This year's Cowtown Marathon will have special meaning for one participant after a medical condition threatened his career.
Matt Shane, of Waco, has always been active, constantly training for his next big marathon or endurance event, despite being diagnosed with a form of kidney disease at an early age.
At the age of five, Shane was diagnosed with Alport syndrome, a genetic disease that attacks blood vessels located in the kidneys.
"My disease has never stopped me. When I found out about it, I was like, 'okay, yeah, it's a little speed bump in my life,' but my blood type says how I am in my life and that's B+," said Shane.
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Unfortunately, a mountain bike accident launched him into stage five kidney failure.
He needed a kidney transplant and the perfect match was already in the family.
"Of all the people, my nephew was the best match," said Shane.
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Dr. Johanna Bayer, surgical director for transplantation at Baylor Scott & White All Saints Medical Center - Fort Worth oversaw the transplant surgery.
"Most patients that come in for kidney transplant, they're very excited. A lot of times, they're a little emotional, because it's their big day," Dr. Bayer said.
After more than a year of recovery and rehabilitation, Shane is preparing for his next goal which is to participate in the 44th Cowtown Marathon.
"I'm not racing anymore. I don't go to win. That's not my job. That's not my goal anymore. My goal is to cross the finish line because this will never stop me," said Shane.
NBC 5 is a proud media sponsor of The Cowtown Marathon.