Former Ravens DT Lional Dalton waiting for a kidney transplant

Ravens, Lional Dalton Mandatory Credit: Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
Ravens, Lional Dalton Mandatory Credit: Doug Pensinger/Getty Images /

Nearly 20 years after advocating the need for organ donations, former Baltimore Ravens defensive tackle Lional Dalton is now in search of one.

In January 2020, Dalton was diagnosed with end-stage kidney failure.  End-stage kidney failure is the final stage of chronic kidney disease. Patients in this stage must receive dialysis or a kidney transplant in order to survive.

Dalton, 46, has been receiving dialysis for five hours a day, three days a week, according to ESPN’s Jamison Hensley.

Dalton is just one of the 650,000 individuals facing end-stage renal disease and one of 114,927 in need of a life-saving transplant.

The average wait time for a kidney transplant is 3-5 years in the United States. It could be longer in other geographical locations around the country.

According to the Health Resources and Services Administration, 17 people die per day waiting for an organ transplant.

Former Ravens defensive tackle Lional Dalton is continuing his wait

The wait for a transplant is something Dalton doesn’t have time for. His need for a new kidney is significant, meaning he won’t survive much longer without one.

“Waiting for a kidney is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do,” Dalton told Hensley. “I used to fight for my team on the field, but now I am fighting for my life.”

Dalton believes his prognosis is due to the aftermath of playing nine years in the NFL. After years of tackling on the football field and taking medication for pain, it took a toll on his health.

“They give a pill for everything,” Dalton told Hensley. “What happened in January [2020] was an accumulation of all the Motrin and anti-inflammatory medication. All that stuff wears on the kidneys. If I would have known in 2005 about my issues, I would have stopped taking all those pills when I was playing. But I didn’t know. That’s why I’m in the position I’m in right now searching for a donor.”

The City of Baltimore has been a special place for Dalton and could be where he finds a donor.

"“When I think back on my life, a lot of firsts were in Baltimore. I met my wife in Baltimore. I finally became financially stable in Baltimore. My son, my firstborn, was born in Baltimore. The first team that picked me up was Baltimore. I’ve got a lot of great memories from Baltimore. So the fact that someone from Baltimore reached out save me, it’s like, wow. I’ve got a lot of support and love for Baltimore.”"

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To find out more about Lional Dalton’s journey and search for a living donor, visit this link.