Tina Turner's Message

Zurich, September 1st, 2021

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,


If it were not for you, I would not be alive today. Thanks to your work and the work of your colleagues around the world, I was granted a second life. So let me start by saying thank you: Thank you for your dedication, for your hard work, for your tireless efforts on behalf of the health of your fellow humans.

Perhaps you know my story. For me, the news about my kidney failing came after a whole rollercoaster of medical catastrophes: A stroke. Vertigo. Intestinal cancer.

And finally: kidney failure, which was a result of many years of high bloodpressure.

When my doctor first scheduled me to start dialysis, I was completely opposed. “No”, I told him. “I’m not living on a machine.” But of course, he was right: To survive, I had to sit in a dialysis chair several times a week, trying to ignore death tipping on my shoulder.

But dialysis alone couldn’t save me – my husband Erwin did, when he decided that he wanted to give me one of his kidneys. My first response was to try and talk him out of it. But he had made up his mind and he gave me the most miraculous gift imaginable.

Not everyone is lucky enough to have someone as selfless and generous as my husband Erwin in their life. But kidney failure can affect anyone. Anyone can get sick, whether they are famous or not, black or white, health insured or not.

I learned from my doctors that kidney disease is considered a “silent killer” – by the time most people experience any symptoms, 80 percent of their kidney tissue has already been destroyed. Of course, I kept asking myself: Could I have done anything differently if I had known earlier? If I had recognized the symptoms? If, if, if – the question haunted me.

That is, dear members of the nephrology community, why I am so very grateful to you for drawing attention to this important issue. Thank you for educating patients and doing everything you can to improve their lives. I sincerely wish you every success!

Tina Turner