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Transplant Athlete
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
  Hayden Pond

I have a special connection in my heart for Hayden Pond in Massachusetts and the surrounding area. My dad's side of the family is from that area. When he was a boy, he helped his Uncle Roland build a shack on Hayden Pond. Uncle Roland bought a small lot on the pond with his savings. He excavated for the foundation by hand. He bought used cinder blocks. He built when he had funds, he talked to experts when wasn't sure what to do, and did most of the work himself. When he had the funds, he bought the lot next door.

Uncle Roland lived in the house in the summer months with his sister, my grandmother. In the winter months, they would travel to Miami, where my grandmother owned a trailer. During the summer months, I would spend weeks at a time up there with Grandma and Uncle Roland. My Aunt Sue and Uncle Steve lived in Webster about 3 miles away, so I spent a lot of time with my cousins Matt, Beth, and Steven. Their older brother Vinny spent most of my childhood in the Marines and then living out in San Diego.

So, as you can imagine with all those wonderful childhood memories with family up there, it holds a special place in my heart.

When I found out there was a triathlon in Webster lake, I knew I had to compete. My dad, Matt, and Vinny signed up as well. In fact I believe we were the first 4 entries. I drove up to my parent's house on Friday and we drove up to MA together. It was really nice seeing that side of the family again. I spent the night as Vinny's first house guest. He's got a beautiful cottage in Webster.

 

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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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