After many months of planning and training, the group left base camp on March 4, 2022. Braving ferocious winds and cold temperatures, they reached the top six days later, on World Kidney Day.
For Wilson, the adventure continues — in October, he will travel to Hawaii to participate in the Ironman World Championship and continue to demonstrate that people can live their most active life after organ donation.
“Whether it was climbing Kilimanjaro, running a marathon, or going for a bike ride — your level of activity prior to donating is not going to change after you donate,” says Wilson.
But the best part, Wilson shares, is knowing that he made a lasting difference with a single selfless act. “To help somebody live to see their children grow up, their grandchildren grow up, or to just give somebody a second chance at life — it’s a wonderful feeling,” he says. “I’ve never met a living organ donor that regrets their decision.”
And Wilson’s act will continue to have a ripple effect. “Steve didn’t just help the person who got his kidney. Steve also helped 100,000 people who are on the list, because when Steve’s recipient came off the list, that moved everybody up on the list,” says Dr. Del Pizzo. “The living donors help more than just the person they are directly helping. They indirectly help tens of thousands, and they’re the real heroes.”
To learn more about becoming a living organ donor, visit nyp.org/organdonor.