- By Dana Sparks
Marathoner and Ironman Michael Koetting Back in the Race After Donating Kidney
This patient story originally appeared August 13, 2015 in Sharing Mayo Clinic.
As an endurance athlete who has completed six Ironman triathlons and more than two dozen marathons, Michael Koetting does not fear physical challenges. So when he learned he could use his good health to help a stranger in need, he never hesitated.
In December 2014, Michael, 47, of Orono, Minnesota, donated one of his kidneys to an anonymous recipient. Mere months later, he is back on the road, clocking competitive times in the sports he loves. His experience shows that dedicated athletes can give the gift of life through organ donation without jeopardizing their fitness.
Many living donors choose to give an organ directly to a loved one or friend in need. But people can also donate to strangers through anonymous living donation, also known as good Samaritan, non-directed or altruistic donation. More than 122,000 people nationwide are waiting for a lifesaving organ transplant, according to the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network, a public-private partnership to increase the number of and access to transplants. Living donors can spare patients awaiting kidney, liver and bone marrow transplant a lengthy and uncertain wait for an organ from a deceased donor. Read the rest of Michael's story.