Kidney Donation Made Me Healthier

March 22, 2018, 3:46pm EDT

Originally posted by NKF Illinois
Adam Doiron is an Ironman triathlete and marathon runner. But he wasn't always this serious about his health.
In 2010, Adam started a new job where he met a colleague named Jenn with whom he became close friends. Sadly, Jenn was diagnosed with FSGS in her early 30s and needed dialysis. Wanting to get involved and support his friend, Adam signed up for the NKF Minnesota’s Kidney Walk in 2013. He raised around $1500 that first year to increase awareness around the disease. On the walk, he met others living with kidney disease and found a new passion for advocacy.
Jenn's health continued to decline, and it became apparent that she needed a transplant. Her husband and a friend were tested and found that they were unable to donate. Knowing all this, after spending Easter weekend 2015 with some friends and unplugged from the world, Adam had spent time thinking about his friend and her family. The answer became clear to him - he would give Jenn his kidney. The only confirmation he needed was from his then girlfriend, now wife. After thinking for a few seconds, she encouraged him to give.
Adam registered to be a donor, sent in his test materials, and found out he was a match! He asked Jenn to lunch and told her the good news. On November 3, 2015, the two friends went into surgery and strengthened their bond with a living donation.
While he was tender the first few weeks after surgery, he was back to work within a week and back to normal life a few weeks later. Within a month, Adam was riding his bike and started joining his wife on runs. He participated in the Kidney Walk again in 2016 with family and friends, this time raising almost $4,000! He's running half marathons with the top 5% of his age group - completing his latest half in under 1:34. He also completed a half Ironman in May 2017 and a full Ironman in July 2017. After running his first marathon in the Twin Cities in 2016, he ran the 2017 Chicago Marathon as part of Team Kidney and the Tucson Marathon a couple months later. He’s also running the Twin Cities Marathon in 2018 for Team Kidney.
“If you’re concerned about altering your lifestyle as a donor, know that you become more aware of what to do to keep your body healthy. I now dedicate a lot more time to keeping myself in good shape. Donating made me healthier! The emotional payback and good karma you'll receive is beyond unbelievable.”