Hello Tour DaVita community!
We have some very exciting news to share with you all. As you know, Tour DaVita is one way for DaVita to help raise awareness and funds to fight kidney disease. We don’t as often talk about how the challenge of the Tour often reminds riders of the daily struggles dialysis patients face. Our riders push themselves over three days and across hundreds of miles to raise awareness for kidney disease—but when a patient joins the ride, it reaffirms our purpose and pushes riders even harder.
Many of you know that two years ago in Washington State we welcomed Tour DaVita’s first patient rider, Matthew Purvis. Ohio-resident Mark Richardson joined us last year in New England as our second-ever patient rider. This year in Iowa, Matthew and Mark are back, and we are welcoming more DaVita patient riders than ever before—SIX patient riders will join us for the Ride of a Lifetime!
With great honor and pleasure, we present the SIX patients who are riding in Tour DaVita this year.
Alphonso Jefferson – Virginia Beach, VA
Alphonso has been on dialysis for 15 years; he started in-center hemodialysis before trying peritoneal dialysis and finally landing on home dialysis. He received his college degree in psychology while on dialysis in 2003. Alphonso and his nurse Mandy have been training together for this year’s Tour and are looking forward to taking on the Iowa trails.
Mark Richardson – Columbus, OH Mark is back for his second Tour DaVita, which he says is one of the best things he’s ever done in his life. Mark already tries to be environmentally conscious by biking everywhere, so the challenge of Tour DaVita is right up his alley. He says that dialysis has given him a new positive outlook on life and Tour DaVita has inspired him so much that after he receives his transplant he is considering a career as a patient care technician or an adventure trip leader, much like our partners at Backroads.
Matthew Purvis – Pensacola, FL
Iowa will mark Matthew’s third Tour DaVita; he was the first-ever patient rider and we are so happy to have him back for this Tour. This 28-year-old (today is his birthday!) is pursuing a career as a firefighter and stays active year-round by cycling. He is honored to be a part of Tour DaVita and is looking forward to meeting the other patient riders. Matthew even mentioned the possibility of a patient rider “We are here” cheer. We can’t wait for that!
Michael Walker – San Mateo, CA
Mike is a biker in every sense of the word; he enjoys both cycling and cruising around California on his motorcycle. He also used to race BMX bikes. Mike’s doctor supported his participation in Tour DaVita because Mike tends to ride his bike just about anywhere he goes. To get ready for the Tour, Mike has been taking spin classes and taking long weekend rides.
Thomas Holmes – Southfield, MI
Thomas grew up a “jock,” playing football in his youth and running marathons as an adult. In fact, he has participated in five marathons to date. Even after he learned that he needed dialysis he didn’t give up on his active lifestyle. He attributes his ability to remain active partly to the fact that he does home dialysis. He sees Tour DaVita as the perfect opportunity to test his personal limits. And after Tour he plans on pursuing another marathon – his first since starting dialysis.
Bill Porter – Richmond, TX
Bill has always been an avid cyclist, completing multiple century rides through the Rocky Mountains in his younger years. He now resides in Texas and at age 73 has got back on the saddle to train for Tour DaVita with the help of his local care team. Their group is known as the “Richmond Renal Riders” and as they tell it, he pushes them during their weekly group rides. Bill celebrated his 40th birthday by riding 300 miles overnight so Tour DaVita should be a smooth ride.