12 Days of Giving: The Story of Beloved Baltimore Raven’s Fan – Captain Dee-Fense

PHOTO: Captain Dee-Fense (left), a Baltimore HON (center) and Major Offense (right).

My Life …. My Story!

I was diagnosed with Stage 3 chronic kidney disease (CKD) on January 21, 2009 after getting some routine Lab work completed. The doctors discovered that my Serum Creatinine levels just weren’t right. I had some type of kidney problems when I was very young, but I didn’t’ know exactly what the issues were. The thing I really noticed was the Gout attacks were happening more frequently due to elevated uric acid level. The doctor told me he thought I had some degree of hypertensive nephrosclerosis also due to some medications I was taking like Motrin and Indocin. The Motrin and Indocin were for the Gout attacks. He switched my Gout medication to Colchine. He also told me the blood pressure medicine I was talking, Lisinopril, can have an irreversible effect on my Creatinine levels. But since it was controlling my blood pressure and I was tolerant of it, he recommended I stay on it.

I’m a very positive person by nature, I knew my attitude would be paramount in dealing with this “minor inconvenience” as I refer to it. I dealt with cancer previously, so I had a reference point. In my opinion, attitude is 80 percent of dealing with anything. I can control my attitude, so I can control CKD. If I wake up, it’s a good day, which means my good days are easily achievable. My good days aren’t tied to money or material things.

One thing I do daily is listen to or read something “positive” the first 15 minutes of each day. A video, tape or whatever, it sets my whole day up for success. Listening to news the first thing in the morning wasn’t a positive way to start my day.

Okay, I have CKD, what am I going to do about? My motto has always been in dealing with problems, acknowledge it, fix it and move on! I had to come up with a CKD (SIP) Self Improvement Plan.
The first thing I did was to read up on it and find out exactly what CKD means and what my options were. At the end of the day, the doctors wouldn’t solve this; it would have to be me because my health is my responsibility. I had to do whatever it would take to help my buddy, my kidney. I knew It couldn’t be cured but I could lessen the damage it was doing to my buddy. My high blood pressure was at the top of the list for controlling CKD. While I had it pretty much under control, I knew I had to be diligent to avoid any further concerns. Lifestyle changes such as losing weight, exercising, meditating and eating less salt helps lower your blood pressure. I never add salt to anything now and it doesn’t bother me.

I came up with a plan that could work for me and I started going to the gym. I’m not someone who likes to be “on a diet” because that would imply that it would be temporary which in reality it isn’t, it would be for the rest of my life. I had what I call my 1=4 theory. Since I go to the gym, it controls my blood pressure, cholesterol, glucose level and weight.

Since CKD doesn’t have outward symptoms, I had to get something as a constant reminder for me that I had CKD. I put a rubber band on my right wrist to remind me daily. In other words, the rubber band is my buddy. When I’m eating or wherever I’m doing, it’s a constant reminder. Anything I eat, I see and pull the rubber band. I’ll ask myself, is this good for my buddy, my kidney? Maybe I’ll only eat half or none at all. 
Being Captain Dee-Fense gives me the platform to share my story, my journey with so many people. It took me awhile, but I finally found my Life Purpose; to help, motivate and inspire people whenever possible, thereby giving my life a sense of fulfillment and happiness.

I attend several charity events a year, the National Kidney Foundation Greater Baltimore Kidney Walk, Relay for Life, Mothers Against Drunk Drivers, Lupus, Autism and many more. I visit people who are in the cancer unit at Johns Hopkins Medicine and I volunteer at seven senior citizens centers.

My goal is to help put a face on CKD and help to Inspire and motivate people to take control of their health and make life-long changes.

I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do”. ~ Edward Everett Hale

I wondered why somebody didn’t do something. Then I realized, I am somebody!

Make an impact – Won’t YOU be a beacon of LIGHT & HOPE for those who suffer with kidney disease? Your donation will have a huge IMPACT in our community.

DONATE TODAY – tomorrow is the final day of 2018 – YOUR best gift prior to year-end will make you a hero!