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On July 25th 2004, Shad Ireland made history by becoming the first and only dialysis patient in the world to compete in and complete the Ironman triathlon. Its a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, followed by a 26.2 mile run. Dr. Rahim can tell you how the idea of this and the physiology was medically impossible. The medical consensus was it could not be done.
Let me paint you a picture, I weighed 85 lbs, I had severe muscle wasting and multiple co morbid conditions and here I was announcing that I was going to do Ironman! (I was diagnosed at age 10 and dreamed of being an athlete but was told it would never happen because of the disease and diagnosis)
My first day in the gym I could not walk 30 seconds on a treadmill or even lift 5 LB dumb bells. 12 months later I weighed 142 LBS, was at 6% body fat and was running, swimming and biking 4 hours a day 6 days a week.
The medical community was in awe with my transformation but still believed that Ironman would break me. It tried, but I made history. Crossing the finish line and doing what the global medical community said could not be done. After that comments were made about me barely finishing and that there was no way I could do it again.
In 2005 I did 5 races, and in the following years have completed 20 triathlons and rode my bike across the United States. (4639 miles in 3 months) riding from CA to Washington DC stopping every other day in order to receive life saving dialysis therapy.
Over the past nine years I realized that this was never about me and my dream, rather it was about my ability to inspire and help others. In 2012 I returned to the sport of triathlon racing across the USA (In 5 major cities, Philly, Chicago, Minneapolis, LA, and Dallas) as a way to elevate the conversation about kidney disease and its leading causes. I want to show others that despite my diagnosis I am able to live an amazing life even after 30 years of this disease.
Author of the book, A PROMISE MADE IN PURSUIT OF THE IRON DREAM
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