On January 1 of 2020, Dalton woke up at 3:00 a.m. with trouble breathing. That’s when he first knew something was wrong.
Shortly after problems with breathing continued, Dalton went to a fire station near his house and explained his symptoms to paramedics. His blood pressure was at stroke level and his oxygen level was low. He was rushed to a nearby hospital where he learned his kidneys were working at 20 percent. His doctor informed him that he needed to be on dialysis as soon as possible.
Dalton started dialysis immediately and has been going three times per week since then. He said that his wait for a new kidney could take up to eight-to-ten years, but if he can find a living donor with the right match, it could take as little as three-to-four months.
Former Chiefs DL Lional Dalton needs a kidney donor.
In these trying times, Dalton, nicknamed “Jelly Roll” during his playing career, has reached out in the NFL and Chiefs community to spread the word about being a donor.
“I know a lot of people are scared of donating organs,” said Dalton in an interview in a new episode of the podcast, Farz Cast. “I try to tell people, ‘What’s better than giving the legacy of life to somebody?’ One person who passed away could save eight to ten lives. I try to tell people the information, the facts about it, and try to make them feel comfortable about organ donating.”
Dalton knows many people are going through what he is going through and wants to spread the word about donating organs to help someone else who is in need.
“I had somebody get tested and her antibodies didn’t match my antibodies,” said Dalton. “But she went ahead and helped somebody else. It’s not really all about me. If I can’t get the organ, the person still donating to somebody who she could help. I’m just trying to help as many people as I can to spread the word. Hopefully in the process with me trying to do good work, maybe someone will bless me.”
Dalton joined Twitter earlier this year to try to get the word out about his story in hopes that it could lead to the match he is seeking. Dalton has a pinned tweet on his Twitter account that he hopes can get more retweets to help spread his story.
Dalton said even something as simple as a prayer means a lot to him.
“It helps me and my family,” Dalton said. “We read every post. We read every message because sometimes we have trying days and during my trying days, I really like to read those posts because they are uplifting and it helps push through those rough days.”
Dalton leans on his family to find optimism during a time like this. He said he wants to see his two-year-old daughter, the youngest of four children, get married.
“I try to remind myself why I am blessed,” he said. “I try to constantly tell myself about the good things in my life so I don’t think about the bad things that are going on. It’s easy for you to really go into that second place when you’re dealing with this because it shuts down your life and you can’t do as much as you used to do. I try to focus on the things I can do and try to focus on the things that are good for me and the blessings that I have.”