August 6, 2009

Man bikes 4,639 miles despite dialysis

A 37-year-old man who spent most of his life on dialysis says he bicycled 4,639 miles from California to Washington to highlight the medical needs of others.

Shad Ireland, who has no working kidneys, said he traveled thousands of miles on his bicycle to the U.S. Capitol to highlight the plight of the half a million people currently living on dialysis due to kidney failure, ABC News reported Thursday.

For me to be on dialysis for 27 years, for me to do two triathlons, has really got the medical community scratching their heads, Ireland said. If you asked any doctor, if you told them about me, they would say it's impossible.

Ireland said he also hopes his bicycling feat will help bring attention to those U.S. residents facing possible kidney failure due to diabetes, high blood pressure or obesity.

In order to complete his cross-country journey, Ireland was forced to make stops along the way to undergo four-hourlong dialysis sessions.

ABC News said, according to doctors, dialysis patients can be bound to wheelchairs, suffer bone loss and face the possibility of death in relation to the medical treatment.