Meet Kidney Donor Athlete, Mark!

For most of my adult life, I’ve been an ultradistance athlete including 100-mile trail races, 100-mile snowshoe races in Alaska, 9 Eco-Challenge Adventure races (multi-sport, multi-day), and other ultradistance events around the world.

snowshoe race 2018

In May of 2018, I became an anonymous kidney donor because it was my turn. My wife Pam has had 3 transplants; a liver in 1990, a kidney from her brother Brian Pence in 2002, and another kidney from her youngest brother Eric Pence in 2017, both of whom are ultradistance athletes and recovered well from their surgeries.

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I felt it was my obligation to pay back after seeing how Pam’s life was repeatedly saved and changed so dramatically.

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I’ve always been extremely healthy and at age 64 was approved for donation. The surgery was simple and uneventful, as was the recovery. I gradually began my usual activities within a short length of time.

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I’ve been perfectly fine ever since, including participating in my 9th Eco-Challenge Race in Fiji in September of 2019.

Fiji Eco Challenge 20019

Donating was one of the best things I’ve ever done. I was fortunate enough to meet my recipient, and I’m very happy he is doing well. If anyone is considering donating and has questions, I’m more than happy to talk to you.

Leadville 50 mile bike

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