It is with great sadness that Home Dialyzors United announces the death of Kathe Lebeau, a champion for dialysis patients and dear member of the HDU family.
Kathe died unexpectedly on March 17, 2014. She is survived by her husband Loren, their beloved dog Auggie and multitudes of friends whom she considered family.
A longtime dialysis patient, Kathe was well known throughout the kidney community for her tireless efforts to improve the health and quality of life of the kidney population and, in general, make life better for people living with kidney disease.
As director of patient services and public policy for the Northeast Kidney Foundation, and a kidney patient advocate, Kathe spent countless hours writing letters, making phone calls, conducting meetings and briefings, and doing whatever else she could to educate regulators and policymakers about the critical need for dialysis patients to be educated on all treatment options – and to have access to the option that is best for them. She also advocated for increased organ donation, especially in her home state of New York, which has the third lowest organ donation rate in the country even though it is the third largest state. In addition, Kathe was a reviewer for PCORI projects and served on the anemia TEP (Technical Expert Panel), the National Quality Forum, several UNOS committees, the Kidney Community Emergency Response Coalition and the board of AAKP. As a participant in these and other groups, it was always her goal to ensure that kidney patients could live a normal life.
Kathe was an active member of her kidney support group and inspired other dialysis patients and their family, friends and care partners with her positive attitude and outlook on life.
At the age of 54, she fulfilled a lifelong dream of hers and attended clown school, where she, found her calling. As Kismet, her clown persona, Kathe performed regularly for pediatric kidney patients, Ronald McDonald kids and those living in nursing homes. This was a hobby that Kathe said brightened her world – and undoubtedly brightened the world of many others as well.
Kathe’s legacy will live on in the patients who strive to live a normal life on dialysis. Our hearts go out to her family in this difficult time. She will be greatly missed.
There are no plans for a service at this time.