S.6/E.1 

FSGS Kidney Disease

Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) is a disease in which scar tissue develops on the parts of the kidneys that filter waste from the blood (glomeruli).  Our guest today is Jon Rankin,Jon is a runner that discovered he had this disease as he was taking a physical for the Olympics. Jon was the 17th African American man to break the 4 minute mile.

In the spring of 2008, Jon Rankin was ranked among the best milers in the world. He had run a personal best of 3:53 for the mile and was ranked 4th in the US by Track and Field News that year. He was a favorite to finish in the top 3 at the US Olympic Trials and qualify for the 2008 Olympics later that summer. As part of a routine physical prior to the Trials, he was diagnosed with a terminal, incurable chronic kidney disease called focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS). Despite the diagnosis and his reduced kidney function, he finished 6th at the Trials, earning an alternate spot on the team.

 

Three years later, Jon received an experimental stem cell treatment that appears to have reversed his chronic kidney disease. He is the only known person in the world to have received this treatment for FSGS. He is now completely healthy and is once again pursuing his Olympic dream, this time in the marathon. Jon is also committed to sharing his kidney disease story and advocating for research into stem cell treatments for chronic kidney disease sufferers via his public speaking and his inspirational apparel company Go Be More.