The power of a dream: IronWouter
This Sunday a dream will come true: our friend Wouter Duinisveld will do a full Ironman in Frankfurt, Germany: 3,8 km swim, 180 km bike ride en 42,2 km run. Not suited for wimps! But Wout is extra special: 7 years ago he underwent a heart transplantation. Sunday he will be the 8th heart transplant recipient in the world to start a Ironman and chances are that he will be the 4th to actually finish one. He is super well prepared!
His extraordinary resilience, his dream and his optimistic outlook on life, helped him through all the adversity life threw at him. He has trained hard and smart, For me he is the example that anything is possible, if you want it bad enough! HealthCreators (formorly known as Health Get Things Done), Brenda and Naomi have a special connection with Wouter. He was the one to snap the ribbon when we opened the studio. On our first anniversary he held a special and inspiring presentation. Wout doesn't train with us: he is part of Team4Talent, a professional triathlon team and he has a sports physician, Guido Vroemen, who is specialized in triathletes. Wouter is a constant source of inspiration to us. That's why we close the studio this weekend, make a banner and support him until he is finished.
Wouters story in short
Wouter was an active guy from our hometown The Hague. He dreamed of doing an Ironman one day. But then he fell ill. A viral infection destroyed his heart, viral myocarditis it is called. He lived with an artificial heart for months: battery powered, at night plugged into the socket. With great difficulty he was able to walk to the corner of the street. Until he received a donor heart. After months of recovery, he was allowed to start doing sports again. When all went well, his dream popped back up: the Ironman. First stop, the half Ironman, which he did in 2012 in Mallorca, Spain. Marjolein van den Berg from the local TV station TV West made a beautiful documentary about that massive goal: On someone else's heart beat.
During the filming of that documentary, Brenda met Wouter at the tracks. They formed a bond in 1 minute. Brenda knows the disease that nearly killed Wouter up close and personal.
Her sister Jolanda died of a different version of the same disease in 1996. Together they have been raising awareness for Myocarditis, hoping to get more research done and more people being able to survive. Hopefully with as much lust for life as Wouter has. This Sunday another chapter will be written in Wouters story. BTW: He is actually writing a book about his life, together with dr. Bram Bakker.
Every training, every race he dedicates to his donor: someone who unselfishly gave him the chance to live his life, complete with wife, children and his dream. With his athletic accomplishment he hopes to inspire more people to sign up as an organ donor. Dutch people can do that here: www.jaofnee.nl.
Wouter expects that it will take him 13 hours to complete his Ironman. A goal time that is 2 hours quicker than the fastest heart transplant recipient ever. Because Wout might be a dreamer, above all he is a sportsman who wants to win! Go Wout!