Transplant Recipient Wins Gold

by | Aug 18, 2022 | Race Reports, racewalking, Uncategorized

Reshod® Walking Shoes Customer Wins at Transplant Games

Reshod® Walking Shoes customers are very willing to share their race reports.  This one is truly unique. We hope you enjoy his story.

Randy Stafford, a two-time kidney transplant recipient and Stanford University medical school professor earned a race walking gold medal at the 2022 Transplant Games of America wearing his Coach Carmen race walk shoes.  The Transplant Games, an every other year competition among individuals with organ transplants, was held in San Diego California from July 30 through August 3.  A resident of Mill Valley Ca, the 63-year-old Stafford finished with a 1500-meter time of 10:13.68, the fastest among 32 transplant recipients. A separate donor division featured competitors who had donated one of their kidneys or a part of their liver.  The track and field events took place at UC San Diego.

In his race, Stafford used what he calls a “typical bicycling race strategy.”  He comfortably followed right behind the other leading walker until the last lap when accelerated well ahead.  Stafford also earned a gold medal in the Games’ cycling competition.  A participant in 21 separate U.S. and World Transplant Games, Stafford obtained his first kidney transplant in 1984 at UC San Francisco from his younger brother, Derek, after being diagnosed with kidney failure.  When his first transplanted kidney was failing, he received a second living-donor kidney transplant in 2005 at Stanford Hospital, which has been working well ever since.

Coach Carmen® asked Dr. Stafford a few follow-up questions:

What got you interested in race walking?  In 1988, I attended a two-hour workshop on race walking at an early version of the Transplant Games in St. Paul Minnesota.  The instructor had just missed qualifying for the US Olympic team and she was super-enthusiastic.  Race walking seemed like the perfect sport for me.  I enjoyed running but was limited by joint problems. My knees and ankles were fine with race walking.

How are your two kidney donors doing?
I’m so grateful for the generosity of my two living kidney donors and relieved that they both have no kidney problems.  In fact, I feel that they’ve been more focused on remaining in great health because of their organ donations.  There’s a big need for organs and living donation is a safe and effective strategy.

What’s your training routine?
While I have worked with coaches and been on race walking teams in the past, this last year was haphazard.  Mostly I trained alone walking on a high school track and on some beautiful, paved walking paths through a local estuary.  There’s a local team nearby that should be re-forming if the pandemic finally settles down.

What’s your next racewalking goal?
In April 2023, I’m planning to compete in the 5000 m race walk at the World Transplant Games in Perth, Australia.  The winning time in past World Games has been below 24 minutes but thankfully not so fast in my age group.  I am also planning to walk the 1500 m at the Bay Area Senior Games Track and Field events in October. 

Thank you, Dr. Stafford, for sending us your story.  We wish you all the best in his future training and racing.

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