Martinsville man with kidney disease in remission after running - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

Martinsville man with kidney disease in remission after running

Richard Reed has been asked if he's going through a mid-life crisis.

The husband and father spends a lot of time at the gym, lifting weights and running, but that hasn't always been the case.

Richard showed us a picture taken more than two years and a hundred pounds ago.

Richard describes himself in the picture as not only overweight, but really sick.

In 2001 he was diagnosed with kidney disease.

"I went into a regiment of drugs and medications and it ended up being almost 32 pills per day," said Reed.  "I was taking one drug to counter the side effects of another and it's just a endless cycle after that."

In an attempt to start cardio in May of 2010 his then fiancé, Dawn, signed the two up for a marathon training group.

"We started that group and just a few weeks in I'm like what are they training for again, she says, a marathon, how many miles is a marathon, and she says, 26.2.  I said that is ridiculous, that is crazy who would run that kind of mileage," joked Reed.

Despite hating all the running he stuck with it to support his fiancé.

By September, Reed finished his first half marathon in Virginia Beach.

Two months after that he was crossing a marathon finish line.

His intentions were to run faster, but what he heard at the doctor's office was life changing.

"When the doctor finally told me your blood pressure is down I'm going to take you off of a medication and that was the first time I've ever got taken off rather than lets add another to help with this or help with that," Reed explained.

After less than two years of running and working out here at the YMCA Richard went back to the doctor for tests related to his kidney disease.  To his surprise the results came back he was in remission and went from taking 32 medicines a day to just three.

"I feel now that I'm living, before I was alive, but now I'm really living."

Since May of 2010 Richard has completed 12 half marathons, 3 full marathons and an Ironman Triathlon that includes 2.4 miles of swimming, 112 miles of biking, and 26.2 miles of running.

He has quite a list of accomplishments for someone who points out he wasn't an athlete growing up and was suffering from kidney disease when he first started running.

Life has changed for Reed thanks in part to his now wife, Dawn.    

"She's always very supportive, my whole family is and anytime I have an event they're there at the finish line waiting on me."

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