Transplant Athlete
Friday, July 08, 2005
  Suck it up and donate a kidney

Due to some miscommunication, Martin blew by the final time station. I caught up to him and told him I would ride the last nine miles to the finish. When I passed he was on the shoulder with the Jet Truck. I assumed he would get in the truck and drive the rest of the way, I kept waiting for the jet truck to come up behind me to be my follow vehicle when the van came blowing by. I didn't have a water bottle with me, so I was pretty pissed at the time, but I figured that the Jet Truck would eventually catch up. I got to the finish line and the rest of the team was there, except Martin and the Jet Truck. He had decided to ride the rest of the way. While we were sitting around waiting for Martin, we didn't realize we were in the wrong place, so we wasted about twenty minutes, before they stopped the official race clock. That was the story of our RAAM, but at that point it didn't matter.

Bill kept saying he was going to sprint to the finish line once we hit the boardwalk, so I was a bit nervous that he'd take off. I kept thinking, "Keep it in an easy gear that you can spin up, just in case..." We hopped on the Atlantic City Expressway and rolled into town. The Police blocked all the intersections, I felt like a rock star. It was a good day. They hand out these huge medals at the stage (7 days 14 hours 39 minutes for those keeping score at home). The finishing ceremony was kind of a blur. The next thing I know, my daughter is wearing my medal and we're cleaning out the RV and Minivan. Then my family went to breakfast and back to my parent's house for sleep. My mom accompanied me back to AC for the Finish Line Banquet. Then the Team went for drinks afterwards. Mike, who had been denied beer all week, let loose and got a bit fresh with my mom.

I slept the whole next day and drove home on Friday. We had to drive home on Friday because while I was away, my daughter missed me and did some bad things. First, she locked herself in my bedroom. My wife had to take the door knob apart to get her out. Later, she wiggled herself out of her bed in the middle of the night and cut herself just above the eye. It required stitches and we returned on friday to get them removed. I slept most of Saturday with a short recovery ride thrown in for good measure. Its been a week since we finished but I've been having the weirdest dreams, they generally involve me starting or finishing a pull at the RV. The other weird thing is that the first three nights at home, when waking up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom, I had to convince myself that I was home and not in the RV.

I'm struck by two major impressions from RAAM. First, I slept too much. And I mean that in the "its the toughest race in the world I should be dead on my feet way" Second, I really want to do solo RAAM.


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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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