'Cycling through nature and cities' during dialysis in Isala Meppel

Gea Hudepohl, manager at the dialysis department at Isala in Zwolle, the Netherlands, is very happy with the arrival of Bike Labyrinth. Besides the device in Meppel, there is now also one in Zwolle. "It had been on our wish list for five years, but due to COVID it got delayed a bit. It is very good to be in motion during dialysis, moreover, with the videos projected it is also fun to exercise."

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Peter van den Berg cycles through the canals of Amsterdam during dialysis. Photo: Isala

To fund the Bike Labyrinths, Willia Jacobs, who was celebrating 25 years of having a donor kidney and not having to dialyze since, held a fundraiser. With her husband, she completed the Scan Covery Trial. This is an 8,000-kilometer car tour through Scandinavia, Hudepohl says. "She donated 5000 euros to us. That was still not enough, but with an additional contribution from our foundation, Bike Labyrinth could be purchased."

Nurse Anita Schoolmeesters is also enthusiastic about the acquisition in the dialysis department: "We have as many as 750 routes. Through famous vacation countries, into the mountains or just a city tour. There is also a route through Kiev. A Ukrainian lady recently cycled that route. She fled the war and is now on dialysis at Isala. That she could see her own city again in this way did her, but also us, a lot."

Good for fitness

"We also have patients from Iraq and Thailand and they can also cycle through their native environment for a while," Hudepohl says of how happy the patients are with it. The two colleagues hope that more patients will use the bicycle during dialysis. "It helps to remove certain waste products more easily and reduces the risk of a drop in blood pressure. In addition, of course, it is good for fitness."

Amsterdam resident Peter van den Berg is a boater at heart and very happy with the bike. He pedals away nicely on the boat route through Amsterdam. "It's fun to do during dialysis. Otherwise it's four hours of sitting still; this is a bit distracting anyway. I know all the buildings I cycle past. Look, the university and the old hospital. These are the ramparts and soon we will pass by the central station."

Written by Meppeler Courant