Make It Last Update: Kevin Clark Got His Transplant, Now He’s Getting In Shape For Creed II
In March of 2015, MadameNoire published a special edition of our marriage column “Make It Last,” telling the story of Danielle and Kevin Clark. At the time, Danielle and her then-fiancé Kevin, were waiting to walk down the aisle in September of that year. They were also waiting for Kevin, who suffers from a kidney disorder known as Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS), to receive a transplant. Now married — and off of the transplant list — Kevin is sharing the next chapter in his story with us.
At the top of this year, I received a life-saving gift from friend (and fellow scribe) Anslem Rocque. He donated his kidney to me and on January 31, I had a transplant surgery that took me off of peritoneal dialysis and back on track to live a healthy and full life. Every second that I’m able to experience this time with you all is a blessing, one that I am thankful to the Creator for, and to my brother for as well. Suffice it to say that a brotha is not trying to go back to his old life, no matter how hard that is, which is why I wanted to take steps lay that previous person out to pasture.
Once I crossed the six-month threshold in my recovery, I was able to begin doing early morning workouts. Summer was in full swing and I would walk my dog, Dora Milajé, and get in some light stretching and cardio at the same damn time. The sun was pure energy fuel. I would come back home beaming, brimming with ideas, and ready to create more stories for you all to enjoy. I did this for quite a while, gaining small physical gains in the process. Ultimately, though, I eventually succumbed to my greatest opponents: fear, despair, and depression. This battle, from diagnosis to recovery, has been real, but I’ve never stopped confronting it directly. The process currently has me on the ropes, but it was the assist of a neighbor that has me swinging for the K.O.
Over the past month, I have been in the gym with Charles Brown, founder of The Charles Brown Experience, a life coach/self-defense exercise that works on your mental, physical, and spiritual strengths. With this new training has come new motivation and new goals: (1) Increase my flexibility and (2) Get Wiz Khalifa gains. As of the date I submitted this piece, I earned about nine of the 25 lbs I hope to pack on to my 5’8 ½” frame. Exercise has been a welcome addition to my life since becoming underemployed in June of this year. Training gives me something to do. It energizes me to succeed throughout the rest of the day. I’m excited to have someone who can help me along on this journey because the easiest thing—as we all know—is to give up when the workout gets too hard. The deadline that my trainer and I agreed to have made half of my progress is on my birthday, today, November 21, which also happens to be the date of the Steven Caple Jr.-directed Creed II movie.
Michael B. Jordan, Tessa Thompson, and Sylvester Stallone return to continue the story of Adonis Creed, the only son of boxing legend Apollo Creed. After shocking the world with his arrival in the ring, the end of the first film found Adonis earning the respect of his peers and putting the rest of the competition on notice. In the sequel, Rocky Balboa’s tutelage helps Adonis to become the newly crowned light heavyweight champion, which sparks the return of an opposing figure responsible for shattering both Adonis and Rocky’s lives. As someone who will always have FSGS, I spent almost six years fighting against its effects on my life. I’d be knocked to the corner (or in my case, the hospital) and have to take shots to the body that routinely left me hunched over. Now, as a post-transplant patient, I want to be ready for that next face-off.
Wiz is my body goals, but seeing the trailer for Creed II had me burning like The Human Torch to change myself for the better. I’m sure MadameNoire readers have the visuals committed to memory, but the standout part for me comes at the 1:20 mark when Adonis says (in a shot while holding his newborn child), “I want to rewrite history.” I don’t come from an elite family, most of my people haven’t even hopped on an airplane. And I never had a mentor/motivator like Rocky trying to help me be my best self through fitness until Charles Brown. That moment in the film signifies everything that I felt this year to be, good and bad, because it has been a year full of firsts –all thanks to this new organ in my body that I plan on treating in the best way. So, I’ll continuing busting arse, doing leg lifts, squats, yoga, boxing, stretches, push-ups, arm extensions, and all that in my pursuit of my goal to rewrite my own history.
To read the first part of Kevin’s story, click here.