A year and a half ago, a Bay Area man was told kidney failure would take his life. Now, Wilson Du is training for cross-state bicycle rides like an athlete. "Typically, I will bike at least twice a week for three to five hours," Du said. While biking to most might not seem like a big feat, for Du, that schedule once seemed impossible. "June of 2016, I had some pains in my ankles and knees and thought it was some type of inflammation," he said. However, his pain was not just inflammation. It was kidney failure. "I was full of pain and couldn’t move, and the only other way to survive was dialysis or to get a transplant," Du explained.
In the summer of 2016, Du weighed 315 pounds, which meant he was too heavy for a transplant. So, after weeks of being trapped inside a hospital, Du decided to change his outcome. "I took a breath of that fresh air, and I decided I wanted to live. I choose life," he said.
According to the American Kidney fund, nearly 31 million Americans, or 10% of the population, have chronic kidney disease, which can quickly lead to kidney failure. "I didn’t know I had it, and so I was walking around with extremely high blood pressure and it eventually killed my kidneys," Du explained.
However, over the last year and a half, Du lost 125 pounds, and became healthy again. "Little by little, I started walking out to the porch, then out to the sidewalk," he said. He lost weight and began biking all while on dialysis. "I’m only focused on the ride when I do it, and it makes me completely forget that I’m sick," Du exclaimed.
Du is proof the impossible is possible. "There’s many days where I don’t want to get out of bed, but I force myself and the minute I take that first step, I don’t look back."
Because of his transformation, Du now qualifies for kidney transplant. He is on the waiting list.