Kidney Patient "Iron Man" Inspires Others - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Kidney Patient "Iron Man" Inspires Others

He's a man with a serious kidney disorder, who doesn't let his ailment slow him down.

In fact, Shad Ireland travels the country inspiring others. The young man from Minnesota visited with dialysis patients at a medical center in Biloxi on Thursday.

Ireland uses his personal story to motivate others. He's the only dialysis patient to ever compete in and finish an "iron man" triatholon.

The medical community said it wasn't possible, but Ireland proved them wrong by competing in the grueling event that includes a two-point-four mile swim, a 112 mile bike ride and a 26 mile run.

"People look at me and they see that I've een on kidney dialysis for 25 years," said Ireland, "And they see that I'm a professional athlete doing this crazy thing called "iron man" and they feel like, 'wow, if Shad can do this, maybe I can get up and walk to my mail box or I can play with my grand children.'"

During the worst of his illness, Ireland's weight dropped from 145 to just 75 pounds.

He says he hopes to inspire the 5,000 dialysis patients in Mississippi to live healthier, happier lives.

By Steve Phillips

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