20 Living Kidney Donors Make it to the Top of Africa’s Tallest Mountain on World Kidney Day

Twenty kidney donors reached the top of Mount Kilimanjaro on March 10, World Kidney Day, demonstrating that donating a kidney has no negative impact on a donor’s health and fitness.

The story was featured on Good Morning America. To watch the feature, click here. Only 50% of the 30,000 people per year who attempt to climb Kilimanjaro actually make it to the summit.

“This was not an easy climb,” said donor and climber Steve Wilson from New York. “The mountain stands 19,340 feet tall with five different terrains to overcome and temperatures averaging 75 degrees [Fahrenheit] at the base to 10 degrees at the peak. But donors are passionate and driven, and we pushed through all of these obstacles to show just what donors are capable of post-donation.”

“The purpose of this climb is to show people around the world that it’s possible to thrive on one kidney,” Tracey Hulick, founder of Kidney Donor Athletes, told GMA.

Garet Hil, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the National Kidney Registry, and a kidney donor said, “Most people are not aware that they can live completely normal lives with one kidney. This climb continues to demonstrate that kidney donation does not negatively impact donors’ health and fitness.”

These 20 kidney donors represent the Kidney Donor Athletes (KDA) organization and are supported by the National Kidney Registry (NKR) Sponsored Athletes program. For more information, go to https://kidneydonorathlete.org/one-kidney-kili-climb/

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Founding Sponsors

  • National Kidney Foundation
  • National Kidney Registry
  • National Kidney Donation Organization