Atlanta woman attempts to hike volcanoes in Guatemala with one kidney
ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - At 36, Rachel Pryzby is in the best shape of her life.
“I’m out running. I’m hiking on the weekends. I’m even doing things like stair workouts,” Pryzby said.
And she’s doing it with only one kidney, which is nothing short of remarkable.
“I actually donated to a stranger on the kidney registry so someone in New Jersey got my kidney. I don’t know anything about them. We haven’t made contact, but I hear that they’re doing well. I think about them pretty much every day,” Pryzby said.
Incredibly, one year after donating her kidney, she is training for the adventure of a lifetime. She and a group of 17 kidney donors across the country will attempt to climb three volcanoes in Guatemala next month, totaling over 12,000 vertical feet in just four days.
“Really the goal is to raise awareness that people can donate a kidney and live long, healthy, adventurous lives and still do really cool things like hike volcanos,” Pryzby said.
She joined a nonprofit group called Kidney Donor Athletes. Last year, the organization successfully climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa. Their mission is clear.
“There are people who sit on the kidney waitlist for years and years and some of those people are on dialysis which is just a terrible thing to have to live with and there are people who die waiting for a kidney,” Pryzby said.
Pryzby said she never had it on her bucket list to climb volcanos or donate a kidney for that matter. Through it all, it has taught her that she can make a difference and live the life she wants to at the same time.
“I’m not a hero. I’m not that special. I just had a good kidney and was able to share my spare. It’s something a lot of people could potentially do too,” Pryzby said.
Currently, there are nearly 100,000 people on the waiting list in the United States in need of a kidney with an average wait time of three to five years for a transplant. Thirteen of them die every day.
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