Carving kidneys out of ice and snow


University Spital Zürich USZ, the Swiss Transplant, the Swiss Kidney Foundation Zürich Switzerland

Date of event

10 March 2022 


University Spital Zürich USZ in collaboration with the Swiss Transplant and the Swiss Kidney Foundation organized an activity to mark World Kidney Day 2022 in Switzerland with the motto “One kidney is enough to save a life”. Kidney transplant recipients, donors, patients with CKD, on hemodialysis, and their families, both from the adult and pediatric clinics, together with health care staff met in a ski region close to Zürich to make the public aware:
  • how important the kidney is to the human body
  • how to prevent kidney disease
  • what it means to have kidney disease
  • what a kidney donation can achieve
For this purpose, a large kidney (< 4 meters in height) was built from snow on-site, and together with all participants blocks of ice were carved into the kidneys. In order to get their message out to the public, they invited journalists to the event, placed a big poster in front of the kidney for skiing people who passed by at this busy location, and set up a link on their clinic website providing information on kidney topics ( At the event patients presented their individual stories, in particular highlighting kidney paired donation, the need for kidney donors, the impact kidney disease has on their life and their families, and the underestimated number of people suffering from kidney disease. In addition, they also informed the public about kidney functions and measures to prevent kidney disease.

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