me, I will have these memories forever.  Thank you for the financial help you have provided to help lighten my burden with my medical care.  Sincerely,  David F.

NKF Utah Predicts the Utah vs. BYU win with frightening accuracy for over 20 years

Since 1987, the National Kidney Foundation of Utah has held the Rivalry for Charity Golf Tournament, featuring a play off between the head coaches of BYU and U of U.  The loser of the tournament has to sing the winning school’s fight song.  The Rivalry dates back to the days of LaVell Edwards and Ron Mc Bride.  “It’s a well know fact on our board,” says Deen Vetterli, CEO of the National Kidney Foundation of Utah, “that whoever wins our golf tournament, loses the ‘big game’.”  At this year’s tournament, held at the Country Club in Salt Lake, Kyle Whittingham was overheard saying:  “I’d love to win this round of golf, but every time I win, we lose the big game against BYU”.  

So who won the Kidney Foundation Tournament?  Let’s just say it was on the news when Bronco Mendenhall sang “Utah Man!”  Great news for BYU fans tomorrow!

Kidney Kars Save Lives

Dear Kidney Foundation.  This letter is to thank you or all your help. My husand, Mitchell, is on dialysis three times a week.  I work, and had health inurance for him.  Soon, the compay I worked for decided he was too expensive to insure, and took him off insurance.  The cost for his perscriptions was so high, I didn’t know how we were going to make it.  Thanks to your help with gas for transportation, we were able to get by until I could fin another job and other resources to help.  I am so grateful to all the people who contribute their cars and make other gifts to the Kidney Foundation to help people they don’t even k now just because they can!  God bless all of you for lightening my burden, and that of my husband and family.  Sincerely, Denise K.