Hansen’s ‘kidney run’ scores twice
It was “mission accomplished” for East London teacher Lyle Hansen at the Ironman 70.3 on Sunday.
Good Samaritan Hansen, 42, head of sport at Hudson Park Primary School, had offered to donate a kidney to a close friend, but had to lose between 10kg and 14kg first before for the transplant process could enter its next phase.
He had taken a two-year hiatus from the Ironman 70.3, which he has used to raise funds for cancer research in the past, but decided to tackle it again for the sake of his friend.
The men are a blood-type match, but more tests need to be done by doctors to confirm their compatibility for the transplant.
He also wanted to raise R10,000 for the Organ Donor Foundation.
Hansen achieved both goals on Sunday. He lost more than 10kg and now weighs a fit 94.5kg, while he and another friend, Brendon Corrigan, under the banner of Hansen’s Iron Eagles Foundation, totalled their fund-raising efforts at more than R10,000.
“It went very well. The swim had to be cut short because of the swells, but I think if it hadn’t been, my overall time would have been my personal best or close to it,” he said.
Hansen said he would have to maintain his current weight in order to move on to the next phase of the transplant process. “We are waiting for my medical aid to approve the tests for cross-tissue matching and more blood tests,” he said.
“It is quite a long, drawn-out process. The next phase involves the tests to see whether I am negative in various criteria, which would make my compatibility with my friend positive. Basically there are six boxes that the doctors have to tick when it comes to this process.
“You don’t have to tick them all, but the majority of them.”
Hansen’s doctors and those of his friend will then compare notes to come to a consensus on whether to go ahead with the transplant procedure or not.
At this stage, Hansen prefers not to disclose the identity of his friend, saying he has already “been through a lot”.
“But he has been supporting us and is thankful for what we’re doing.”..