Riding across 50 states, in 50 days, 50 miles each
Beth Parker | My Fox DC
WASHINGTON - The feet on the pedals are his. The kidney is somebody else's. But it is heart that keeps David Landsberg rolling along.
He is a 52-year-old from Texas passing through the nation's capital on what he calls a 50-50-50 bike ride. It is 50 states in 50 days at 50 miles each.
His cause is organ donation. Landsberg was born with a genetic kidney disease.
"You're literally being poisoned from the inside out," said Landsberg.
In 1999, the call came.
"I was on dialysis one night. Got a phone call. Asked me if I wanted a kidney. I thought about it for about that long and I said 'Absolutely, I want a kidney,’" he said.
It turned out he received the kidney of a six-year-old boy who died in a car accident.
"At that most horrible, horrible moment - something I can't even imagine - his parents said, ‘How can we make our son a hero? How can we know that he changed the world,’" said Landsberg.
For him, the bicycle is a vehicle - a way to transport his message nationwide - that 110,000 people in the United States are waiting for an organ and every day, 18 of these people die waiting.
Landsberg has become sort of a pied piper on wheels. Strangers gather around to hear how they can become organ donors. He tells them to go online to donatelife.net.
He can convert in an instant. He elicits promises and he is keeping one of his own about really living this newfound life.
"You can either feel sorry for yourself and the conditions that you have and what's going on or you can be thankful for what you do have," said Landsberg.
He said his doctor thinks he is a bit crazy for "doing this to his body.” But Landsberg said being a little crazy can carry you quite some distance - 50 miles a day to be exact.