Former Chiefs player fights for new kidney

Former Chiefs player fights for new kidney


KANSAS CITY, Mo. — While current Kansas City Chiefs players battle for positions, former Chief Lional Dalton is battling to stay alive.

Dalton played for the Chiefs for three seasons from 2004 to 2006.

“I remember good BBQ, I remember Gates, I remember feeling like I was playing in the 60’s when you pull up to the stadium and the fans are outside barbequing,” Dalton said.

Coincidently, around that time, he first learned about his condition early.

“The team doctor told me I had protein in my urine back in 2005,” Dalton said. “Protein in your urine is a sign of kidney failure. They didn’t tell me it was issues with my kidney, they just told me I had protein in my urine. And so, my kidney’s probably been falling since ’05”06.”

Nearly 15 years later, in January of last year, he started losing breath. After trying multiple forms of medicine, he checked with a doctor and found out he had end stage kidney failure, Renal Disease.

“When I first went to the hospital, I thought, kidney failure, am I about to die?” Dalton said.

He was immediately put on dialysis, something he does three days a week for four and half hours.

“Some days in dialysis I feel drained,” Dalton said. “Starting to work out again I have some normalcy right now.”

Still living through plenty of restrictions in his diet.

“This is harder than training camp, this is so strict, what I drink, what I eat, how long I’m in the sun,” he said.

And even battling COVID-19 four months ago.

“That’s the main part that sucked, because you couldn’t have anybody in the hospital,” he said.

Currently living in Atlanta, he continues to battle, as he continues the search for a Kidney.

“I used to get angry, I thought about can I fly to India somewhere, China, get a kidney,” Dalton said. “You have all types of thoughts in your mind. But, for me, I just try to stay hopeful.”

Lionel put his name of the list in multiple cities, including Kansas City, which he says has one of the shortest waiting lists in the country for a kidney transplant. He’ll have to set up appointments for dialysis treatment in the area. But awareness of his cause through a website New Kidney for Jellyroll has helped. 

“It’s hopeful, I have a few people being tested, hopefully becoming donors,” he said.

And helped others in need.

“I’ve had people, who couldn’t donate to me, but donated to other people, so, indirectly I’m helping other as well,” he said.

For this nine year NFL veteran who did so much to stay on the field, now, he fights to stay alive and pray a donor will come. 

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