Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Climbing for kidneys

I bumped into Tony Ward at the World Kidney Day celebrations and was pleased to learn of progress with his planned climb of Mount Everest. Tony is doing better than Lance Armstrong and his bid to win this year’s Tour de France following Lance’s involvement in the pile up that fractured his collar bone during the first stage of the Vuelta a Castilla y Leon race in Spain. I have known Tony for many years – I remember his probing questions when I discussed his underlying kidney disease and its likely prognosis. Tony is a remarkable individual and his attitude and perseverance embody the concept of choosing renal replacement therapy to live the full and active life he wants.

It is an inspirational story, clearly we all can’t climb Mount Everest but we do all have mountains to climb. Success in climbing mountains it seems is similar to success in transplantation and dialysis – essential ingredients are good preparation, safety and being as fit as possible in all other aspects of health.

Tony is climbing the North Col of Mount Everest in May, the expedition is leaving on 25 April and if you want to find out more about Tony’s training regime, the support he has received from the medical and transplant teams, read his update or have a look at the website. Money raised from the expedition will go towards funding renal research programmes that are backed by Kidney Research UK.