Dustin Rippetoe's Health Fund
100,000 people are waiting for a kidney transplant. Dustin Rippetoe in Oklahoma is one of them.
He is a 42 year-old father, husband and entrepreneur who loves fitness, mentorship, and leadership. He has dedicated 17 years of his life learning, teaching and training individuals and communities around the world on peak mind and body performance.
Dustin was born with a genetic predisposition for an autoimmune disorder that has manifested about 20 years ago. 10 years ago it presented it started attacking his kidneys and he now needs a transplant.
He thought he could outsmart his condition or outlive his diagnosis, but $1300 monthly insurance and other medical / health expenses say otherwise. He recently began dialysis treatments and will have to sell his gym, gun range, and home (as well as his parent's house) in October.
Despite all this, he is willing to let this ALL go, restructure his life to find new ways of making an income to provide for his family and pay for his treatments.
He will earn an MBA in December 2018.
It's predicted that there is a 3-5 year waitlist to receive a transplant in Oklahoma. This week, he became approved to be on Arizona's recipient list -- the waiting period is about 18 months.
His GOAL is to watch his 4 year-old son grow up.
HIS DREAM is to be healthy and apply his 17 years of fitness training and develop an online training group and curate like-minded people who believe in up-leveling their life.
Dustin is giving it all he's got .... asking for support is hard... but he is worth receiving as much as he has given to others.
How We Can Help
1. Be a donor (type A or O) -- Dustin's insurance will cover the donor's
surgery and medical expenses. Travel, lodging, food will all be taken
care of by the family.
2. Give financially to help cover his family's living and health expenses.
THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!
We have great news! Dustin is getting a living kidney thanks to a remarkable woman named Anna Cannington. The transplant is scheduled on June 24 at Baptist Integris in Oklahoma City.
Everyone is so grateful for her--and we want to introduce you to her. This is her share. Her thoughts. Her process. Her YES.
"150 grams -- that is how much a kidney weighs. Most of us have two of these little powerhouses that continuously perform important things within our bodies. These little organs maintain the body's salt and water content, regulate acid/base balance, control blood pressure, make Erythropoietin (EPO) to regulate red blood cells, activate Vitamin D, maintain phosphorous balance, and help maintain gut flora. And of course, in performing these functions, they filter our blood and produce urine. Blood flows in through the renal artery, is filtered through the million or so nephrons within the kidney, and out comes filtered blood to the renal vein, and urine from the ureter. Magic!
There are many reasons kidneys can fail, and fortunately, we have dialysis to keep people alive when this happens. But dialysis has a lot of drawbacks. It only replaces about 20% of kidney function, and it takes a LOT of time -- normally 4 hours, 3 times per week. A much better solution for those who medically qualify is to get a replacement kidney. Most of us are aware that people can get a transplant from a donor, and that someone who dies under certain conditions and is designated as an organ donor can give the gift of life to others. But not everyone realizes that LIVING donation is possible. A very healthy person can get along with just one kidney. They can, therefore, donate one of their healthy kidneys to someone who needs it, and the remaining one will take over the job quite adequately. Although there are about 5,000 living kidney donations per year here in the United States, it's still rare enough that it's not on everyone's radar.
I learned about living donation a couple of years ago. My brother is a nephrologist (a kidney doctor), and we talked about it at length one time. I remember asking many questions, being intrigued by the whole idea, and coming away from the conversation with the feeling that "I might do that someday." I assumed then if I did, it would be for a family member.
Fast forward to January 3rd, 2019 and I saw a local news story about a cashier who donated a kidney to the wife of her regular customer. It was a wonderful story that inspired me. This woman named Leilani showed me by her example that it doesn't have to be someone in your family -- if you are willing and able to help someone, you should just do it! For her, the link was "community." She didn't know her recipient directly, but she felt that it was someone that she was connected to who was in need, and that was enough.
The reason it inspired me is that I knew of someone in MY community - strength training, and specifically StrongFirst - who needed a kidney. I've been in strength training and StrongFirst for about 5 years. People often refer to "StrongFirst family" and there's a reason for that. We share common bonds and they are much more than careers or hobbies or forms of exercise. We teach, help, assist, coach, mentor, and encourage each other in everything training related and more. We see each other regularly in person and online. Sometimes the lines are blurry -- people drift in and out, and it includes the larger kettlebell and strength world. But it is definitely a community, a tribe, a web of connections, and there is more to it than training. We help each other. As we say, Strength Has a Greater Purpose.
StrongFirst and the rest of the community rallied around Dustin Rippetoe and his family for support, fundraising, and the search for a donor as a result of his end-stage kidney disease. We hadn't met in person, but I saw many posts and messages from my friends who were friends of his, who spoke so highly of him and his family and spoke of the need for a donor to step forward. Dustin shared his own story in such a way as to offer teachable moments to others and invite them to be involved. I witnessed a strong team of champions form around him to build a web site, a custom T-shirt, a GoFundMe campaign, Facebook support page, and the "All the Swings" event with people participating worldwide. At some point, I contributed to the fund myself. But the idea was forming in the back of my mind that maybe I was to have a bigger role... Maybe I could be the donor. It just wasn't quite clear to me yet.
