FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Kidney disease may have cut Clyde Simms' professional soccer career short, but the modest midfielder is now turning his attention to a far bigger challenge.
The former New England Revolution player was forced to retire prior to the 2014 season due to a decade-long battle with a kidney disease, but he recently opened up about his physical condition.
“I’ve never really talked about this because I always chose the mind over matter approach, but my health has gotten to a point where I can no longer do that,” Simms said in a statement on the Revolution website. “I was very lucky to have had such a great run, but now it’s time to fight another battle.”
- YOU CAN HELP: Our Friend Clyde
It was recently revealed that Simms' condition has worsened and that a kidney transplant would be required. Now his former club is looking to rally the soccer community around Simms as he attempts to find a donor.
The North Carolina native discovered as a freshman in high school that he had Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis (FSGS), a disease that attacks the kidney’s ability to properly filter out harmful substances in the body by producing scar tissue.
On average, it can take up to four years to find a viable donor, and Simms has recently joined a list of nearly 100,000 Americans who are in need of a kidney. With his kidney function under 20 percent, the 31-year-old, who played seven seasons with D.C. United and two with the Revolution, may soon need to start dialysis if a proper donor is not found.
“I am normally a positive person, but it’s hard not to think about it,” Simms recently told The Washington 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.”
Fans can show their support by emailing Simms at firstname.lastname@example.org, and more importantly by learning about becoming a donor, not just for Clyde, but for the thousands of others in need.
To find out more about Simms’ condition and how you can help, please visit the Our Friend Clyde page on the Revolution website.