David Grier becomes the first person in
history to run the Great Wall of China in both directions
JIAYUGUAN, CHINA - Media OutReach - 5 July 2018 - Extreme adventurer and philanthropist, David Grier, and his running
companion, Andrew Stuart, arrived in Jiayuguan City this Tuesday, concluding
their 4200 kilometer run of the Great Wall of China. The run, which they
undertook in partnership with Fresenius Medical Care, the world's largest
provider of dialysis products and services, created a groundswell of social
media engagement throughout China and Asia--Pacific, with thousands of people
following the pairs' run and taking on the challenge to become more active
A united front in promoting kidney health awareness: Extreme adventurers David Grier (right in the front) and Andrew Stuart (left in the front) were joined by Fresenius Medical Care Asia-Pacific CEO Harry de Wit (middle) and some employees during the last kilometers of the Back to the Wall Run.
The Back to the Wall run is a CSR initiative of Fresenius Medical Care, aiming to raise public awareness on good kidney health across Asia Pacific through partnering with extreme adventurer David Grier who took on the challenge to run the entire route of the Great Wall of China.
David, Harry, Andrew and employees of Fresenius Medical Care passed the finishing line together, marking the end of the 4200km challenge.
The Back to the Wall Run in China, which aimed at raising kidney health awareness, was concluded this Tuesday.
David, Harry and Andrew poured the water that they brought from Shanhaiguan, the starting point of the journey, into the river in Jiayuguan, marking the end of this 3-month journey.
David Grier first ran the Great
Wall of China 12 years' ago, with his journey starting in Jiayuguan City. In
completing the run today -- in the other direction -- David has become the first
person in history to run the Great Wall of China in both directions.
Mr Harry de Wit, CEO of Fresenius
Medical Care Asia-Pacific, and 10 company employees ran the last kilometers of
the Great Wall with David and Andrew. They converged with invited runners from
the local healthcare industry to cross the finishing line together, bringing
the historic run to a close.
Speaking at the official closing
ceremony, Mr de Wit thanked David and Andrew, and all those who participated in
the corporate social responsibility campaign: "I am proud to have run the final
leg of the journey today", he said. "I hope the strength and fortitude that
these men have shown will inspire every individual and every person living with
CKD to believe in themselves and conquer their own 'Great Wall' with a positive
attitude. Today's closing ceremony is not an end; it's a brand-new beginning."
David Grier echoed this
sentiment, encouraging the wider community to use the WeChat Great Wall Program
developed by Fresenius Medical Care China, where players accumulate daily steps
as they virtually run the Great Wall: "Put on your shoes, and start
counting your own steps. The steps don't end when we get to the end of the
wall, this is where the steps start", he said.
Alan Chen, Executive Vice President, Fresenius Medical Care China, highlighted the ways in which the campaign has
successfully put chronic kidney disease on the national health agenda. "I was
very excited to see how the Back to the Wall campaign was able to span across
China", he said. "Awareness events in Yulin and Kunming received great support
from local medical associations, hospitals and patients. Furthermore, we are
opening dialysis centers in Fujian, Yunnan, and Sichuan to support facilities
in public hospitals. This fits with the government's strategy to allocate
quality medical resources in both urban and rural areas, enabling more people
living with chronic kidney disease to access essential services."
Very importantly, the reach of
the campaign has extended far beyond China, creating awareness of kidney health
throughout the Asia-Pacific region. During the remainder of 2018, Fresenius
Medical Care will engage employees, patients and healthcare professionals in fun
runs, walks and educational events across the region, and amplifying their
messages about kidney health through social media networks.
In a video interview just prior to completing the run,
David pondered the Great Wall as a metaphor for the obstacles we all meet in
our lives: "For every one of us, our lives are littered with walls that block
the ultimate dream of how we see our lives unfolding. I feel the run of the
Great Wall is symbolic to the walls faced by people living with CKD: No matter
how treacherous the wall ahead, how deep the craters, and how crumbly the road,
don't ever give up on your journey. Put out your hand to the friend that is
there with you, and travel the journey together. You will get to the end of
Video link: https://www.facebook.com/dmmgrier/videos/10156423851133249/
GRIER AND ANDREW STUART'S JOURNEY
David Grier and Andrew Stuart began their journey to
run the entire route of the Great Wall of China at the end of March 2018.
Beginning in Shanhaiguan, the pair ran an average of 61 kilometers a day and
arrived at their final destination in Jiayuguan on 3 July. Twelve years' ago,
David became one of the first people in history to run the entire route of the
Great Wall of China, and he has now repeated history by becoming the first
person in history to run the wall in both directions.
Fresenius Medical Care is the world's largest provider
of products and services for individuals with renal diseases of which around
3.2 million patients worldwide regularly undergo dialysis treatment. Through
its network of 3,790 dialysis clinics, Fresenius Medical Care provides dialysis
treatments for 322,253 patients around the globe. Fresenius Medical Care is
also the leading provider of dialysis products such as dialysis machines or
dialyzers. Along with its core business, the company provides related medical
services in the field of Care Coordination. Fresenius Medical Care is listed on
the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (FME) and on the New York Stock Exchange (FMS).
This release contains forward-looking statements that
are subject to various risks and uncertainties. Actual results could differ
materially from those described in these forward-looking statements due to
certain factors, including changes in business, economic and competitive
conditions, regulatory reforms, foreign exchange rate fluctuations,
uncertainties in litigation or investigative proceedings, and the availability
of financing. These and other risks and uncertainties are detailed in Fresenius
Medical Care AG & Co. KGaA's reports filed with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission. Fresenius Medical Care AG & Co. KGaA does not
undertake any responsibility to update the forward-looking statements in this