Meet Our Transplant Community’s BionicMan

Posted June 7th, 2010 by

Since the launch of the PatientsLikeMe Transplants Community in March, more than 1400 patients have come together to share and learn from their transplant journeys. Thanks to our partnership with the National Kidney Foundation serving New England, BionicMan was one of the first transplant recipients to sign up and played a critical role in helping us shape the community before it was launched.  Recently, we interviewed BionicMan to learn more about his transplant journey, his experience with PatientsLikeMe, and his participation in the U.S. Transplant Games.

blog-logo2 (PatientsLikeMe) You’ve been a member of PatientsLikeMe since we started testing the transplants community months ago. How did you find out about PatientsLikeMe?

screen-shot-2010-06-07-at-114419-am (BionicMan) I found out about PatientsLikeMe from National Kidney Foundation serving New England.  I think it has benefited me because I like to talk to people and give them the benefit of my experiences.
blog-logo2 (PatientsLikeMe) With both a heart and a kidney transplant, how has your life changed over the years?


screen-shot-2010-06-07-at-114419-am (BionicMan) As both a heart transplant (1992) and kidney transplant (2007), my life has changed in so many ways.  I try to live life to the fullest each day, and appreciate every moment I have with my family. Over the years I have had a few setbacks, like CML and colon cancer and the amputation of my left leg just below the knee, but I have been able to overcome all these things and inspire many people.  I wouldn’t change anything, and I will never ever give up.
blog-logo2 (PatientsLikeMe) What is one thing you think patients waiting for an organ transplant should know?


screen-shot-2010-06-07-at-114419-am (BionicMan) People heading into a transplant should know they are making a lifelong commitment to their health, and they must take care of the Gift of Life they are about to receive.  Just like everyone else, not everyday will be great, but it sure beats the alternative.
blog-logo2 (PatientsLikeMe) You’ve attended the U.S. Transplant Games before.  What was that experience like and would you recommend other patients attend?
screen-shot-2010-06-07-at-114419-am (BionicMan)I would definitely recommend going to the U.S. Transplant Games for every transplant recipient.  It is like being in a city of transplant recipients. Whether you are real athletic or not, you will enjoy the experience, meet people you will be inspired by and remember your whole life. No matter what is going on in your life, you will see people with more problems than you, yet they have overcome.  You will definitely cry at your first Opening Ceremonies, but your life will be changed forever.  You will also get to see the real heroes in Organ Donation – Donors and their families.

One of my proudest moments was during the 5K road race at the Games. I was doing the race in a regular transport wheelchair after losing my leg and before getting my prosthetic, and while rolling past a photographer, he said to me  – “From Stump to Hero!”

blog-logo2 (PatientsLikeMe) Great quote!  Thanks for sharing with us and the community, BionicMan.

5 Comments

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  2. BionicMan – you are the man!
    I too have had a kidney trasplant back on April 18th, 2001, and so far, even with a few hurdles – blood clots; pulmonary emboli; prednisone-related avascular necrosis of both hips, and consequential bilateral hip replacements – I am doing very well. I love your comments,”I wouldn’t change anything, and I will never ever give up.” and “People heading into a transplant should know they are making a lifelong commitment to their health, and they must take care of the Gift of Life they are about to receive.” You have the right attitude and you set an excellent example of what we as transplant recipients should continue to do with our lives. Thank you for being human and at the same time an inspiration. BTW: if one wants to go to the Transplant Olympics, not as a competitor, but as an observer, how does one find out about it? Please let me know; it’s one of my “to do’s on my Bucket List.” God continue to bless you my transplant friend. – Juan Arteaga

  3. I have known you since we met at the Games in Orlando in 2002. With all of your trials & tribulations you still have maintained a positive attitude. You are such an inspiration to everyone that meets you. You are an awesome promoter of transplantation. Keep up the good work and be well my friend.

  4. Juan, thank you for the kind words, to go to the Transplant Games, just contact your local National Kidney Foundation and tell them you are interested. Mark, you are the one who is such an inspiration to all who meet you. I will never forget the things you have done for me, like driving miles just to cheer me on in road races in Maine. Good Luck at the Games and you and Becky stay well. Jim

  5. Rare forms of cancer should be a searchable topic on this website.

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