My Name is Johnny Wowk AKA Johnny The Walker. I'm going to tell you why I walk so much. In the Spring of 1993 I was closing in on 40 years old living in South Hamilton, Massachusetts. In order to lose twenty pounds I started walking the sidewalks through Hamilton/Wenham and Beverly keeping track of my miles. As the years went by I lost weight but started to feel fatigued. It was July of 2000, with 5400 miles under my belt my kidneys were failing and I was put on dialysis. I inherited my father's End Stage Renal Disease. It caused his death in 1961 at the age of 58.
I decided to walk the distance of around the world in memory of my father and bring attention to all the people with Chronic Kidney Disease and the people on dialysis waiting for a kidney. There is no cure. In order to stay healthy I started eating more organic foods.
After five years on dialysis I received a kidney transplant at Mass General Boston. With the new kidney I was able to walk further. I would walk around Boston on my appointment days at MGM and around cities and towns on the North Shore of Boston. By the middle of May, 2006, I had walked 9000 miles. The public named me Johnny The Walker. I continued waking the streets, Malls, and Planet Fitness treadmill with end stage renal disease stage 5 setting incredible walking records that I still hold to this day. That cadaver kidney lasted eleven years then failed in August of 2016 after getting in 33,872 miles.
I went back on dialysis where I remain to this day. Even though I have been plagued by operations, continues surgeries, dialysis, hospital and doctor appointments, I continue walking in memory of my father Demetrius, setting walking records along the way. I now hold eight walking records and walked more than 37,200 miles and still walking. The greatest gift you can give someone is to donate a kidney.