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Transplant Athlete
Thursday, June 12, 2008
  Yellow Bubbles

On the leg in from Cortez to Durango, Nick and I volunteered to do follow support for Stephen so that the rest of the crew could shower and get a decent meal. In Durango, Dale, Nick, and I volunteered to shuttle Robin and Kristi up to a hotel in Pagosa Springs. Nick and I could get the showers we so desperately needed. Trust me on that one.

We were stupid tired, which is the point where we reverted to being 4th graders talking about bodily functions and laughing uncontrollably. We blew 45 minutes looking for food, it seems like every restaurant in the town closed their kitchens at 9pm. Unfortunately, Dale and I fell asleep at the hotel, but we had promised the rest of the crew we would return after a couple of hours to help support Stephen. He had the A-Team supporting him, so it shouldn't have been critical that we were gone, but things were going wrong from the start, and they really needed our help and equipment that had been placed in our vehicle.

Stephen was hours overdue and had had numerous issues on the road, from getting lost, to lights that didn't work, etc. He's going down for a massage, shower, and a long sleep break.

We hope that he'll recover enough to bag at least one more time station before the 3pm deadline today. We're also hoping the Race Director Terry Z will give him a chance to continue on. There's a possibility that given we get him over the mountains, he can make up time on the plains to reach the second cut-off in time. The wild card is his neck, will it hold out.

The sheer determination he's exhibiting is awe inspiring. Even after all he's been through, the trials, the tribulations, this last slow 70 miles, his legs are still churning over like the pistons of a great big steam engine. His spirits are high even with the knowledge that his may be an unofficial finish. Very few people can understand what he's going through. I've been where he is now, and rarely can I say, that with his situation, I'd have both the legs and the heart he's showing at the same time. I might have the legs, I might have the heart, but not to the extent of Stephen Bugbee.

As I sit here writing this, the sun is rising over snow covered peaks. Colorado is a beautiful sight. The temps last night were in the 30's.

 

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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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