Living Kidney Donor Summits Mt. Everest: First Donor to Climb the Seven Summits

Donor Games sponsored athlete David Ashley successfully reached the summit of Mount Everest in the early hours of Friday, May 13, 2022, the final peak in his 1 Kidney 7 Summits challenge.

Dave started the 7 Summits challenge in June 2021 with a successful summit of Denali in Alaska, and through the remainder of 2021 and early 2022 summited Elbrus in Russia, Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Mount Vinson in Antarctica, Aconcagua in Argentina, and Mount Kosciuszko in Australia.

In January 2017, Dave Ashley donated a kidney to a West Point classmate and Army veteran. Just over five years later, he completed his quest to become the first living kidney donor to climb the highest peaks on each continent—within one year—demonstrating that donating a kidney does not limit physical performance.

“We are so proud of what Dave has accomplished. He is an inspiration to living kidney donors everywhere,” said Garet Hil, kidney donor and CEO of the National Kidney Registry, which sponsored Dave’s 7 Summits challenge. “We thank Dave for helping us spread the word that kidney donation does not negatively affect the health or fitness of donors, and for being such a shining example of altruism, enthusiasm, and determination.”

A long-time endurance athlete, Dave founded Adventure Kidney to share his experience with kidney donation and encourage other athletes to consider becoming living donors. “I made the decision to save a life, not knowing with certainty how it would impact my life and athletics after recovery,” said Dave, “and I discovered there was no impact. Being a living donor isn’t a barrier to living a life full of adventure.”

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Founding Sponsors

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