Transplant Athlete
Friday, June 13, 2008
  Robin's Thoughts

Since I can't post to Stephen's blog yet, here are Robin's thoughts.

Adventurous? Yes.
Extreme? Yes.
A lifetime dream? For some.
Insane? You decide.

It was a dream of my husband's to ride in the RAAM, and he was motivated to succeed with the hope of helping those whose lives have been affected by breast cancer. He has dedicated the ride to our friend, Mary Neitupski, a beloved individual who had a heart that would and did endure almost any challenge that faced her. She died at the age of 53 with breast cancer.

The RAAM is everything I thought it would be, and more. Our team of 10 is living all of the experiences we had heard occur on this adventurous, extreme, and insane trip. Much of our time has been spent in planning and preparation. Our team is good at that. We are lucky enough to have a crew of intelligent, motivated, and dedicated people. We even have the expertise of a previous RAAM rider that for health reasons, is unable to now make the grueling journey by bike. He has expressed his desire to lend his help so that someone else may be fortunate enough to live their dream. This is a crew of wonderful people who are all being challenged by the RAAM. Emotions run high in otherwise calm, cool, and collected people who are faced with difficulties in their day to day lives and typically deal quite well with the stress. Now we find ourselves experiencing excitement, anxiety, anger, sadness, happiness, and fulfillment all sometimes in the span of one hour. Our team has experienced sleep deprivation and dehydration as we push ourselves to beat the clock. We have also experienced some of the most fun and laughter we have had in a long time.

What can I say about my husband? He is an inspiration to us all. I am very impressed by his strength and determination. The team's job is to keep him safe as he attempts to conquer the RAAM. But ultimately it is he who needs to display the strength and endurance to push on. I am very proud of him, and will always be, regardless of the outcome. He is a remarkable person.

We are only on day 5 of the race, less than half way through. In the end, will we all think of this trip as a dream? It will likely be one of the most unique experiences of our lives that has taught us all something about human nature that we never before understood.


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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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