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Alonzo Mourning's All-Star Rebound

The NBA champ talks to WebMD about his recent battle with kidney disease, why he decided to team up with the National Kidney Foundation, and his enduring love for the game.

What single piece of health advice would you want your kids to take to heart?

Whatever you put in your bodies will have an effect on the way you feel. So put the right things into your body.

Zo's Fund for Life is your charitable organization that supports education, research, and financial relief for those suffering from kidney disease. To date, how much money has ZFFL raised, and what kind of impact has the organization had?

Zo's Fund for Life has raised more than $2 million dollars since its inception in 2001, and we continue to help with education from our expanding web site, patient assistance, and research at the Glomerular Center at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital. Through the feedback we have received from the web site, it is very necessary to continue to give updated information on kidney disease and, more specifically, on FSGS (the specific kidney disease that I was diagnosed with).

There is not enough information out there about it, and it is our mission to help answer some of those questions. I also know that I was blessed to have great insurance through the NBA to help with my medications and procedures. Not everyone has that, so we are trying to help through our patient-assistance program. Giving someone a little bit of relief through a tough time means a great deal. For more information about Zo's Fund for Life, please visit our web site at www.zosfundforlife.org.

You're 37, which is considered an advanced age in the NBA. How long will you keep playing?

I will keep playing until I feel that I have given everything I have left.

How do you feel about aging?

I am looking forward to it, because I have seen 70-year-old women who practiced yoga for more than 30 years and they have aged gracefully. I am looking forward to getting to that point and feeling good. It is a challenge -- and I always welcome a challenge.

Who are your heroes (either on or off the court)?

On court: Patrick Ewing, Hakim Olajuwon, Michael Jordan, and Julius "Dr. J" Irving. Off court: Any parent who is working to take care of his or her family and children.

What do you look forward to (daily, and/or in the long term)?

Spending time with my family, and then, my grandkids.

Originally published in the September/October 2007 issue of WebMD the Magazine.

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Reviewed on June 27, 2007

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