Story Last modified at 12:00 a.m. on Thursday, December 16, 2010
Bryan J. Rollins
Age: 1989 graduate of Chugiak High School
Hometown: Eagle River but current city is Austin, Texas
In the Spotlight because: Rollins, a former Eagle River resident, completed Ironman Arizona on Nov. 21. This 140-mile race covered the standard Ironman distance of a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride, and a 26.2-mile run.
Many athletes complete Ironman races, but just six years ago a rare disease struck both of Rollins' kidneys. In 2004, he couldn't swim one yard. He wasn't even allowed in a swimming pool.
He couldn't climb stairs without becoming exhausted. He had lost 95 percent of his kidney function from a disease called MPGN-1. Rollins' family urged him to consider a transplant. Family and friends were tested and his cousin, Diane was a perfect match.
On Dec. 21, 2004, his new life began. He received a kidney transplant from Diane and has returned to excellent health.
Rollins' quest now is to give back for what he calls, "the miracle of the gift of life." During his Ironman training, Rollins raised $10,000 for Transplants for Children, calling attention to the need for everyone to register as an organ donor.
Rollins lives in Austin with his wife, Lisa. More information on his race and campaign can be found at www.bryanjrollins.com.
Rollins had this to say on his Web site:
"I want to show the world how a transplant is a transformational gift, and how supporting kids like Elida and Transplants For Children can transform their lives. While an Ironman seems like an extreme way to show the world the power of a transplant, I can't think of a stronger statement I could make about the difference it can make in someone's life."
Do you or does someone you know deserve a Spotlight spot? Please fill out the Spotlight form under the "Community" tab at www.alaskastar.com, or e-mail Rachel Sperry at email@example.com.
This article published in The Alaska Star on Wednesday, December 15, 2010.