An Ironman competitor is sharing his story of hope with others at clinics around Mississippi. He visited Fresenius Medical Care Dialysis Center in Meridian on Tuesday.
"It's a 2.4 mile swim, followed by a 112 mile bike ride and a 26.2 mile run. You want to sign up for my team?" asked Shad Ireland, with a smile.
Talk about extraordinary. Someone swimming, biking, and running over a hundred miles in one day.
But get this. Try doing that and being a 25-year kidney dialysis patient.
That's the reality for Ireland.
At age 10, he was diagnosed with kidney disease. He has had two kidney transplants and receives home hemodialyis three times a week for five hours. But it hasn't stopped pursuit of his dreams.
Ireland is on a statewide mission to inspire dialysis patients to do the same.
"I encourage them to not to lose hope. I encourage them to start to think about the goals and the dreams that they have," said Ireland. "And you know, do they want to get back to work, do they want to play with their grandkids? They want to run a 5-K race. Whatever it is they want to do it can happen. "
Ireland went from being near death at just 75 pounds to an Ironman triathlete.
Dialysis patient Darrell Glisson was surprised.
"It really enlightened me. I really enjoyed it, knowing that he's been on for 25 years and doing what he can do, his exercise and this that and the other," Glisson said. "It was really a surprise and maybe I can do it."
The Ironman is proof that what some may think is impossible, is possible.