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Peter Lundin

A tribute from Dale Ester


Hi Dr. Fadem, It's Dale Ester writing. It's been a long time since we have communicated. I would like to offer to submit an article about my personal experiences with Dr. Lundin over the years and have it reside at nephron.com for the benefit of the public to read on "Pete Lundin's Corner."

It is important because of his untimely passing coming as such a surprise! Even to me .. I thought he would live endlessly on, like an icon representing the ESRD community. He was the gold standard for recommending adequate ESRD care. I wrote a brief article (see below) to the Dialysis_Support group and if you find it to be acceptable for your informational website, please post it allowing others to know and remember the friendly man named Dr. Peter Lundin. He accomplished a tremendous amount of benefits for ESRD patients as well as improve the current treatment for the growing population of currently 300,000+ patients who now utilize hemodialysis without even knowing much about its history or those behind its development. Let me know if the article idea is possible and whether or not you want a more detailed article. I would appreciate Dr. Lundin be remembered as a man who cared for people as much as he cared for himself. He was simply an honest and good man trying to improve treatment conditions for ESRD patients. He was an ESRD champion if there ever was one individual to point a finger and identify as such. Dale Ester

A few members of the Dialysis _Support Forum (http://www.yahoogroups.com/group/dialysis_support/) have inquired of me to write something regarding Dr. Peter Lundin because they realize I knew and spoke often with him. I want to respond to this request, but in doing so, I also want to make it clear these are my opinions and are not intended to make joke of death and dying, but to celebrate life as a journey in which one day, we will all travel its path to our final destiny.Dr. Lundin has begun this adventure.

Let me tell you some stories of our friendship ... I recall Dr. Lundin calling me one evening about a two years ago. I was out likely feeding my insatiable appetite (probably dining on spaghetti noodles), or some other action trying to fulfill a goal I had encountered or volunteered to do. I am an easy target for fixing things without asking to be paid for the services. I develop a lot of friends this way, so it's not a bad trade :)! I have busy neighbors who think I am the perfect handyman for any conceivable event of crisis or not needing to be momentarily fixed or repaired.

I phoned Dr. Lundin and realized it was well into the evening for him (I live in Arizona and he in New York). He was making a complaint about a mailing list problem he was encountering and had asked of me to fix it because his e-mail service was not responding well to his attempts to fix it correctly. I had gone to bed thinking I would call again in the morning. That didn't work too well. To my surprise, I got a phone call back from Peter at about 4 AM in the morning (my time, yet 7am in New York). When I answered the phone, fully in REM sleep mode, he said someone had paged him and he was returning their phone call. Being still really groggy, I said politely but quite clearly, "Who the heck is this? Do you know what time it is?" He stuttered a few sentences of apology (obviously I caught him off-guard as well), and he said, "Is this Dale?" "Yeahh, it is", I said with a sleepy and grumpy attitude .. (seriously, I was awakened having an awesome dream -- connotate from this about a dream you have had and someone has awakened you to trash away fulfilling the quest your dream was about to succeed at accomplishing). I think at the time, I was dreaming about flying a Cessna airplane over the ocean, but very close to the surface of the water.

I guess I needed to experience this for some unknown reason. Dr. Lundin and I both laughed sheepishly, especially after I had a few minutes to really wake up, -- he thought it was a patient calling him in New York, and not realizing it was me in Arizona, had woken me up at 4 am in the morning! He said there were too many area codes in New York to keep track of where he was calling. We shared a few updates, then he shared with me his reason for calling -- he was having a computer problem getting his mail from the dialysis group. I went to the website and looked over his e-mail account subscription settings. I found nothing wrong. So, it must be in his computer -- oh no! I know how much computer savvy he did not possess. Yikes!! I called Peter back up later and after tracing him down in the office, discovered he was unable to send any e-mail to anyone nor could he receive e-mail either. This is why he had to call me in the first place. After we discussed the obvious things, his problem came to be he had plugged his telephone line into his computer modem in the wrong slot -- and effectively deflowered his modem contact and connection, all due to his spring cleaning eagerness. It had been this way for a full week and he had not yet discovered it as the problem! I told him not to worry, because I would only charge him half-price since he did all the physical work, but I might have a surcharge attached due to it being a late-night service call! WE both laughed real hard -- what a guy! He said he felt so .. well, you know?

