Athlete Profile

Name: Andy Riddle

Age: 33

Transplant: Kidney, 1994

Team: Team Iowa

Hometown: Davenport

Event(s): Swimming (50m Freestyle and Breaststroke, 100m Breaststroke, and 4 x 100 Relay) and Track and Field (Shot Put)

I've had kidney disease since I was seven years old. Spent 3.5 months in the hospital when I was seven. All through school, I was in and out of the hospital. Doctors would never sign the medical releases for me to do sports in school. So now I'm bodybuilding and weightlifting - I may even start training for a local bodybuilding contest - held in May in ____ each year. Someone locally is putting together a bodybuilding team of people with some physical disability - someone's in a wheelchair, the leader is missing one of his biceps, and there's me - two kidney transplants and one nephrectomy. I also want to try out for the US Transplant Teams for the World Games. I definitely want to go.

My message to the world is --- thousands of people die every year. The need for organs goes up 40% every year, but the available organs only goes up 2-4% every year, so people are dying every day. There are a lot of misconceptions about donation, like the idea that the doctor taking care of you will remove organs before youĠre dead, which is not true. I can identify with people who feel kind of creepy about it, but who knows where IĠd be without a transplant? It's probably one of the most selfless things you can ever do. Wake up and look around you!

The donor card is just a formality --- you need to tell your family what your wishes are. It's a numbers game --- you have to have so many people consenting to donation to end up with enough who actually end up being suitable donors. When I work out at the gym, I hold my own against the other guys who are working out -- and that's what the Games are all about, being healthy again.

See other Athlete Profiles

Return to 1996 US Transplant Games main page

Last modified: 11 May 2000