Former NFL Star Albert Haynesworth Pleads For Kidney Donor

Former NFL player Albert Haynesworth’s desperate plea for a kidney donor has prompted more than 1,000 calls and offers. The former defensive lineman has been battling kidney disease for a number of years and went into kidney failure on July 7. “It’s hard to believe from being a professional athlete to only 8 season[s] in retirement that my body has taken another major blow,” Haynesworth wrote on Instagram. “First with the brain aneurism 3 seasons out of the NFL to now my kidneys failing me.” Haynesworth, 38, pleaded with his more than 11,000 followers to help him find a kidney donor. The former athlete retired from the NFL in 2011 and suffered a brain aneurysm in 2014. “But the bright side of this latest ordeal I can ask for help by asking for someone to generously donate a kidney. If you are interested in giving this precious gift please call Vanderbilt at 615-936-0695 and hit option 2,” he wrote. “GOD BLESS thank you for your prayers and thanks for sharing this message.”

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Well this hard for me to say but my doctors said I should reach out to my family, friends and fans Some of you may know I’ve been battling kidney disease for a few years now the time has come family, friends and fans I’m in dire need of a kidney mine have finally failed me on July 7 2019. It’s hard to believe from being a professional athlete to only 8 season in retirement that my body has taken another major blow. First with the brain aneurism 3 seasons out of the NFL to now my kidneys failing me. But the bright side of this latest ordeal I can ask for help by asking for someone to generously donate a kidney. If you are interested in giving this precious gift please call Vanderbilt at 615-936-0695 and hit option 2. GOD BLESS thank you for your prayers and thanks for sharing this message. #VFL #TITANUP

A post shared by Albert Haynesworth (@haynesworthiii) on Jul 10, 2019 at 4:30pm PDT

The heartbreaking plea prompted an outpouring of support for the former Tennessee Titan. Following Haynesworth’s post, Vanderbilt University Medical Center experienced an overwhelming number of calls and organ donor offers.

The hospital’s chief communications officer John Howser told the Knoxville Sentinel that the medical center has received more than 1,000 “calls and offers for organ donation from well-wishers and individuals expressing interest.” Potential donors must meet specific physical and geographical requirements, including being able to travel and stay in the Nashville area for some time. According to Vanderbilt Health’s Living Donor Program, a living donation “can save a life or prevent a lifetime of difficult medical procedures such as dialysis.”

There are more than 110,000 Americans waiting for an organ transplant, including over 94,000 who need a kidney, according to the United Network for Organ Sharing. Just 17,000 people receive kidney donations each year, while 12 people die every day waiting for a lifesaving donation, the National Kidney Foundation revealed.

A living donation involves a living person donating an organ or part of an organ for transplant into another person. Living donors can be family members or strangers as a genetic link between donors and recipients is no longer medically required. However, a better genetic match decreases the chance of organ rejection. Kidneys are the most common organs given by a living donor, but lungs, livers, and pancreases can also be donated. Potential donors who have diabetes, cancer, HIV, uncontrolled high blood pressure, hepatitis, or acute infections may be prevented from donating.

Living donations can be directed towards a specific person or nondirected, meaning donors are matched with a person in need of transplant, according to the National Kidney Foundation.

As reported by the Heath Resources & Services Administration, there were 36,528 organ transplants performed in 2018. Ninety-five percent of adults in the US support organ donation, but just 58 percent sign up as donors. One donor can save up to eight lives, HRSA said. Government data on organ donations reveal that there have been 3,627 living donations made this year, with white donors making up more than 2,500 of those. There have been 525 living Hispanic donors and 300 donations by Black donors. White donors also lead in deceased donations, with 3,804 donors so far in 2019.

During his NFL career of over 10 years, Haynesworth played with four teams. He was picked No. 15 overall in the first round of the 2002 NFL Draft by the Tennessee Titans and spent seven years with the team. Haynesworth also played with the Washington Redskins, New England Patriots, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The two-time Pro Bowler retired with 30.5 sacks and 347 tackles. Haynesworth was also on two first-team All-Pro teams in his career, Fox News reported.


About the Author

Nicole Rojas is a breaking news writer for The North Star. She has published in various venues, including Newsweek, GlobalPost, IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly, and the Long Island Post. Nicole graduated from Boston University in 2012 with a degree in print journalism. She is an avid world traveler who recently explored Asia and Australia.