• Transplant

    Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast: Living donor climbs Mount Kilimanjaro on World Kidney Day

Kidney Donor Athletes at the base of Mount Kilimanjaro

Mayo Clinic living donor Mike Peshut is one of 22 kidney donors who reached the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro today on World Kidney Day, Thursday, March 10. Peshut took part in the One Kidney Climb as part of a group called Kidney Donor Athletes.

Peshut donated a kidney on behalf of his wife, Annie, in February 2019. Peshut tried to be a direct donor, but he was not a match for his wife. Through paired-organ donation, he became part of a six-kidney donation chain, allowing Annie to receive a kidney.

In paired donation, two or more organ-recipient pairs trade donors so that each recipient gets an organ that is compatible with his or her blood type. 

Peshut recently met his recipient, who credits him with giving her more time with her family, including her 13 grandchildren.

More than 90,000 people in the U.S. await a lifesaving kidney transplant. An estimated 20 people die every day because a needed is not donated in time.

Now Peshut is focused on sharing his story and encouraging others to become organ donors. The Mount Kilimanjaro climb is a public way to show that living organ donation doesn't limit the donor.

"Don't be afraid. Don't sit on the sidelines," says Mike. "If you're healthy, you can donate a kidney to help save someone else's life. It's really, really rewarding."

Prior to traveling to Africa, Peshut joined the Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast to share his message about organ donation.

Learn more about being a living kidney donor.

Watch: Mike Peshut shares his kidney donation story.

Read the full transcript.

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