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World Kidney Day To Be Celebrated From Top Of Mt. Kilimanjaro By 22 Living Kidney Donors

Photo by Welton Souza from Pexels

A group of 22 kidney donor athletes are in training across the country to summit Mt. Kilimanjaro on World Kidney Day, March 10, 2022. All are members of an aptly named nonprofit, Kidney Donor Athletes (KDA), founded by ultra-athlete Tracey Hulick who donated her kidney in 2017. Hulick’s motivation for the climb? “I want people to be able to use this as an example to show you can be an endurance athlete and do well with one kidney.”  

According to the National Kidney Donation Organization (NKDO), more than 100,000 people in the U.S. are on the waiting list for kidney transplants. Over 3,000 new patients are added to this list every month. With fewer donors than there are those in need, 13 people die every day waiting for a kidney.  

The benefits of being a recipient of a living donor may be apparent, but what isn’t as obvious is the positive impact donation can have on the person donating. As in all major surgeries, there is an inherent risk, however, we’re born with two kidneys, but in most cases, we can not only survive but thrive with one. According to Scientific American, “if only one kidney is present, that kidney can adjust to filter as much as two kidneys would normally . . . this happens with no adverse effects, even over years.” “The message is awareness, that’s the ultimate goal,” says Steve Wilson who will be climbing with Hulick. “More people would consider donating if they knew how easy the surgery is, it saves someone’s life and it doesn’t have to change yours at all.”  

And aside from the physical considerations, it’s the emotional benefit the donor athletes have experienced that motivates them on this quest. According to Wilson, recipients are grateful to the donors, but it works the other way around too “I may never meet my recipient, but if I do, I will give her a tight, long hug and say thank you for giving me the opportunity to live past myself.”  

More information about living kidney donation and Kidney Donor Athletes can be found at and

About the Author

New York Trend is a weekly news publication that focuses on issues and lifestyles of the African & Caribbean American communities throughout the New York metropolitan area and Nassau and Suffolk Counties of Long Island. It is a respected and well recognized news publication that has been in existence since 1989. Owner, Publisher and Executive Director, Dr. Teresa Taylor Williams has been at the helm of this award-winning publication since its inception. New York Trend continues to be the only black woman-owned, metropolitan newspaper in New York and Long island. New York Trend is the largest black-owned newspaper throughout Nassau and Suffolk counties.