11/29/04 — Kidney donor competes in marathon

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Kidney donor competes in marathon

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on November 29, 2004 1:59 PM

A year after donating a kidney to his teen-age son, Donnell Hamilton ran in his first marathon.

Hamilton, a Goldsboro firefighter, said he has felt great since the transplant and is probably more active than he was before the surgery.

His son, Taurean, a student at Charles B. Aycock High School, has also done well, barring one minor setback seven months after the surgery.

"Taurean had a mild rejection," his dad said. It required him to be hospitalized for a week to adjust his medication.

His mother, Anita, said Taurean has resumed normal activity and has a part-time job.

Hamilton began running to get in shape before the surgery, which was performed at Pitt Memorial Hospital in Greenville on Oct. 14, 2003.

A week after the surgery, he began walking every day. At 10 weeks, when his doctor said he could resume driving, he eased back into training a little at a time.

He joined the Family Y Running Club, where he trained and learned about races scheduled around the state. He participated in his first, the Battleship Marathon in Wilmington, on Nov. 14.

"It was a challenge" to run the 13.2 miles, he said, but he completed it in 1 hour and 55 minutes.

He said he is motivated to stay in shape and encourages others to do the same. And he still uses every opportunity he gets to speak about the importance of being an organ donor.

"I meet people all the time and get to use my story to encourage them," he said.