Lyrics for Life: Hip Hop Artist's Lifesaving Move

FRESNO, Calif.

28-year-old David Petterson, known on the mic as David "Rush," raps about his new life. The old one was killing him.

"When you're running around at that age, you're really not thinking of your kidneys shutting down," David "Rush" Petterson told Ivanhoe.

A few years ago, he was 400 pounds and told he had one year to live. Rush just signed a multi-year music deal. Thanks to rigorous performances, he started losing weight -- allowing him to get on the organ recipient list.

"When it came to that point where it needed to be done, my mind was already made up," Rush told Ivanhoe.

Rush's big brother -- and road manager -- Dwaine Haskins was a match. The operation in November 2010 was a success but not without setbacks.

"I developed a blot clot," Dwaine, Rush's brother, told Ivanhoe.

The clot traveled to Dwaine's leg and lung. He is now under a doctor's care. Even with the risk, nephrologist Jeffrey Feldman encourages all who can to donate, especially African Americans.

"Patients, particularly African Americans, will present with severe, moderate severe kidney disease," Dr. Feldman told Ivanhoe.

In fact, African Americans are four-times more likely than Caucasians to develop kidney failure. However, a new survey finds that just 17 percent of African Americans with kidney failure knew that it's a consequence of diabetes and high blood pressure. African American men ages 20 to 29 are 10-times more likely to develop kidney failure.

New technology is helping the quality of life, like the NxStage dialysis machine, which patients learn to use at home. Rush took his dialysis machine on the road, cleaning his blood backstage between concerts until he got his new kidney.

Early kidney disease has no symptoms. If left undetected, it can progress into kidney failure with little or no warning.

Kristen Mulligan
Media Relations

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