Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Mourning To Sit Out Season

Alonzo Mourning (CAS’ 92) announced that he was diagnosed by his doctors with focal glomerulosclerosis in a news conference yesterday. The disease leads to kidney failure in more than half of its cases. However, there are no immediate plans for a kidney transplant or dialysis for Mourning.

The illness has taken its toll however, as the 30-year-old ourning will miss the entire 2000-2001 season with the Heat.

“I feel great right now. We’ve pretty much got a hold on the whole situation right now,” Mourning said in a news conference. “The main objective is to get me healthy so I can live my life normally, so I can see my babies grow up, and so I can enjoy my family.

“And, at the same time, possibly do the things that I know and love and that’s the game of basketball. But the key right now is to get me healthy.” The news conference marked the first time that Mourning has spoken publicly about his ailment.

In spite of losing his star center for the year, Heat Head Coach Pat Riley knows that Mourning sitting out the 2000-2001 season is for the best.

“We’re totally convinced that the only thing that should be on his mind is getting healthy,” Riley said.

According to Mourning’s doctors, the condition, which was discovered during a routine examination two weeks ago, is similar to that of the San Antonio Spurs’ Sean Elliot. Elliot, who had a kidney transplant last year, has spoken with Mourning regarding the condition.

Focal glomerulosclerosis causes the kidneys to leak protein into the urine. Should it go untreated, the leaking can cause scarring and eventually cause the kidney to cease functioning, requiring a transplant.

Dr. Gerald Appel, of Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in New York, is confident that the condition is not linked to a more serious problem.

“I am very confident this is not related to HIV disease, it’s not related to drug abuse, it’s not related to steroids or anything Alonzo did,” Appel said.

Appel also said the cause of the illness is unknown.

While Mourning will undergo treatment for the disease, roughly half of the cases develop chronic renal failure. The disease used to be the fourth largest cause of death in the United States.

Appel maintains hope that the treatment will succeed and ourning will return to the hardwood.

“Many of the patients, when we turn off the protein entirely with these medications, they come off the medications and lead an absolutely normal life and they can do whatever they want.

“If they’re a school teacher, they go back to that. If they’re a lawyer or a doctor, they go back to that. And if they’re a basketball player, they go back to that,” Appel stated during the press conference.

Mourning remains optimistic about his condition and his treatment.

“I’m a blessed individual – I have a lot to be thankful for,” Mourning said. “There are a whole lot of people that are worse off than me.”

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