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Augusta Woman Fighting Kidney Disease Ready for 100-Mile Bike Ride

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Nancy Sorrell was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease last year. Nancy Sorrell was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease last year.
After gaining her strength back, Sorrell hopes to ride 100 miles this weekend. After gaining her strength back, Sorrell hopes to ride 100 miles this weekend.
AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) -

A community advocate in Augusta County is gearing up for a 100-mile bike ride that’s happening this weekend, all while fighting kidney disease.

Historian and writer Nancy Sorrells is known around the Shenandoah Valley for her community service and advocacy and recently spoke out against the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. The 59-year-old was also once an avid cyclist – riding as far as 2,000 miles a year in her 30s and 40s.

Most recently though, her rides on her bike have been few and far between after being diagnosed with chronic kidney disease. Constant sleeping and lack of strength led Sorrells to a doctor in May of 2017.

“My numbers were dialysis numbers at the time,” Sorrells said.

A former county supervisor, Sorrells knew she had to make a choice after coming to terms with her situation.

“I can either do nothing, or I can do everything I can to deal with this positively and try to turn my health around as best that I can with the cards I’m dealt,” Sorrells said.

The choice she made was to fight, and while she didn’t have the strength to get on her bike, the former lifeguard turned to swimming to save her own life.

“I maybe did 10 laps the first day,” Sorrells said. “By July, I was swimming a mile.”

Thanks to swimming and her kidney-friendly diet, Sorrells had lost 60 pounds and was off all of her previously prescribed medication by March.

But according to Sorrells, there was still another obstacle to overcome.

“I walk by [my bike] when it was in the garage and it’s kind of talking to me,” Sorrells said.

After a proper hydration formula from her kidney doctor and starting with just two miles here and there, Sorrells was back up to 50 miles a day on her bike. Riding the Capital Trail with a friend still wasn’t enough satisfaction for Sorrells, as her eyes quickly turned to a bigger goal.

On Saturday, Sorrells will ride 100 miles in the Surry Century Ride as she hopes to reach 100 miles for the first time in a long time.

“I think I’ve got a second lease on life and I’m grabbing it,” Sorrells said.

Sorrells is on the kidney transplant list, but right now her kidneys are stable and she says she’s healthier than she’s been in a decade. She also wants to encourage people to become organ donors, which could save a life.

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