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NephCure Champion Spotlight: Jazrome “AJ” Coulter – NephCure

Jazrome was diagnosed at the age of 29. The onset of the diseased started when he was 27, resulting in him to be hospitalized for irregular heartbeat. His blood pressure at the time was 234/176 when recorded from his right arm, yet 99/78 when placed on his left arm. Initially, the doctors were going to discharge him. However, the medical team ordered a kidney biopsy that resulted in him being then diagnosed with stage 4 kidney disease. A year later his kidneys would fail and Jazrome spent six years on dialysis. This information is vital to his story: he didn’t discover he had FSGS until his third year of dialysis.

Jazrome remembers playing football in college and at the time weighing 250 lbs and could bench 585 pounds! Just to give you an idea of his size and the toll dialysis took on his body— today he weighs 165 pounds (170 pounds on a cheat day). He would give plasma during the week and the doctors would tell him that he was spilling protein. Jazrome never thought anything of it, until it started affecting his football career. He was only 22. Jazrome reports that due to his lack of knowledge regarding his diagnosis, he has so much respect for organizations like NephCure.

“Education and research n truly save lives. While also allowing patients and caregivers to live more comfortable lives. I had very little understanding of FSGS. Maybe, if I had the resources that are offered today, I could have avoided the transition from stage 4 to stage 5,” Jazrome said.

He recalls one summer he went to the hospital 26 consecutive times and at one point he suffered from a collapsed lung. However, last year, Jazrome received “the gift of life,” a new kidney! But he still has endure kidney-related issues as well as numerous medications and side-effects.

Jazrome is currently a touring comedian and works with 7 kidney organizations worldwide! He also has a non-profit named Diseased Jokes where he builds comedy benefits and raises money for different chronic-illness organizations. He is also the self-proclaimed “kidney comic” and wants to raise more awareness about FSGS. In his comedy set, he educates, motivates, and gives hope through humor.

To help continue to raise awareness about rare kidney disease, share your story with NephCure here.