So what does this story try to convey to you? It says Dr. Lundin was a gentle man, but a good man we could all appreciate and value as a dedicated friend. He enjoyed his life while sharing his skill and expertise with those who asked him to help. He needed us as much as we all needed him, maybe more. He found satisfaction in sharing his expertise with this forum and only after his wife Maureen died of ongoing breast cancer, did he withdraw from the mail sent from this group. He said to me he "needed time to readjust and to grieve", and I understood. On occasion though, I did write to him to resolve questions some of you had made inquiry of him to answer. He always answered back without delay. As a true friend, he always replied with a detailed answer. Sometimes, he only said what he thought to be true from his own personal experiences, and at other times, advised seeking council from a professional. But he always gave us something to gain a better understanding. I do know he valued each and every one of us and in the quality of life he sought to make so good for everyone, he truly did succeed.

For those individuals who met him personally, he was a quiet but elegant man, his wisdom and overture making him to be a respected professional while he relished in discussing his experiences one-on-one with other dialysis patients like he had known them for years. He was one of us in the story of dialysis. He lived it just like the rest of us and knew the reality of how we felt, how we played, and how we were often too tired and unable to work or play.

His only remark with dialysis life was to never think it couldn't get better -- it simply was a choice each individual had to make. Even him. so when I first met Dr. Lundin, it was probably back in 1993, I offered my young 35 year old right hand to willingly shake his hand -- after all, I was meeting the renown man named Dr. Peter Lundin. I was excited to say the least! I recall he was about the same height as me, but somehow, he so greatly reminded me of Abraham Lincoln, but only if Abraham Lincoln was cleanly shaven and dressed more to the time.

As I shook his hand, I squeezed as I normally do, hoping to render a firm grip to show him my eager enthusiasm. In his eyes in which I was eagerly peering intently, I saw the smile on his face become distorted and grimaced from the pain which echoed through his facial features and down through his body. I realized I had inadvertently squeezed his hand way too hard (tightly) and from all the years of bone deterioration, I had "hurt him" the first time I met him. I felt miserable, and I begged his forgiveness. How could I have done this? Although he passed it off as no big deal, I was ashamed for many years to come, realizing I had not thought to really understand the physical conditions of the other individuals I was making contact.

How could I have made such a foolish mistake to the great Dr. Lundin? I hurt him and to date, have never forgotten the event. It was so difficult for me to come to understand what I had done was only a mistake in judgment, one he likely endured far more often than I thought ever possible. Yet from that day forward, whether it be a man or woman with whom I reached out to shake their hand in greeting, I now make a mental note immediately prior to the handshake approach, to quickly and consciously study their overall well-being, to never again make the same mistake. The lesson was learned. He (Dr. Lundin) did invoke a change in me both mentally and physically. I never told him this effect he had on me, a lasting one at that, but I guess now that I share it here within this forum, he will finally really know the effect it had on me.

I suspect Dr. Lundin will be as much appreciated in heaven as he was on earth, and in his passing, he has joined up again with his lovely wife Maureen. Together, they now enjoy a new life without the risk of enduring physical maladies. He is without the need for dialysis and she without the need for cancer treatment. They are back together in perfect harmony, the way their lives are best remembered! Good-bye my good friend, Dr. Lundin ...

Death is not an end, but a beginning to a new adventure. Maybe we can talk again when I arrive in the future? And at the right time, I promise to squeeze your hand "firmly but lightly" -- because in heaven, it shouldn't matter ever again! You will be sustained by many when love comes to you from the thousands with whom you have actively assisted, and realizing this, you delivered a difference in each and every individual with whom you came into contact. While on earth many may grieve, I pray you are celebrating your newfound soul life in heaven void of too much work, too little time for pleasure, too little time to write your book, or a phone line not quite plugged in correctly to the modem :). I wonder if you still have to clean up your desk in heaven? In all aspects of life on earth or in heaven, we each can help another to learn to survive in a manner we can all be so proud -- just like you taught us to do! Your life was an example of how one person helping people was able to make a significant difference! Saving lives happens one person at a time! You taught us all well! With fond memories of my friend Dr. Peter Lundin,


Dale Ester


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