Bikers rally for one of their own
There are currently more than 119,000 people waiting for an organ transplant in the United States. A local woman is one of them.
Debbie Bulstrode would have to wait two years to get the kidney she needs if her friends didn't step in to speed up the process.
Bulstrode is very passionate about riding her motorcycle with her friends, who call themselves the "Wild Instincts."
"(I love) the freedom," Bulstrode said of riding. "You just don't think about your life. You don't think about difficulties. You just concentrate on riding."
That's just what she's doing: riding through the difficulties.
Three days a week, Bulstrode rolls up to the Idaho Kidney Center in Idaho Falls for four hours of dialysis.
"I have polycystic kidney disease, and so my kidneys would get big cysts on them filled with fluid. Actually I recently got them removed. They were 10 pounds each," Bulstrode said. "Dialysis is hard. Dialysis is tough, but I do pretty good!"
Bulstrode smiles constantly through the boredom and fatigue. She said she owes her enduring spirit to her loving family and her best friends, who will ride the extra mile to make sure Bulstrode gets her kidney.
So far, three potential donors were tested to see if they could give a kidney to Bulstrode. None of them was a compatible match.
Kim Hart, Bulstrode's best friend, said just to get tested as a match is emotionally and financially exhausting.
"They may have to have extra testing from specialists that are not included (by insurance)," Hart said. "They have to stay down in Utah if the transplant goes through for at least a week or two, which is not covered. So that's hotel stays, meals, gas -- there's a lot."
The Wild Instincts will hold a rally to raise money on Saturday.
They'll ride from Grand Teton Harley Davidson in Idaho Falls at 11 a.m., to the One16 Sports Bar & Grill, where a fundraising dinner will begin at 6 p.m.
The money raised will go toward Bulstrode's medical bills and the chance for another friend to get tested as a match. The friend preferred to remain anonymous.
"I asked (the anonymous friend), 'Why are you doing this?'" Hart said. "And she said, 'Because I was blessed with health, and so are my kids. I just think it's only fair to let somebody else have that.'"
"For my friends and family to rally around and to get this rally going -- to help out -- it's been so humbling, and it's been so amazing," Bulstrode said.
Everyone is welcome to attend the rally and the dinner. Participants do not need to have a motorcycle.
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