Transplant Athlete
Thursday, August 16, 2007
  International Competitions

There are two major events going on over the next two weeks, PBP and the XVI World Transplant Games.

Paris - Brest - Paris is a 750 mile Brevet that is held every four years. Wikipedia says PBP is the oldest ongoing bicycle event having started in 1891 and was around for the bicycle change over from high wheelers to the safety bikes of today. It's not a race, but at 750 miles and a 90 hour time limit, it's a true test of athleticism. The official PBP site says there will be 4000 cyclists at the start line, which includes 62 people from the DC, Maryland, Virginia area. I wish them the best of luck.

The World Transplant Games are being held in Bangkok, Thailand and some of my friends are already heading out there. Bill Wohl has been training very hard (for a dead man) and is looking for 5 trips to the podium and maybe a broken world record. Bill went into heart failure and a coma, he was put on an experimental machine to pump his blood, and his wife tried to pull the plug so she could have him declared dead for the insurance money. He eventually came out of the coma, received a heart transplant, and now is a top amateur athlete. So yeah, pretty spry for a dead guy. Go Bill!

My dad really wanted me to go so he would have an excuse to go back to Bangkok. The last time he was there, he was a lean mean Marine fighting in Vietnam. Yeah, it's been nearly 40 years, he thinks it might have changed a bit. I had several reasons for not wanting to go, SARS, Avian Flu, pollution, the expense. Transplant patients have compromised immune systems, so I'd rather not put myself in a place where I could get some exotic disease. Also, I raced once during a code purple day and it really messed up my lungs, from what I've read, besides the short term damage it also does long term damage to the lungs, so I won't race in conditions like that again. Interestingly, China is implementing some changes to clean up their air for the Olympics.


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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:

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  • Frequent Urination at Night
  • Blood in your urine
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