Allison Perry

Transplant Patient, IRONMAN Athlete to Speak to UK Staff, Patients

Published: Nov 14, 2013

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 14, 2013) — In collaboration with the American Heart Association's "My Heart. My Life." program, the University of Kentucky Transplant Center will host a presentation by Derek Fitzgerald, a Pennsylvania transplant patient with an inspiring story to share.

 

In 2003 at age 30, Fitzgerald was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. After undergoing multiple rounds of chemotherapy to defeat the cancer, he developed heart failure due to the medication that initially saved his life. On Jan. 3, 2011, Derek received a heart transplant at Penn Medicine in Philadelphia.

 

Ten months post-transplant, he ran a half-marathon. In 2012, he competed in 17 endurance races, including marathons, half-marathons and triathlons. This past year, he competed in an IRONMAN competition at Lake Placid, New York, completing a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride and 26.2-mile run.

 

Fitzgerald will be speaking about his experiences on Thursday, Nov. 21 at 2:30 p.m. in the Pavilion A auditorium in UK Chandler Hospital. All UK HealthCare staff and patients are invited to come listen to Fitzgerald discuss his incredible, inspirational journey.

 

For more information, contact Donna Dennis at (859) 323-4938 or donna.dennis@uky.edu.

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