The loving character and altruism of William Saliba prevails among patients with kidney disease. He participated in the LifeCycle challenge in twelve editions…however above all he was the Good Samaritan doing a gesture to another man by giving him his kidney without even knowing him. With one kidney, William continued with his life and is currently training for his thirteenth LifeCycle challenge.
After years of cycling with LifeCycle Foundation with the aim of raising funds for kidney patients, William Saliba decided to help one of these patients with a bigger gesture. Seven years ago, Saliba donated a kidney to a person he never met.
“I took the decision because I wasn’t young; I was over 50 and knew that my family is healthy. If I was younger I might have thought it over, however at my age I had nothing to lose. Do you understand?”
William Saliba recalled that the decision he took two years before a person was found compatible with his organs. “A young woman had told me about her experience when she was waiting for a kidney; did not match with her relatives and I volunteered. Tests were made which showed we were not compatible and then two years elapsed – it was seven years ago – when Paul phoned me from the Renal Unit asking me if I was still interested. I told him yes and informed me there were three compatible patients”.
He admits he fears donating blood, however he didn’t think twice to donate an organ. “I have tattoos, but these are one thing and a needle in my vein makes me think otherwise. It was harder than having a kidney taking away because I knew that with one kidney I live a normal life”.
After a few weeks since surgery, William Saliba was training for another LifeCycle challenge…since then he said that he participated in five other editions and has started training for his thirteenth LifeCycle. “You always say this is the last because of intensive training; you have to cycle for 10 hours a day, sometimes in the desert with 45 degrees temperature, and also below zero such as in Iceland – but you are doing this to raise funds”.
This year’s LifeCycle edition will be held in Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos.