In Memory of Stanley Shaldon
Today, the community of European kidney specialists is mourning. One of its founding fathers, Dr. Stanley Shaldon, died. We, the European Renal Association – European Dialysis and Transplant Association or ERA-EDTA, the largest society of European nephrologists, lose a man who not only stood at the cradle of our then tiny society by being one if its founding members, but who also remained, throughout his entire life, more than anyone else supportive and loyal in the most honest way imaginable.This man who was indeed small in stature, but who was a true giant of his specialty, was fifty years ahead of his time, when he initiated home dialysis, nocturnal dialysis, and extended long dialysis: all options that only started thriving during the last decade. He was one of the pioneers of catheter dialysis, and also developed a type of arteriovenous fistula which was simple to puncture in self care; he also was one of the first to reuse dialyzers, and even more importantly, he drew attention to the significance of pure dialysis water, of chemokines in uremia and last but not least, his latest passion, of the toxicity of dietary salt. He will certainly be remembered for having been a person who saved the life of many patients, but also, made their life much more comfortable as the patient was always at the center of all his efforts.
This mastermind of nephrology was a brilliant analyst, not only of facts and trends, but perhaps even more of human failures and weaknesses, as he abhorred dishonesty and superficiality. We were glad as officers to award him during our current term for his merits to ERA-EDTA. Later on we renamed, without hesitating, our young nephrologists award into the “Stanley Shaldon award for young investigators”. We remember how he and Penelope discussed this plan with incredible enthusiasm when we met in Paris in 2012. Unfortunately, Stanley could deliver the prize only once in person, last year at the ERA-EDTA congress in Istanbul. This year, in Amsterdam, he will no more be there. This tough man, whom we thought would last forever, unfortunately had to surrender to a fate none of us will escape. We are grateful to him for all he did for ERA-EDTA and nephrology in general, and to Penelope, his wife, who supported him in this endeavor. But all this does not bring him back. When the next Shaldon award will be given, there will be an empty place in the lecture hall, but even more in our hearts. Today, the community of European kidney specialists is mourning.
Raymond Vanholder and Andrzej Więcek, on behalf of the ERA-EDTA Council
Friday January 3rd, 2014
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