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One kidney ahead of you!

When I was considering donating a kidney, one of my biggest concerns was how it would affect my physical health and fitness going forward. I consulted some other runners who had donated a kidney, and they assured me that I could get back up to full fitness (eventually). And, thank G-d, they were right. Three weeks ago, I ran my first competitive half-marathon since the operation. I would have been thrilled just to cross the line in under two hours. I did better. I finished in a personal record time of 1:57:52, shattering my previous best by over a minute.

Some perspective here: I'm 49 years old, I'm a grandfather (as if that makes me older), I have one kidney, and I'm in the best physical shape of my life.

And I want to translate this into a threefold call to action for you.

Firstly: you're getting older, but that doesn't mean you should resign to aging and let yourself go. For your own sake, for the future you, start getting into exercise now. If running isn't your thing, find something that is. Do a combination of strength training and cardio; you need both. And build it into your weekly routine, so that it's not just something you do "when you have time". It's hard to get started, but once you're in the swing of it, you will feel more energetic, more optimistic, and you will enjoy your life more. Plus, future you will thank you for it.

Secondly: if you are healthy enough, consider whether you can make the leap to being a kidney donor. There are hundreds of people just in Israel living on dialysis. Dialysis is a medical miracle; without it these people would be dead. But living on dialysis is barely a life. Imagine two or three times a week having to give up a full day to prepare, undergo, and recover from dialysis. And even in the heat of summer, never being allowed to drink more than half a cup of water a day. You could give someone the gift of life, without too much impact on your own health. If you want to discuss it, please feel free to contact me directly, or read up on kidney donation on the Matnat Chaim website.

Thirdly: please consider making a financial contribution towards helping match kidney donors and recipients. I'm running this Friday again in the Jerusalem Marathon (21.1km again for me), and once again I'll be wearing the Matnat Chaim "One Kidney Ahead of You!" T-shirt. Any donation to Matnat Chaim will be greatly appreciated! Click here


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