"Team Spotlight -- Team Give Life featuring Lou Lamoureux" in Issue 4 of the RAAM Newsletter Wednesday, April 06, 2005
As one of several teams riding for charity in this year's RAAM, four-man team Give Life seeks to raise $100,000 in order to increase awareness of the chronic shortage of the U.S. blood supply and encourage the donation of blood, blood products, organs and tissues. Yet unlike some of the other teams, Give Life is bringing their cause along for the ride...literally.
While still in high school, Lou Lamoureux was diagnosed with glomerulonephritishis, a type of disease resulting in eventual kidney failure. When his kidneys ultimately failed him, Lamoureux spent every other day in a dialysis clinic as his weakened body struggled against the forces of time and nature.
"During the two or three years leading up to my transplant, I was feeling run down all the time and I had no energy," said Lamoureux. "I was only able to get through the day with medication that helped prop my hematocrit up."
But Lamoureux is one of the lucky ones. His mother, Donna, gave her kidney to her son in in September 2000 and his recovery has been a story of personal triumph.
"Once I received my mother's kidney, my hematocrit shot up to a normal range and I felt like SUPERMAN. I could do anything. I had the energy of 10 people. The only problem was I was restricted to my house. I was immunosuppressed and my doctor didn't want me catching anything from the public. That's when I saw RAAM for the first time on OLN. RAAM was freedom, it was distance, it was epic and I swore to myself I would race in it."
Since receiving his transplant, Lamoureux has won gold medals in the 2002 U.S. Transplant Games and earned top-ten finishes in the 2003 World Transplant Games in Nancy, France.
Lamoureux joins Bruce Deming, William Vosseller, and Martin Phillips in this year's RAAM to bring attention to the 87,000 Americans waiting for organ transplants from a meager 11,000 donors (data from the first nine months of 2004). View Full Newsletter