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Prairieville liver transplant recipient rides bicycle to New Orleans

Michael Tortorich
Michael Sage of Praireville celebrated the fifth anniversary of his liver transplant by riding his bicycle from Prairieville to Tulane Medical Center in New Orleans. He is shown with Tulane staff members.

Michael Sage, a resident of Prairieville, celebrated the fifth anniversary of his liver transplant by riding his bicycle 70 miles from Ascension Parish to New Orleans.

He shared photos of the Jan. 30 journey, which included much of the Mississippi River levee-top bike trail.

WWL-TV in New Orleans was there to capture the finishing moments on video, as Sage coasted into the campus of Tulane Medical Center.

Sage found out he needed a transplant in 2006, and was placed on a waiting list in 2012. After spending time in treatment at Tulane, he finally received a new liver in 2016.

Wearing a Donate Life shirt at the conclusion of the trip, he said the ride was not an easy one.

Michael Sage takes a moment to compose himself after completing the journey.

Sage said his journey to the Crescent City began at 5 a.m. in Prairieville. The ride was his way of showing appreciation to everyone who gave him another chance at life.

“This hospital is truly amazing,” Sage said. “All the nurses and doctors and staff were truly incredible.”

He said during the first few hours of the ride he was in the dark with only the lights on his bike showing him the way forward. Sage added that he was determined to stay disciplined at the speed he had maintained.

“When I got to the fifth hour of the ride, it started to become a little harder due to the constant wind in my face,” he said. “Once I got up on the levee around Norco, the wind really was rough, but I made it.”

Over the weekend, Sage said lots of emotions and memories came along the journey.

Video of his emotional arrival at the hospital is available on WWL-TV’s YouTube page.

“I can only do so much, but there are a few things that I am passionate about beside my daughters Abigail and Lillie Sage,” he said.

He reminded everyone to “do what you love and give back when you can.”