Kidney donors to summit Mount Kilimanjaro in March

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Rebekah Thomas doesn’t let below-freezing temperatures stop her Sunday morning runs.“I’ve been training on some of our high peaks, which aren’t very high,” she said.It was 2001 when she ran her first marathon, the Vermont City Marathon. Now, she’s preparing to reach new heights.“A huge challenge will be the altitude difference,” she said.The elementary school teacher started making blood donations in college. In 2019, she donated 65% of her liver and in 2020, a kidney. She made her donations at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, the same hospital a young student of hers received a life-saving donation years ago.“In the height of the pandemic when most things were canceled, UPMC was in full force doing organ transplants for living donors, I’m very grateful they were able to do that,” she said.Now, she joins over 20 other kidney donors nationwide who are training to summit Tanzania’s Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s tallest peak, on world kidney day March 10.“One of the reasons we’re doing this hike is we want to show people that it’s possible to continue with a normal healthy lifestyle after organ donation. And organ donation doesn’t limit you with what you’re able to do,” she said.Thomas gives a great ‘thank you’ to Run Vermont, who helped her raise funds for the summit with their ‘Get Out and Give Back’ 5k rn in January.“I think for most of us on the hike, organ donation has changed most of our lives for the better, and the lives of our recipients for the better,” she said.Anyone interested in donating or learning more about Kidney Donor Athletes can visit https://kidneydonorathlete.org/.More information on becoming a donor can be foundhttps://www.kidneyregistry.org/for-donors/.

Rebekah Thomas doesn’t let below-freezing temperatures stop her Sunday morning runs.

“I’ve been training on some of our high peaks, which aren’t very high,” she said.

It was 2001 when she ran her first marathon, the Vermont City Marathon. Now, she’s preparing to reach new heights.

“A huge challenge will be the altitude difference,” she said.

The elementary school teacher started making blood donations in college. In 2019, she donated 65% of her liver and in 2020, a kidney. She made her donations at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, the same hospital a young student of hers received a life-saving donation years ago.

“In the height of the pandemic when most things were canceled, UPMC was in full force doing organ transplants for living donors, I’m very grateful they were able to do that,” she said.

Now, she joins over 20 other kidney donors nationwide who are training to summit Tanzania’s Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s tallest peak, on world kidney day March 10.

“One of the reasons we’re doing this hike is we want to show people that it’s possible to continue with a normal healthy lifestyle after organ donation. And organ donation doesn’t limit you with what you’re able to do,” she said.

Thomas gives a great ‘thank you’ to Run Vermont, who helped her raise funds for the summit with their ‘Get Out and Give Back’ 5k rn in January.

“I think for most of us on the hike, organ donation has changed most of our lives for the better, and the lives of our recipients for the better,” she said.

Anyone interested in donating or learning more about Kidney Donor Athletes can visit
https://kidneydonorathlete.org/.

More information on becoming a donor can be found
https://www.kidneyregistry.org/for-donors/.

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