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Rucking with One Kidney

Six years ago today a guy cut open my belly, stuck his hand in there, and pulled out my severed left kidney. He then gave it to another dude, who had cut open my buddy’s belly, and that guy stuck into my buddy’s body.

We’re both still alive.

Crazy, huh?

Before donating my kidney I was NOT a very active guy. I didn’t go to the gym, I didn’t run, and I sure as hell didn’t pay hundreds of dollars to have special forces dudes work me over for 12 hours.

But, no doubt, there were concerns about what level of activity and sports I would be able to engage in after the surgery. Would I be able to play soccer with my kids as they grew up? Would I be able to go for a run, if for some weird reason I wanted to?

My doctor was great. He explained that as long as I avoided things like bull riding (where I might get gored in my remining kidney) then I should be fine. In fact, he encouraged me to get more active.

Since my kidney donation, I took his advice.

I started doing Crossfit. I ran a bunch of Spartan races. For some reason, I ran a marathon. And, yes, I even started paying hundreds of dollars to have special forces dudes work me over for 12 hours. Heck, I even did an HTL.

And, I’m still alive.

I share all that, not to say, “look at me. Aren’t I cool?” Rather, the question of quality of life after kidney donation is one that all potential donors wrestle with.

I share my story because over 100,000 people are on the kidney transplant waiting list. You may know someone on that list or someone who is thinking about being a donor. If you do, hopefully you’ll point them to my story as an encouragement that giving up a kidney isn’t giving up an active lifestyle. You can still do plenty of stupid stuff with just one kidney.

If you have any question, or know someone who does, I’d be happy to answer them. If you want to know what it is like to donate a kidney, I wrote a stupid long article about it. I wrote another one explaining my decision process to go through with it.

So, cheers! Here’s to another year of living!

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