Sun. Sep 24th, 2023
Frisco resident begins pursuit for state summits world record while raising awareness for living kidney donors

National Kidney Registry/Courtesy photoDave Ashley, left, Jodi Harskamp and Frisco resident Jay Irwin pose for a photo just before starting their quest to break the planet speed record for the 50 U.S. state summits. The trio are all living kidney donors and are climbing with the National Kidney Registry in order to raise awareness and break stereotypes about kidney donation.
National Kidney Registry/Courtesy photo

A small more than a year soon after climbing up Mount Kilimanjaro in order to raise awareness for kidney donations, Frisco resident Jay Irwin has set his eyes on a new feat of endurance and mountaineering.

In collaboration with the National Kidney Registry, Irwin, Dave Ashley and Jodi Harskamp — all living kidney donors — will try to set a new planet speed record for reaching each and every U.S. state’s highest point. Even though attempting to shatter the present record of 43 days, three hours and 51 minutes, Irwin and the National Kidney Registry group will also attempt to break the misconception that there are physical limits on living kidney donors.

Irwin became a living kidney donor when he decided to donate 1 of his kidneys to his superior buddy Bill Petersen in November 2019. Irwin was inspired to give up a kidney to Petersen, the man who saved his life when he was caught in an avalanche even though skiing on Vail Pass in 2008.

Petersen has considering the fact that died, but his spirit continues to reside on by way of Irwin and will fuel him as he summits the highest peaks across the U.S.

“Being in a position to go to all the 50 states’ summits is type of a exciting practical experience and then to be in a position to do it with two other living kidney donors is fairly particular,” Irwin stated. 

Considerably like Irwin’s quest to the leading of Kilimanjaro, Irwin and the National Kidney Registry group will be faced with numerous challenges more than the course of the project. Irwin says some of the toughest elements of the project are figuring out the logistics of the trip and creating certain the group stays on pace to break the official Guinness Globe Record, even though also attempting to set the quickest recognized time (19 days, 7 hours, 17 minutes) for summiting the highest mountain peaks in the 48 contiguous states.

“The essential factor is not getting in a position to rest,” Irwin stated. “There will definitely be some challenges when we finish up undertaking Rainer in the exact same day that we do Mount Hood. They are each unbelievable climbs that will be back-to-back. We will have to have to rest up our bodies for the 4-hour drive in in between them.”

National Kidney Registry/Courtesy photoFrisco resident Jay Irwin poses for a photo just before starting the quest to break the planet speed record for the 50 U.S. state summits.
National Kidney Registry/Courtesy photo

Irwin says the most significant factor he and the group will maintain in thoughts even though attempting to set the new records is creating certain every person is taking their temperature on a everyday basis and on a regular basis checking how they are feeling on a physical and mental level. 

“The essential factor is creating certain we are pushing our bodies, but that we are not pushing them as well difficult,” Irwin stated. 

Beyond the assistance Irwin will acquire from Ashley and Harskamp, Irwin is also grateful to have assistance from Emily Polet-Monterosso and Dr. Matthew Harmody, who each climbed with Irwin up Kilimanjaro. 

Polet-Monterosso and Harmody will be serving as drivers and assistance crew for the group and try to make the trip really feel extra homey.

“We are going to get in and we are going to be exhausted,” Irwin stated. “We have to have them to have these comforts of household when we get back to the RV. They will make certain they have some hot vegetable soup broth brewed up or water and coffee.”

Irwin and the group started its quest for a new planet speed record and quickest recognized time on May perhaps 19, beginning the clock at the base of Mount Denali in Alaska. The group spent the final week climbing the mountain and stopping at diverse mid-mountain camps along the way in order to acclimatize to the alter in elevation.

As of Saturday morning, the group had produced it to a camp at 17,000 feet and is waiting for the correct circumstances to attain the summit.


Right after the group reaches the leading of Denali, they will fly to Hawaii to climb Mauna Kea. Right after Mauna Kea, the group will return to contiguous 48 states to meet Polet-Monterosso and Dr. Harmody with the RV in Chicago.

The group will comply with a counter-clockwise route across the Reduce 48, which will let the trio of climbers to rest in the Midwest just before hitting the longer climbs in the West. The group hopes to conclude the project at the leading of Mount Katahdin in Maine by June 28.

“That will type of be the newest we would want to see us do it,” Irwin stated. “We have scheduled it so that if anything goes correct, we can do it in as small as 21 days. It is going to be someplace in between these points. I consider it is going to be dependent on when we can get Denali carried out in that climate window. We will have to see how the climate gods, the travel gods and all that smile on us.”

Beyond attempting to set a new planet speed record and quickest recognized time, Irwin hopes to raise extra awareness for living kidney donors and develop lifetime bonds with his fellow climbers.

“I often inform folks that you can reside an ordinary life soon after donating a kidney and folks often laugh saying my life is not pretty ordinary when going out undertaking these factors,” Irwin stated. “We want to finish this off as lifelong buddies and with an wonderful practical experience with each other. We will be bonded on this 1.I will be proud if we finish up undertaking it, but extra importantly I want it for the practical experience with each other.”

To comply with along with the journey of Irwin and the National Kidney Registry group, pay a visit to the team’s Facebook web page:

By Editor

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