MANHATTAN – Riding more than 60 miles a day is tough for a healthy person, according to Jacob Nagy.
Nagy, of Manhattan, is the facility administrator at DaVita Palos Park Dialysis and DaVita Kankakee County Dialysis. But last year, during the Tour DaVita in Oregon, which spanned 250 miles and three days, Nagy said he met one patient with chronic kidney disease who left the group after the ride for dialysis, then joined his fellow cyclists for dinner.
“I don’t have kidney disease,” Nagy said, “but that would have taken a toll on me.”
The Tour DaVita is a three-day bike ride that raises money and awareness for kidney care.
Last year, according to a news release from event organizers, nearly $1 million was raised for Bridge of Life, a program of the DaVita Village Trust nonprofit founded by DaVita HealthCare Partners.
Bridge of Life serves people of all ages through education, prevention, primary and kidney care, medically supported children’s camps and medical missions. Nagy said about 450 to 500 riders will participate this year, and he is happy to be one of them.
“It’s a way for me to give back to the people we care for,” he said.
In addition to raising at least $1,000, Nagy also must pay his expenses and take vacation time from work, which he will do again Sept. 26 to 30 at the 2015 Tour DaVita in North Carolina. Cyclists will ride between the Appalachian Mountains and coastal plains of the Piedmont Region, according to the news release.
Nagy, who has been cycling regularly since his college days – about 20 to 40 miles a day two to three times a week – said last year’s ride was difficult, as he mostly rides on flatlands.
“A lot of what they called ‘hills’ seemed like mountains to me because of elevation changes,” Nagy said. “But it was a lot of fun. A big group of people ride in this every year, and everyone pushes each other.”
A big source of inspiration for Nagy came from the patients who also rode. Chronic kidney disease does affect their lives but it doesn’t mean the quality of those lives is gone, he said. Patients can and do continue working and caring for their families.
Furthermore, the Tour DaVita is a way for people to learn about chronic kidney disease and the importance of early detection when symptoms often are silent.
“Receiving proper treatment can prolong your life,” Nagy said. “And early detection can – possibly – better your chances for receiving a kidney transplant.”
According to Mayo Clinic, chronic kidney disease – or kidney failure – is the “gradual loss of kidney function.” Symptoms may be few in the early stages. Consequently, chronic kidney disease may not be apparent until kidney function has declined significantly, leading to a build-up of dangerous amounts of wastes, fluid and electrolytes.
Treatment aims to slow the progression of damage. Without dialysis or a kidney transplant, end-stage kidney failure can be fatal. Signs of possible kidney disease may include:
• Nausea, vomiting and/or loss of appetite
• Fatigue, weakness and/or sleep problems
• Changes in urine output
• Decreased mental sharpness
• Muscle twitches, cramps and/or hiccups
• Swelling of feet and ankles
• Persistent itching
• Chest pain, if fluid builds up around the lining of the heart
• Shortness of breath, if fluid builds up in the lungs
• Difficult-to-control high blood pressure
HOW TO HELP
To support Jacob Nagy on his ride, donate online at www.tourdavita.org/donate/Jacob_Nagy_6055.