4 Famous People Who Needed Dialysis Treatment

Kidney disease may affect anyone. In the United States, more than 65,000 individuals suffer from End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD), and about 2 million people worldwide are affected by the same medical condition. There are multiple reasons why so many people have this disease. However, there are only two available treatments for it: going under dialysis or having a kidney transplant.

ESRD has affected thousands of Americans, and celebrities are not an exception to this. There are many Hollywood stars, famous writers and journalists and even athletes who have needed to go under dialysis treatment due to ESRD. In this article, Joe Cosgrove will share the story of some celebrities who have needed to go under dialysis treatment or had a kidney transplant.

Tracy Morgan

Tina Fey and Tracy Morgan

Image courtesy of mobu27 at Flickr.com

In December 2010, the 30 Rock celebrity, Tracy Morgan, had to have a kidney transplant. The actor was diagnosed with type two diabetes almost 20 years earlier and didn’t pay much attention to it. This led to a reckless lifestyle that would later destroy his kidneys, due to the high levels of glucose in the blood that were never treated.

Apparently, Tracy Morgan never had to deal with dialysis, because his ex-girlfriend (Tanisha) offered to be his live donor and go under major surgery to have one of her kidneys removed and done it to him. Both of them successfully recovered and are living. Morgan now is very responsible with his diabetes and keeps glucose levels under control to prevent further kidney damage.

Related: What You Diet On Dialysis Should Look Like

Sarah Hyland


Image courtesy of Globovisión at Flickr.com

At the age of 21, the Modern Family actress needed to go under kidney transplant surgery. As a child she was diagnosed with Kidney Dysplasia, a condition characterized by the development of abnormal tissue in the kidneys. For over 12 years she had anything but a carefree lifestyle until the pain was unbearable.

She told the media that she needed to rest for at least 12 hours every day in order to be able to work. She was in pain most of the time she was on the set and needed to do many of her scenes from a chair, where she could rest for a couple minutes during the shots.

Hyland was about to go under dialysis as she couldn’t find a kidney donor. This situation is common in America since every year there are at least 100,000 people who need a kidney transplant and only 20,000 available donors. Luckily, Hyland’s father offered to be the donor and she had her transplant in 2012. Since then she has raised her voice and offers hope and advice for those struggling with ESRD.

Related: 8 Celebrities You Probably Did Not Know Received Kidney Transplants Which Are Still Functioning

George Lopez

In 2005, the star of the George Lopez Show needed to have a kidney transplant. He was diagnosed with ESRD a year before having the surgery and had to work during that entire year in the production of his show. The actor was often in agony due to a congenital abnormality that had caused his ureters to narrow, leading to the poisoning of his kidneys.

One day, he told his wife, Anna, he was dying. Anna immediately told him that she would give one of her kidneys to him. The next day they were ready to go under surgery and were very supportive one to another. Lopez recalls how well he felt just a few days after the surgery, he stated that when you get a kidney transplant, you know that you are going to feel better, but you don’t know how better you are actually going to feel.

He decided to talk about his condition in his show. This way he aimed to create awareness towards ESRD, dialysis and Kidney Transplant.

Natalie Cole

Nat King Cole’s daughter was diagnosed in 2007 with Hepatitis C thanks to the many years she spent consuming destructive drugs. The treatment she needed to go under to save her liver, allowed her to recover 80 percent of its capacity, however, it destroyed her kidneys. By the time she was diagnosed with ESRD her kidneys were only operating at eight per cent.

Natalie was taken to a hospital right after her ESRD diagnosed and had to spend several days plugged to a dialysis machine. Finding and organ donor wasn’t an easy task for her (as it isn’t a piece of cake for most people in America), and she had to spend eight months under dialysis treatment before someone decided to give one of its kidneys to her.

The way Natalie’s kidney donor was found is called a miracle by some people. Mrs. Cole had been treated once by a nurse named Esther, who knew Natalie needed to find a kidney donor. Esther had a niece named Jessica who died of a stroke during pregnancy. When Jessica’s family decided to donate all her organs, Esther said she knew someone who had been really nice to her who needed a kidney transplant. Finally, Natalie was able to find a kidney match and get her transplant.


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