Brothers Prepare for Triathlon 24 Years After Kidney Transplant
When preparing for an event that’s as challenging as a triathlon, it helps when you have access to miles of scenic bike trails.
“Yeah, it’s an amazing trail system through here,” said Jeff Tatur of Brooklyn Park, referring to the Elm Creek Park Reserve. “It’s a great place to bike for sure.”
One week before the Trinona in Winona, Jeff Tatur and his older brother, Jim, are using Elm Creek Park as their training ground for the big event.
“You’re swimming, running and biking. So obviously three sports, three disciplines, you have to train,” said Jim Tatur, of Elk River. “And so it’s challenging, certainly.”
“This is [Jim’s] first time doing it,” Jeff said. “And I’m pretty proud of him, in the fact that he’s decided to do this, because there’s a special reason behind it.”
That special reason doesn’t have anything to do with crossing something off a bucket list or saying they achieved this feat while in their 50s. Instead, it’s because of what these brothers went through 24 years ago.
When Jim Tatur was 12 years old, he was diagnosed with a condition that was deteriorating his kidneys.
“I guess the general term is interstitial nephritis,” Jim said. “It’s a degenerative kidney disease.”
CCX News (formerly known as Cable 12) first met the Tatur brothers back in 1999. At the time, Jeff made one of the biggest decisions of his life.
Doctors at Fairview University Medical Center took a healthy kidney from Jeff and used it to replace Jim’s
“I mean, you’re going to do that,” Jeff said, of donating his kidney. “When you get the call, you’re going to do it.”
Now after more than two decades — and a second kidney transplant for Jim, which came courtesy of a friend — the Tatur brothers are ready to tackle this triathlon head on.
“Yeah, I think so,” Jim said of the triathlon. “It’s one of those things like, to me, more of a celebration. I look at it as a celebration.”
A celebration made possible because of selfless organ donations, and the work of talented medical professionals.
“Both my transplants were at the University of Minnesota,” Jim said. “And as far as I’m concerned, there’s no better people anywhere. I mean, that transplant program they have down there is second to none.”
The Trinona in Winona takes place this Sunday, June 11.
As for whether Jim may need another kidney transplant down the road, he said, “I am doing everything in my power to make this thing last for the rest of my life.”