BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A new ambassador for health brings an urgent message to Baltimore. The Philadelphia rapper Freeway was in concert in Baltimore on Sunday. He was back on Friday for dialysis.
In September of last year, rapper Freeway — born William Roberts — was diagnosed with end-stage renal failure. His visit to MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital is part of a documentary about his life after his diagnosis.
“I actually have three risk factors: I have high blood pressure, diabetes and I’m African-American,” he said.
Kidneys clear waste products out of the blood. Keeping them healthy means a dialysis machine won’t have to substitute.
The 38-year-old Freeway hopes to reach others, who, like himself, may spend too long ignoring their health.
“So anybody with a family history of kidney disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, those people in particular really need to make sure that they get routine checkups to be assessed for the earliest signs of what could eventually be signs of kidney disease,” said Dr. Adam Berliner, MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital.
The disease brings Freeway to dialysis — four hours a day, three days a week. He admits to having done some — in his own words — inexcusable things growing up. He’s now trying to live up to a promise to give back.
According to the National Kidney Foundation, 26 million Americans have kidney disease, and most don’t know it.