Vince Lowe might look like a picture of strapping health, but this biker has been waiting and searching for a kidney since 2009.
Now, that wait is over.
Lowe will finally be getting kidney transplant this summer, and his many friends and supporters have organized a fundraising bike ride on Saturday, June 8, at Stone Mountain Harley Davidson to raise money for the many medical expenses that will accompany Lowe's transplant.
Entry is $20 for riders, $5 for passengers. Departure is at 10:30 a.m. from Stone Mountain Harley Davidson, 900 Dogwood Drive SE, Conyers. Riders will take a one-hour ride in the country and come back to Stone Mountain Harley Davidson.
Door prizes, raffle tickets and auction will be held after the ride.
For more information call 404-483-8630.
Lowe has polycystic kidney disease, a genetic disease which was inadvertently discovered after a motorcycle crash in 1990. Over the next 18 years, his kidneys slowly filled up to around 50 times their normal weight with cysts. He was placed on the transplant list in August 2009 and had both kidneys removed in December 2009.
For the past four years, Lowe has been on a grueling dialysis regime. He wakes up at 4 a.m. three days a week to get to the clinic, where he then spends four hours and 45 minutes attached to the machine and another hour or so getting hooked and unhooked.
The dialysis days wipe him out, and he generally doesn't recover until the afternoon of the following day. Then the process starts again. The process is not only draining, it's also, at best, a short stop-gap: only half of dialysis patients survive more than three years. It also requires almost a full lifestyle change.
Through it all, Lowe has maintained a positive attitude that those around him describe as extraordinary.
It moved Covington resident Katy Johnson to volunteer to donate a kidney to Lowe last year, but the match did not work out.
"He puts off a very positive aura; it's like a beam," Johnson said in a previous interview.