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Two months post transplant, patient runs Mini Marathon

IU Health University Hospital

Two months post transplant, patient runs Mini Marathon

She told her nurses she would do it, and she did. Adrienne Du Rant completed a goal – to run the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini Marathon.

By IU Health Senior Journalist T.J. Banes, tfender1@iuhealth.org

The temperatures hovered in the mid-50s and there were a few passing clouds. Nothing was going to dampen the spirits of Adrienne Du Rant. She was determined.

It was May 8 and she was one of some 30,000 participants in the 45th year of the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini Marathon. Running 13.1 miles is a challenge for anyone. But consider this: On March 22, Du Rant received a liver transplant at IU Health University Hospital.

Under the best conditions, athletes train for months – even years – to complete in what is considered one of the nation’s largest half marathons. Du Rant would not be deterred.

She first came to IU Health shortly after she was diagnosed in 2018 with cirrhosis of the liver. She was in the care of Dr. Lauren Nephew and Dr. Kavish Patidar, who specialize in gastroenterology and hepatology. Andrea Mann served as her pre- transplant clinical coordinator and Shannon Wilson served as her post-transplant clinical coordinator.

“I can’t say enough about the nurses and doctors at IU Health. God was good to me and helped me meet great people,” said Du Rant who turned 65 on May 14. Running the Mini Marathon was her way of celebrating both her birthday month and what she calls her “reborn day” – when she received her life-saving organ transplant.

The process was a long-time in coming. Since her diagnosis, Du Rant had experienced nausea, weight loss, fatigue, and stress.

“Eight days after my transplant, I returned home and I told the nurses as I was leaving the hospital that I was going to run the Mini Marathon,” said Du Rant.

Those who cared for Du Rant describe her as a “wonderful person,” “a beautiful soul,” and a “determined patient.”

It was that determination that set Du Rant on the course to complete her 21st running of the Mini Marathon. She began her running career in high school as a hurdler. Long distance runs didn’t come until later in life. In addition to the Mini Marathon, she has completed other races around the country. Her job in retail resulted in several moves before she landed in Indianapolis where she lives with her husband Paul. They have been married 35 years and he is usually her cheerleader at the finish line.

As part of a long-time tradition, the 500 Festival Mini Marathon starts in the heart of downtown Indianapolis – with an IndyCar driver leading off each wave in the pace car that starts the Indy 500. The course is packed with thousands of volunteers and entertainers. Runners, joggers, walkers, and wheelchair racers come from around the world to participate in the epic race. As participants reach the Speedway’s Yard of Bricks, many stop to kneel and kiss the bricks.

Due to health risks, this year’s event was offered as a virtual option. As in past years, participants received a commemorative shirt and medal. Du Rant said the option was a good match for her recovering health this year.

“I didn’t think I’d make it to mile five, but then I made it to mile eight and I just kept going,” said Du Rant. As the race grew closer to her home, she opted to avoid the crowds.

“I finished up on my elliptical in the safety of my home, but I finished,” said Du Rant. “I did it and I have the medal and a picture to prove it.”

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