History of GSKT
On October 31, 1997, at the age of 19, David Angus received a kidney transplant from his father, Ken. This marked a new start in David’s life after living with kidney disease since he was six months old.
In April 2016, David was aware that the 20th anniversary of this remarkable event was fast approaching, and he saw an opportunity to use this milestone to give back to others. His idea was to host a charity concert to support Hamiltonians living with kidney disease to raise awareness for the adversity that influenced most of his life. Within a few minutes of running the idea by his father, Ken was on board.
By the end of June of that year, David had connected with the Kidney Foundation of Canada to host a concert to support Hamiltonians with kidney disease to vacation at Lions Camp Dorset. This amazing facility was developed for individuals on dialysis to have a family getaway without missing their life saving treatment.
With a few ideas thrown around, David’s close friend, Taryn Bastead, adorned this concert’s name as Guitar Strings and Kidney Things.
On October 28, 2017, Guitar Strings and Kidney Things was held at Collective Arts Brewery in Hamilton. Headlined by Canadian legends, The Lowest of the Low, and supported by Gauer (formerly as The InBetwe3n) and comedian Adrian Cronk, the sell out crowd on hand raised over $13,000 for the cause.
On May 4, 2019, David and Ken returned to Hamilton as Guitar Strings and Kidney Things raised over $27,000 to support St. Joseph’s Hospital’s redevelopment of their Charlton Campus dialysis unit. Their efforts helped to make the unit more patient centered for the over 600 people who receive treatments each week.
As they patiently awaited to see how the pandemic would play out, David and Ken were able to bring the long awaited return of Guitar Strings and Kidney Things to Bridgeworks in Hamilton on October 1st, 2022. Born Ruffians headlined this awesome show with guests, Loviet. An astounding $8250 was raised for kidney care at St. Joseph’s Hospital as their momentum keeps going.
For David and Ken, there is always more work to be done.
Patients and families receiving dialysis care know how important it is to have functioning equipment and a physical environment that supports their needs. Dialysis is an essential treatment for patients whose kidneys have failed and are waiting for a transplant. It eases the challenges a person faces when their kidneys fail, replicating the purpose of the kidney and filtering blood to remove unnecessary substances. The treatment can be done in two ways: hemodialysis (blood filtered using a machine) and peritoneal dialysis (blood filtered inside the body’s abdomen with a specialized solution).
At St. Joseph’s, over 75,000 patient visits take place in our Dialysis Centres each year, with approximately 600 patients receiving dialysis multiple times each week (a number we expect to grow as our population ages and the need for dialysis increases). The care that patients receive at each of St. Joseph’s four Dialysis Centres is the same… compassionate, efficient and with the patient top of mind. What does differ between our Dialysis Centres is the facility itself and the atmosphere that our patients and families experience when they visit the Centre.
With the growth our Kidney Program has seen, many of our Dialysis Centres have been re-designed to give patients more privacy, be more welcoming, and create better efficiency for our staff. However, the physical space at the Charlton Campus Dialysis Centre just isn’t keeping up to our needs and no longer reflects the exceptional care and leading research we are known for.
Our vision for a new Dialysis Centre space includes:
- A reorganization of treatment bays (shown in photo above) to give patients more privacy, more space and allow our staff ample room to support each patient’s needs
- Creation of a reception area/waiting area for patients and families as they await treatment
- Increased capacity for patients who need to be treated in isolation
- Renovation of the Nursing Station and Medication Room to increase efficiencies and allow our staff to focus on what matters most…our patients, and
- Space for research that will further enhance our knowledge of kidney disease and patient care.
Currently, patient beds offer little to no privacy and are not conducive to the exceptional level of patient care that our staff are capable of providing. We need to redevelop our Charlton Dialysis Centre to provide an optimal space for patient comfort and care, as well as staff efficiency. We need the support of our community to do so. This is a $2.5 million project with $1.2 million in donations received to date.