Professional basketball player Alonzo Mourning made a remarkable comeback when he helped the Miami Heat win the NBA Championship after undergoing a kidney transplant just months before. Dr. Oz talks with Alonzo and his doctor, Dr. Victor Richards, about chronic kidney disease and the struggles Alonzo had to overcome.
After Alonzo was diagnosed in 2000 with focal glomerulosclerosis, a type of kidney disease, he began to take the necessary steps to prepare his body to fight the disease. He adjusted his diet, removing red meat and alcohol, cutting down on his salt intake and removing fried foods. He also took up yoga and educated himself on his disease to learn how to treat his body. Then, Alonzo underwent a successful kidney transplant in 2003.
Although he says battling the disease was one of the toughest experiences of his life, he also says a lot of good has come from it, because he was able to help others by sharing his experience. "It was a dark moment for me, but at the same time it was a great moment because I looked at it as a moment that enabled me to affect millions of lives," Alonzo says. "I think through overcoming my [disease] and coming back and being a world champion, I think that has inspired so many others to overcome their disorders."
Now that he has fully recovered and has successfully returned to the NBA, Alonzo is dedicated to helping others who have kidney disease. He started a foundation called Zo's Fund for Life, which raises money for individuals who can't afford medication and helps raise awareness and funds for research. Alonzo has also written a book, Resilience, that chronicles his recovery from his transplant to winning an NBA title.
Printed from Oprah.com on Thursday, December 5, 2013