NEW ULM - Tony Kampmann, an organ donor, is bicycling from his hometown of Elkton, S.D., to Grand Rapids, Mich., to encourage others to become organ donors.
Kampmann's target destination is the Transplant Games of America, which will be held from July 28 to July 31. The event is a multi-sport festival for people that have received organ transplants. The event also host some events for organ donors. The event is intended to raise public awareness of organ donation. Kampmann said he plans to participate in the 5k run at the event.
Kampmann, who donated one of his kidneys to his wife, expects the trip to take 10 days with him biking an average of 80 to 100 miles each day. His first day was Wednesday and he biked 110 miles, stopping overnight in New Ulm
Staff photo by Josh Moniz
Tony Kampmann is bicycling from his hometown of Elkton, S.D, to Grand Rapids, Mich., to participate in the Transplant Games of America.
He hopes to help encourage people to become organ donors by visiting with newspapers and other organizations along his route.
"Despite what people think, you won't have a major change to your life by being an organ donor," said Kampmann, "People think they'll have to make a major expense to donate, but they don't realize the recipient's insurance will cover it."
He said that recovery for a donor is much faster than the organ recipient, and that the soreness only lasts a few days.
"That's more than worth it to make a big difference in somebody's life," said Kampmann, "It's something special to be [an organ] donor."
(Josh Moniz can be e-mailed at email@example.com)