Saturday, November 21, 2020

I'm interviewing Maddy Warren, 22 years on dialysis and marathon runner

I heard about Maddy Warren on the Home Dialysis Central Facebook group. I was amazed at how someone on dialysis can run a marathon. Sandeep, my NephroPlus Co-founder had told me to join him in the Hyderabad marathon a few years back but I refused outright. It was unthinkable. Running or even walking 42 km was physically just not possible for me.

And yet, here she was. Madeleine Warren from the UK who ran the London Marathon in 2018 to celebrate her twenty years on dialysis. How cool is that?

When I read more about her, I realised that there were many similarities between both of us. Both us got diagnosed with kidney disease around 1997. Both us were on Peritoneal Dialysis for about five years. Both of us got a kidney transplant from our parents (she from her father, me from my mother). Both transplants did not work. Both of us switched to Daily Nocturnal Home Hemodialysis. Both of us do six nights a week. She does about six hours each night. I do about seven and a half.

That's where the similarities end though.

While my physical activity is limited to a half hour swim and another half hour of strength training each day, Maddy ran a marathon, has completed more than three hundred sky dives, has walked about 90 miles along London's Thames river, has climbed the highest mountain in the UK and two other mountains, goes horse riding, loves skiing and so on. Plus the dedicated hours of training she puts in to be able to stay fit to be able to do all this.

Make no mistake. Staying this fit is a rarity among dialysis patients. Kidney failure messes up the body's biochemistry. Maddy is very clear. It is her long hours on the dialysis machine that enable her to do all this. 

I believe there is one more ingredient in this. Her positive attitude. There are many who do her kind of dialysis. Yours truly included. But for the rest of us, this level of physical activity is not conceivable in the least. Maddy is the best example I know of the mind ruling over the body.

I got in touch with Maddy a few weeks back requesting to interview her for Indian dialysis patients and thankfully, she agreed. The event is scheduled on Monday, the 23rd of November at 4:30 PM India time and 11 AM UK time. Do join me at NephroPlus's Facebook Page.

Here are 3 videos where Maddy talks about her life and her fitness routine: