In Memory of Bill Peckham
1963 - 2019
On dialysis for more than 28 years, Bill Peckham showed the world that it’s possible to live a full life with kidney disease. Bill passed away Jan. 18, 2019 and will be greatly missed by those who knew him personally and many who knew him as an authoritative and inspirational blogger. Since he started dialysis in 1990, stories about Bill’s strength on dialysis, leadership in advocating for better care and dedication to kidney research have inspired people around the globe.
In 1985, shortly after graduating from Central Washington University with dual B.S. degrees in accounting and business/marketing, Bill was told his kidneys were failing and he’d soon need dialysis. An avid traveler and adventurer, he embarked on a months-long trip around the world, sure that once he started dialysis, his adventuring days would be over. (They weren’t.)
After a preemptive kidney transplant in 1988, Bill’s kidney disease, focal segmental glomerulosclerosis or FSGS, recurred in 1990. He started hemodialysis at a dialysis center, switching to solo hemodialysis at home in 2001. He was a champion for self dialysis and frequent treatments.
Bill’s advocacy for better care, education about kidney disease, and research have created better lives for people with kidney disease.He was a leader on our board of trustees, foundation board and regional council, notably as chair of the board of trustees. He led the charge to create the Kidney Research Institute, now a scientific powerhouse. He advocated locally and nationally for better kidney care; conceived the annual Kidney Health Expo at Century Link Field in the mid-2000s, attended by thousands; and brought laptops to chairside for dialysis patients’ use in 1999. In 2005, Bill received the Clyde Shields Award for Distinguished Service, Northwest Kidney Centers’ highest honor.
Bill continued traveling — to more than 30 countries, all told — including a raft trip through the Grand Canyon with his dialysis machine alongside. He shared these experiences along with medical and industry insights through his blog, “Dialysis from the sharp end of the needle.”
Bill loved his dogs, family, friends, travel and beer. He didn’t let kidney disease stop him from doing what he loved; he worked dialysis into his life, not the other way around. We will continue to tell his story for years to come.