NewsLocal News


"You may as well share your spare!" Kidney donor inspires others with hiking challenge

Kidney Donor hikes the Ice Age Trail
Posted at 10:23 PM, May 03, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-04 15:51:52-04

ANTIGO, Wis. (NBC 26) — A living kidney donor is challenging herself to hike all 1,200 miles of the Wisconsin Ice Age Trail to show the world what an organ donor can accomplish.

59-year-old Jean Adams, a retired fish biologist from Antigo, donated her kidney to a complete stranger just over a year ago.

She says it took her 8 weeks to recover and now he’s back to living an active life.

Now Adams is on a mission to prove kidney donors can still live full lives with just one kidney.

“I just want to assure folks that are feeling healthy and active that it will be a disruption for sure but will be a couple of months of disruption in your activity but you will return to your full activity level afterward, and you will have a spring in your step because you saved a life,” says Adams.

"A lot of people ask me when I was going through this, ‘We were born with 2 kidneys, don't we need two kidneys?’ But the point of fact is, you don't need two. If you remove one, the other one will pick up the slack. Even though you were born with two, you were born with a spare, so you may as well share your spare,” Adams adds.

Adams started hiking on and off back in mid-January. She says she is currently halfway through her 1,200-mile journey on theIce Age Trailacross Wisconsin and says she needs another 35 days on the trail to finish her goal.

You can follow Jean Adams as she documents her journey on her YouTube channel.