Muhammad Ali, The Legendary Champion, Died While Conducting Dialysis: His Last Fight

A regular Dialysis patient emailed the Team and stated, "I've been on Dialysis for almost 7 years now and finding it's getting increasingly difficult to feel good about going or being there every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. It's the same thing day after day...Due to so many health issues, I feel it's just hopeless to try to keep going...I'm ready to give up. I'm angry for being in this position and felt that maybe if I vented I'd feel better. If you read this THANKS." 

The above comment is not uncommon. Often times, Chronic Kidney Disease patients can feel alone - especially those who must conduct life-sustaining Dialysis treatments. Many patients sometimes blame themselves, become depressed, frustrated, sad, and consider the idea of stopping Dialysis. However, the truth is that patients are not alone, and suffering from Kidney Failure is not their fault. Did you know that the legendary, world-famous former Heavy Weight Champion of the World, Muhammad Ali suffered Kidney Failure, and in fact died while conducting Dialysis?

Chronic Kidney Disease does not discriminate based upon economic status, age, gender, race, ethnicity or any other factor. Over twenty million people in the United States alone are struggling with Chronic Kidney Disease, and 600,000 patients conduct Dialysis. Even the great Muhammad Ali was a Dialysis patient. Hence, the Chronic Kidney Disease Community is vast and patients should never feel alone or as if they caused their situation. Often it is out of one's control.

Yet even in his death, Muhammad Ali, showed great courage and kept fighting. As a matter of fact, reports have suggested that "Muhammad Ali's heart beat on [for thirty minutes] even as his body shut down," noted the NY Daily News. In his last fight, a "final bell" rang out from his Dialysis machine. Muhammad Ali's daughter Rasheeda said: "The Dialysis bell went 'ding, ding, ding," according to Sadly, the great champion lost this bout and died on Friday, June 3rd, 2016. Still, he never gave up and fought until his last heart beat. Similarly, Dialysis patients should continue to fight and never give up even though Dialysis treatments are extremely difficult and taxing on the body. It will get better.

Muhammad Ali's daughter Laila mentioned: "One of the things he was afraid of was death, and he definitely wouldn't want to just move on. But we're not in control, God is in control." The death of this revered champion reminds us that Dialysis is very serious, and for many patients it is not a long term solution. 

Share this article with family members and friends and ask them to share it with others in order to help raise awareness of the need for more living kidney donors to limit the number of patients on Dialysis (over 4,500 patients die yearly while waiting for a Kidney Transplant). Also, be sure to share your need of a kidney donor with others so that they may consider the idea of donating to you. After all, Muhammad Ali was the one that said, "Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth." Perhaps that idea will resonate (connect) with potential kidney donors.

Muhammad Ali was one of the most beloved athletes in the world. He served as an example of courage and inspiration for many. Did he inspire you? Why or why not?