Living Kidney Donors Complete Donor Games Competition from Mount Everest Base Camp

Two living kidney donors—Dave Ashley, a double donor (kidney and liver) who is attempting to be the first living kidney donor to climb the Seven Summits within one year; and Molly Cropp, a firefighter from Colorado who donated a kidney just over a year ago—completed a modified version of the Donor Games Super Murph 2022 Open at Mount Everest Base Camp in Nepal.

Because of the challenging conditions—the outdoor terrain and the 17,598-foot elevation, which makes breathing difficult—Dave and Molly created a modified workout.

“We’re modifying the workout a little because we’re so high up, and there’s nowhere around here that we found where we can do pull-ups,” explained Dave. “So instead of doing pull-ups, we’re going to pick up a rock and throw it over our heads, then pick it up and do it again.”

Dave and Molly each completed five rounds of the modified Super Murph workout: five rock throws, 10 push-ups, 15 air squats and 20 sit-ups.

Molly went first with Dave recording her workout. “We’re all about just completing this workout, we’re not pushing for any kind of a time,” explained Dave. “We’re just making sure that Molly’s safety is a priority and she doesn’t pass out. The air pressure here is really light so it’s tough to get enough oxygen.”

As Molly did the workout, Dave explained the motivation behind the Donor Games and his own Seven Summits journey. “The message is that in the United States we’ve got over 100,000 people that need someone to donate a kidney. If you’re concerned about donating, you want to do it but you’re not sure what life is like afterward, Molly’s here showing you that there are no limitations physically to being a kidney donor. This is just a year and a month after she donated and she is absolutely crushing this.”

Molly completed all five rounds in just over 18 minutes. “Well done Molly Cropp, first ever living donor to do the Donor Games Super Murph Himalya style at Everest Base Camp,” cheered Dave. “We didn’t even know if it was possible.”

“That was hard,” laughed Molly. “What an incredible place to work out though.”

Dave was up next, completing the full five rounds in just under 15 minutes as Molly recorded. “Dave is here showing that with one kidney and after a liver donation, you can do whatever you put your mind to, no limitations,” said Molly. “If you’re considering kidney and/or liver donation, this is just a great example that you can do hard things after donation. Just look at Dave. He’s climbed six of the seven highest summits on each continent.”

“I want to say thank you to Garet Hil, Samantha Hil all the supporters of the Donor Games for the support and sponsorship of the living donors out here,” said Dave. “We had a big group climb Mount Kilimanjaro recently and next month I’m going to do my best to make the seventh summit and climb Mount Everest.”

Follow Dave’s journey on, on Facebook or on the Donor Games website. For more information on living kidney donation, visit the National Kidney Registry website.

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