PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia rapper Freeway made headlines when he was diagnosed with kidney failure four years ago. He recently received a new kidney and now the popular performer is an advocate for kidney health.
Freeway is back on top of the world.READ MORE: Brandywine Valley SPCA, Other Shelters Holding Mega Adoption Event This Weekend
“That’s the new kidney flow right there,” he said.
On Wednesday, the Philadelphia-bred rapper returned to the Art Museum steps for the first time in a long time.
Freeway, whose real name is Leslie Pridgen, was performing at the Made in America Concert four years ago when he didn’t feel well. He knew something was wrong and days later he got the diagnosis — kidney failure.
“Me being a celebrity and a star, I felt like I was invincible, I never thought this would happen to me but it did,” he said. “I had high blood pressure and diabetes and surprisingly just being African American put me at risk.”
Instead of folding, Freeway went to document as he juggled his performances and his health.
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“Every city I went to I had to do dialysis and flew to the next city. It was definitely a challenge but I did it,” he recalled.
He had a transplant last Frebruary and now he’s working with the National Kidney Foundation.
On Oct. 13, Freeway will take the stage at the Philadelphia Kidney Walk on the Art Museum steps.
“Having him share his personal story is huge, especially with young African American men is huge,” National Kidney Foundation program manager Marielle Van Thuyne says.
African Americans are at greater risk of kidney disease than others, which is something the rapper shares when he’s on stage.
While his passion is still music, he’s added advocacy with the goal of saving lives.MORE NEWS: Family, Friends Hold Memorial Event For Deadly Crash Victim James Sanders
“Just because you have an ailment or kidney failure, it’s not a death sentence. You can live a successful life,” Freeway said.