Transplant: Kidney 1992
Hometown: St. Pete Beach, FL
Buzz's Story: Three days after his kidney transplant, Buzz
Hoge went for a walk, his IV stand in tow. He calculated the number of
floor tiles in one mile -- 5,280 -- and walked that distance around the
intensive care unit. The next day, he walked twice as far. He decided immediately
that he would keep running as he had before the surgery, that he would
do another marathon and triathlon as soon as possible.
Only seven months later, he was well on his way to accomplishing what had once seemed to doctors a lofty goal: he ran a 5K road race and competed in several track and field events at the Senior National Games. In January of 1994, just under two years after his kidney transplant, Buzz finished the Disney Marathon in four hours, 45 minutes, and ran in the 100th Boston Marathon in 1996.
Just four years before, Buzz had been devastated to hear that he would have to begin hemodialysis to help his failing kidneys filter the impurities in his blood. "I had tears in my eyes. I knew it meant I couldn't run," he remembers. The news came two years after he had logged his best time ever in the Marine Corps Marathon: three hours and 39 minutes. But finally, in April 1992, Buzz learned that a compatible kidney was waiting for him in Atlanta. He knew he would soon run again.
Today, Buzz tries to "give something back." He volunteers for the American Heart Association and helps kidney patients before and after transplant surgery. He also organized a chapter of the Achilles Track Club, a group for people with disabilities. Through all his work to help others, he finds plenty of time to show patients there is life after transplantation.
My Message to the World: You can be anything you want to be. Even with some affliction, you can perservere and try to help others.
Last modified: 11 May 2000