Transplant Athlete
Monday, August 09, 2004
  Washington Post Article

A Transplant Champ
Herndon Kidney Recipient Bikes to Victory
By Tom JackmanWashington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, August 5, 2004; Page VA03

A Herndon man who received a kidney transplant from his mother four years ago has won his second set of gold medals in cycling at a national athletic competition for organ transplant recipients in Minneapolis.

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  US Transplant Games Re-Cap

I had a great time at the games catching up with my teammates from Team USA from France last year. I really enjoy travelling, so I had a blast seeing the country. However, I will never drive such a long distance by myself again. I don't mind being in the saddle for 8 hours or 12 hours, but driving that distance is murder. Here is my Race Recap:

Expectations were high as I was the defending champion from 2002. During the 1km Time Trial, I finished in 1 minute and 34 seconds, fast enough to guarantee a Gold Medal for me in the 30 – 39 age group.

During the 20km Road Race, They started all males under 50 in our heat. It was 6 laps around the fairgrounds on a gently rolling course. David Cole, in the 40 – 49 age-group got an early lead and stayed away for the duration of the event. I tried to chase David down on the first two laps, but I was just pulling along 6 – 8 of the riders in his age group and they weren’t working with me to close the gap. I picked up the pace for the next lap and dropped all but two riders, Jeff Leone and Loyal Letney, both in the 40 – 49 age-group.

Since we dropped all the other competitors and Jeff and Loyal were content to settle for 2nd and 3rd place and I was leading my age-group, we backed off the pace a bit. We traded pulls at the front, working together effectively to share the effort. I had ridden with Jeff the day before, so I was happy to see that he stayed with the group and would be able to claim a medal at the end of the day.

With about 1km to go, I picked up the pace to make it difficult but not impossible to pass me in to the finish. Jeff had been "on the rivet" and just couldn't keep up, but Loyal stayed with me. With about 300 meters to go, Loyal jumped. He shot past me, but he had gone too early and he was stuck pushing a big gear. I remember thinking "too early" and I knew I had him. I accelerated and swerved into his slipstream, I rocketed forward and shot right past him. It was a blistering sprint finish and I ended up taking 2nd place in the heat and claimed a Gold Medal in my age group.

These games marked the 50th anniversary of the first organ transplant operation by Dr. Joseph Murray between twins. For more information go to www.kidney.org/recips/athletics/tgames or www.transweb.org.

Organ Donation works!


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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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