Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson has some painful personal experience with kidney disease, and he's using his celebrity to try and help get the word out about preventative measures.

Lifeson recently filmed a 30-second spot for the Kidney Foundation of Canada, taking a moment to inform viewers about the causes of kidney disease. Speaking to the camera, he says, "A little over 10 years ago, my father passed away after two very difficult years of failing health. Both his kidneys ceased to operate, and he was on dialysis for over two years. Many times, he was nearly lost during his dialysis and it was heartbreaking to watch his demise, and that's why this is especially important to me."

Lifeson's commercial comes during a year of good works for the civic-minded Rush. During the summer, the band donated an autographed Geddy Lee bass to a charity auction, and dedicated a portion of their concert grosses to supporting needy Canadian musicians.

And they didn't just come to the aid of the less fortunate: On Oct. 1, they heeded the cries of long-suffering fans by releasing a remixed version of 'Vapor Trails,' the 2002 album whose much-maligned sound has been a burr in the band's saddle for more than a decade.