Transplant Athlete
Monday, January 05, 2004

I had a VO2 Max Test done by Fitness Concepts in August. I also had one done in May of 2000, A couple of months after my Kidney Transplant. These were my numbers:

VO2 Max Results
Characteristics 2000 2003
Aerobic Zone 160 - 167 147 - 157
Power In Aerobic Zone 80 - 90 Watts 120 - 140 Watts
Lactate Threshold 188 - 193 185 - 197
Power at Lactate Threshold 140 - 160 Watts 210 - 240 Watts

Before my Transplant I was on a low protein diet(its easier on the kidneys) for 14 years. While I was generally fit, I didn't have a lot of muscle mass on my body. I had the first VO2 Max test done to focus my training for the trip across the country. In 2003, I was racing at the Collegiate level (I was a Grad student at U. of Maryland - Go Terps!) and when coach Ken Mierke and coach Jason Goyanko saw my VO2 Max results they told me to add more aerobic rides to my training.

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Thursday, January 01, 2004

I was diagnosed with Glomerulonephritis in 1986 just before I entered high school. I was put on a low protein diet and told that I would eventually need a kidney transplant, but at the time there were no outward signs that anything was wrong.

I attended Stevens Institute of Technology and earned a B.E. in Mechanical Engineering. After graduation, I worked as an Industrial Engineer for a couple of months and then I got the illustrious title of "MCAE Specialist" working for Radian Inc. in Alexandria, Va. In 1996, Radian shut down the division I was working in and a co-worker(former college roommate) and I started a company to continue what we were doing. We were lucky, the planets aligned, we worked hard, and we built a great company.

In 1998 and 1999 I started noticing symptoms. I would occasionally have swelling in my ankles. Then later there were more severe symptoms, I was tired all the time and if I went into work, I got there late and left early. I would crash on the couch and would zone out in front of the TV. I couldn’t function. My doctors finally prescribed synthetic EPO(A hormone normally produced by the kidneys that tells the bones to create red blood cells) and after awhile, the medicine kicked in and I was able to function again. The sad part is that when I got to feeling normal, the doctors had to cut back the medication or the insurance company wouldn’t pay for the drug. So, I was at a functioning level, but not much more. I was able to ride my bike though and I needed that because my illness was progressing, my blood pressure was rising and exercise was helping to keep my blood pressure under control. I was also taking blood pressure medication through a patch on my skin, and I was on the largest dose available.

I sold my half of the business in early 2000 and in August I rode my first century. One month later, I had my transplant. While recuperating from the transplant I saw RAAM on OLN TV and I knew that that was what I wanted to do. Now the thing you have to understand is when the new kidney goes in, it’s producing normal amounts of EPO. My body was used to having just enough red blood cells to function and now ***BAM*** hello new red blood cells. I felt like Superman. I could have done anything. Riding across the country, NO PROBLEM. Tall buildings in a single bound, NO PROBLEM.

Nine months later I was on my bike riding across the country with PACTour. Then came Grad school and collegiate racing.

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I've gone through kidney failure twice. The first time in 2000, my mother donated a kidney; and again in 2008, I'm on dialysis waiting for a breakthrough in immuno-suppression medicines before seeking a new kidney.

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Warning Signs for Kidney Disease:

  • High Blood Pressure
  • Burning or Difficulty when Urinating
  • Frequent Urination at Night
  • Blood in your urine
  • Cola or tea colored urine
  • Swellig of the eyes, ankles, or feet
  • Lower back pain unrelated to physical activity

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