To live with a chronic illness is not a limitation, but a special invitation to those of us who are willing to accept the challenge.

-Shad Ireland

My name is Leo Collison. I am a social worker at Fresenius Medical Care at West Suburban Dialysis in Oak Park. I am writing to ask for your support in a very special endeavor. I am raising funds for the Shad Ireland Foundation.

Who is Shad Ireland?

Shad Ireland is 36 years old, has been on kidney dialysis for over 23 years and endured two failed transplants. On July 25, 2004 Shad became the first dialysis patient ever to compete in and complete an Ironman triathlon, consisting of a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride and a 26.2-mile run.

Shad trained hard to accomplish his goal and refused to accept failure. He wants to help other kidney dialysis patients develop the same can-do attitude, to enhance their quality of life. The same attitude he wishes to develop in all kidney patients seeking a better quality of life. Shad sums up his message to chronically ill patients by saying, “Realize that you are more than your diagnosis and your perception will begin to change. Realize your goals and dreams. Ask questions, seek answers, and strive to achieve; your work will transform right before your eyes.” Isn’t his message true for everyone?

What is the Shad Ireland Foundation?

Besides traveling across the country giving inspirational talks to dialysis patients and raising awareness about kidney disease to the general public, Shad has established the Shad Ireland Foundation. The foundation raises funds for direct grants, helping dialysis patients pursue their individual goals.

One way Shad raises funds for his foundation is to select a team to compete with him in an upcoming triathlon. I have been selected as a member of the 2008 USA Shad Ireland Triathlon Team. The Triathlon event will consist of a 1-mile open water swim, followed by a 25-mile bike ride and finishing with a 6.2 mile run. My personal goal is to complete the triathlon in less than three hours. My primary goal is to raise at least $5,000 in an effort to help dialysis patients achieve their goals-100% of donations go directly to the Shad Ireland foundation. Donations over $250 are tax deductible (501c status).

How can you contribute/How can you help?

1) If you would like to make a donation (any amount would be greatly appreciated!) you can do so online at Just click on: Donate to the foundation. Select Leo Collison for your pledge. Or you can send a check to the Shad Ireland Foundation and mail to: Shad Ireland Foundation, c/o Leo Collison,

332 Home Ave., Oak Park60302
. All donations pledged to Leo will be given to Illinois dialysis patients.

2) Spread the word! Please forward this information to family, friends, co-workers, or anyone else you can think of. Get involved! Make a difference!

No limitations! Only inspirations!
-Shad Ireland

Leo Collison  

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