There are three big parts to being a living donor: 1) the pre-donation process and tests, 2) the surgery and recovery, and 3) the life afterwards with one kidney. A lot of people who would be willing or able to do one or two of these are just not able to do all of them. Some people's life demands just don't offer an opportunity. Many if not most people have a medical condition that precludes being a donor because the process is extremely selective. I felt strongly that I could do all three parts. I also felt sure I was healthy enough to pass the tests, thanks in no small part to my effective training over the years.
So finally, on January 3rd, 2019, my pre-disposition to being willing to be a kidney donor, my awareness of Dustin's situation through our community, and Leilani's example of giving all came together to spur me to action. "Someone needs something, and I believe I can provide it." This has been my driving force from that day forward. I contacted Dustin's team and thus began another series of events which as of today, are still in motion towards our scheduled day of surgery. There will be more to say about that. But for now, I just wanted to put into words how I came to say "YES" to this amazing opportunity to be Dustin's kidney donor. I want to thank everyone who played a part in this -- by being in the community, and especially the team that helped Dustin directly, you enabled this. Without you, it would not be happening. And the best is yet to come."
Dustin is currently on the mend at the moment at the hospital. His fever is down and he is no longer shaking (more details coming up from his awesome wife Kenzie).
3/21 Kenzie wrote:
"On Thursday, Dustin went to the emergency room. When the 4 year old Bug helps to pack an emergency bag for Daddy
Dusty woke up with a fever this morning. Since today is a dialysis day he called the clinic and they asked him to come in early so they could treat him in the isolation room.
The biggest concern is an infection in his catheter (that goes directly into his heart). After a conversation with his doctors and a round of IV Tylenol and antibiotics they strongly recommend that he go to the ER.
He is currently waiting on flu test...
It breaks my heart that telling Ben that I need to pack a bag for Daddy is becoming a regular thing but that he reacts with “it’ll be ok mom” and hands me books and a blanket for Dad while he’s in the hospital makes me so proud my heart could burst.
I need to thank everyone for helping us out this afternoon.
Beth Farabough Bolay
It’s comforting to know that when we holler ALL HANDS ON DECK so many people show up to help.
3/23 Dustin writes:
I'm still here.
Feeling better and the fever has broken. Thanks for all the messages and I working today to get them all answered. I was a little delirious on Thursday so just had to shut down. Thanks to Aaron, Beth, Scott, and Robyn for stepping in.
Out of caution, the Docs took my catheter out. So far all blood cultures have come back negative. They are treating me for both flu (although swab was negative) and with broad-spectrum antibiotics. May get to go home tomorrow but logistics (theirs, not mine) suggest Monday is better. I will have to get a new cath installed and run a dialysis session and that won't happen on a weekend.
So today I'm going to study for my Gallup CliftonStrengths exam and have a few coaching calls scheduled on zoom. So normal Saturday... except I can't cover Aaron's Restorative Movement class this morning and Bennett is not curled up in my lap as I type this.
Please SHARE, donate and continue to spread the word -- Dustin, Kenzie and Bennett are grateful for your continued support.
There's a potential donor in the works and she is currently going through testing, which will hopefully result in a transplant in Oklahoma City.
Aim your current moment on your strengths ~Dustin
On November 23, 34 and 25 there will be a worldwide kettlebell swing-a-thon to raise money for Dustin & his family. Find 15 min to work in this challenge to SWING your heart out and collect pledges. Prizes will be given out as well.
Details here: www.alltheswings.com
Or continue to support by donating to Dustin's GoFundMe account.
All the Love xoxo
"Surgery in a bus stop. That is my sorta-clever and certainly grim description of my time at a dialysis center. They are gross and there are very sick people there. I don't belong, or do I? I struggled with that question. As I look across the room, missing limbs, anger and poor hygiene predominate.
The process got the better of me last night, I crashed. Had to get a ride home from my Mom. Made it home took a handful of meds and crashed harder. Woke in the living room with Bennett asking me to play tag (his new favorite)... Stood up, got dizzy, then nauseous, then weak... then went to bed. [Thanks to Steve Coach-Fury Holiner for being understanding and rescheduling our call] Bennett has been resilient and tough but I have to get a point where he doesn't see his Dad from a bed as much.
Is that my future? This, this shitty part-time job and being a Dad that can't provide and play? I am determined to not make it so. I am scheduled for PD catheter on October 12th which start the process for me to move to home dialysis. Though concerns for additional surgery are a worry. They will place a catheter in my abdomen and after it heals I can do dialysis while I sleep by using my body fat as a filter. Mayo, but not the local docs, question the side effects of getting pumped full of sugar water for 6 to 10 hours nightly.
As I am listed now for transplant in both Oklahoma and Arizona the waiting game begins for a deceased donor. As always hope remains that a live donor will step forward and I can gratefully move towards the active-rough-housing-involved dad I want to be for Bennett.
So unashamedly, I ask for donors. As the Mayo docs described, my chances of "normal" (I prefer extraordinary) life double while my chances for rejection/complication are cut in half with a living donor. Selfishly, -I- want to be there for my son, and regain the ability to provide for my family. If you are in good health and an A or O blood type. and would like to know more DM Kenzie, Beth, Debbie, Sadiqua or I [reach out on this page]. Our preference due to the high level of care that my Mom and I received there would be the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix.
There is a questionnaire, a short evaluation/testing process and interview to get started. The actual transplant process for a good candidate is short. A few days of evaluation and less than a week for the actual donation is the standard there. The website is below or here: www.mayoclinic.org/livingdonor."