Transplantoux cycles from the Gasthuisberg campus to Milan

23 August 2021
On Monday morning 23 August a Transplantoux peloton started a bike ride to Milan. In five days' time they will cycle to the main European transplantation congress. In the boot of the support car: a melting block of ice.

Managing Director of UZ Leuven prof. dr. Wim Robberecht (center) came to wave goodbye to the Transplantoux peloton.

Cycling from the Gasthuisberg campus to Milan, a distance of approximately 1,000 km in five days' time. This is the sporting challenge that six Transplantoux members signed up for. In collaboration with UZ Leuven and KU Leuven, Transplantoux is an organisation that brings together patients after a transplant and encourages them to have an active life. One of their objectives is all about promoting scientific research into physical activity pre- and post-transplant. In Milan the members will attend the scientific ESOT conference (The European Society for Organ Transplantation), which is the main conference in the field of transplantation on the European calendar. They want to raise awareness of the importance of healthy exercise before and after a transplant.

Sporting goals

The Transplantoux peloton – including two transplant patients - left on Monday morning 23 August at the Gasthuisber campus for its marathon ride. With this action, Transplantoux brings its most important recommendation into practice: exercising as a medicine. “With Transplantoux we want to provide people after their transplant with a exercise campaign that allows them to work together on their condition in a medically safe context and in a manner that is accessible and inclusive. This marathon ride can also symbolise the long road transplant patients are on to boost their physical fitness”, according to prof. dr. Diethard Monbaliu, transplant surgeon at UZ Leuven and Transplantoux chairman.

The end of the ice age

Notable fact: in the boot of their support car, the peloton will take a block of ice, as a way of promoting its own Transplantoux 'Time to Move'-symposium (on 11 and 12 February 2022) in Milan. This symposium, for and by patients, clinicians and academics, focuses on the role of phycisal activity and nutrition. The ice will melt during the Milan conference and symbolises the end of an ice age. Monbaliu: “At the moment, physicians do not prescribe exercise for their patients: we hope the ice age will soon come to an end and that minds will start to open to systematic exercise post-transplantation.”

Last edit: 23 August 2021