Thirteen years ago my Dad, Rich Dean (in pic above on left) was in need of a kidney transplant and about to require dialysis. Dad was lucky as his good longtime friend Denny Behm (in the pic above on the right) agreed to donate his "spare" kidney. At the time, Denny was 67, and Dad was 79 years old which was the record for combined ages of donor & recipient. Dad is no longer living, having fallen, suffering a fatal head injury. Denny's kidney restored my Dads life and gave him 5 additional years of quality life before he passed. Denny has shared, "this is the most rewarding and satisfying thing I’ve ever done." Note, the pic above is one week after the transplant!
The 1st week in September, I am going to ride my road bike with Denny (now 80 years old!) the 2nd half of his ride which is starting in Iowa City, Iowa. I'll be riding 175 miles from Mason City (my hometown) to Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC) in Minneapolis, where their transplant took place. There are over 100,000 people on the transplant waiting list, and there are many of them are waiting at HCMC without the financial means to cover expenses. The funds you donate will help those in need!
Our goal is to promote living kidney donation, letting people know that this is a wonderful thing to do. A lot of people are not aware that a person does not need two kidneys for their kidney function to work, so our motto for the ride is “Share Your Spare!”
Hennepin Healthcare's unique position of being one of Minnesota's largest safety-net hospitals means that we deliver exceptional care without exception. The Hennepin Healthcare Organ Transplant Clinic serves thousands of patients each year, many of whom do not have the means to support their ongoing medication needs. A donation to the Transplant Clinic ensures that all of our patients will have access to the care and medications that they need, no matter what.