Meeting a colleague who was battling kidney disease changed Adam Doiron's life. Her story inspired him to embrace advocacy, become a kidney donor, and dramatically invest in his own health and fitness.
Adam Doiron is a triathlete, IronMan competitor and marathon runner. But he wasn't always this serious about his health.
In 2010, Adam started a new job where he met a colleague named Jenn with whom he became close friends. Sadly, Jenn was diagnosed with FSGS in her early 30s and needed dialysis. Wanting to get involved and support his friend, Adam signed up for the NKFI's Walk for Kidneys in 2013. He raised around $1500 that first year to increase awareness around the disease. On the walk, he met others living with kidney disease and found a new passion for advocacy.
Jenn's health continued to decline and it became apparent that she needed a transplant. Her husband and several friends were tested and found that they were unable to donate. Knowing all this, Adam spent some quiet time in a cabin, unplugged from the world, thinking about his friend and her family. The answer became clear to him - he would give Jenn his kidney. The only confirmation he needed was from his then girlfriend, now wife. After thinking for a few seconds, she encouraged him to give.
Adam registered to be a donor, sent in his test materials and found out he was a match! He asked Jenn to lunch and told her the good news. On November 3, 2015, the two friends went into surgery and strengthened their bond with a living donation.
While he was tender the first few weeks after surgery, he was back to work within a week and back to normal life a few weeks later. Within a month, Adam was riding his bike and started joining his wife on runs. He participated in the Walk for Kidneys in 2016 with family and friends, this time raising almost $4,000. Then he got really serious about his own health and fitness.
“If you’re concerned about altering your lifestyle as a donor, know that you become more aware of what to do to keep your body healthy. I now dedicate a lot more time to keeping myself in good shape. Donating made me healthier! The emotional payback and good karma you'll receive is beyond unbelievable.”
He ran his first marathon in the Twin cities, and then ran the 2017 Chicago marathon as part of #TeamKidney. He's running half marathons with the top 5% of his age group, and completed his latest half in 1:37:59 (which is 20 minutes faster than his best time). He completed a half IronMan in May, and a full IronMan in July.
But Adam's most important race, he says, remains the race to help patients and families touched by kidney disease. He plans to continue walking and running for #TeamKidney next year and beyond. If happen to visit the marathon next year, keep an eye out for him. He'll be the determined guy clad in NKFI colors, leading the charge,