In an interview with the Washington Post on Wednesday, former Revolution midfielder Clyde Simms, who’s battled a rare kidney disease since he was a teenager, revealed that he will require a kidney transplant.
Simms, 31, who privately fought Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) during his nine-year MLS career (2005-2013), disclosed his condition when he retired in February. His kidney function, which was 20 percent at the time of his retirement, had recently dropped to 14 percent, prompting Simms to place himself on the wait list for a transplant.
“I’m young, I’m healthy, I’m active,” Simms, 31, told the Post on Wednesday. “People think it only happens to those who don’t care take of themselves. It’s a silent killer; there aren’t usually any symptoms. It happened to me and it can happen to anyone. If someone learns more about it and gets evaluated, it will make me happy. That’s my number one goal.”
According to the UNC Kidney Center, FSGS causes a scarring of the kidney, and hampers the organ’s ability to filter blood appropriately. When kidney function drops to 10 percent, patients with the disease require life-saving dialysis.
With his kidney function dropping from 20 percent to 14 percent within a matter of weeks, Simms placed himself on the national wait list for a transplant. According to the National Kidney Foundation, 99,000 Americans are currently on the wait list. The typical wait is four years.
In the meantime, Simms, is hoping to raise awareness about kidney disease. He will be filming a public service announcement with the backing of the Revolution this week. The club also set up a link on its website to promote awareness of kidney disease, as well.
Simms, who lives in the Boston area, is also staying busy as he prepares to open up a spinning studio in Dedham, Mass. But even though intends to remain active, the thought of the disease is never far from his mind.
“I am normally a positive person, but it’s hard not to think about it,” Simms told the Post. “With kidneys, you do have options. It’s not like a heart or lung where you have to have a transplant. There is some hope. It’s not ideal, but it’s what I have. By spreading the word and educating people, I feel like I can accomplish a lot.”