Nick Cannon opens up about his fight with kidney disease

“Once every five minutes someone’s kidneys fail,” says Nick Cannon, who led this year’s Kidney Walk on Oct. 14 at the South Street Seaport.

Who was Nick Cannon’s biggest supporter when he buckled up against the kidney disease he was diagnosed with earlier this year? That would be “Dr. Carey,” what he affectionately calls his wife Mariah. The star opened up to us about his battle with the disease before he hosted this year’s National Kidney Foundation’s Kidney Walk, which took place last Sunday.

Walk us through what this past year has been like for you. How did you know that something was wrong with your body?

I didn’t know. I just thought I was more tired than normal and I just thought I could fight through it because usually that’s how I deal. I had pain in my right side and my lower back a lot. I got to a point where I couldn’t even walk, it made it really difficult for me to breathe, so at that point I was like this is probably more serious than I thought. My wife decided that I should see a doctor and then from there they thought it was a few different things. … They did  tests and I had minor kidney failure. From there it was just like, alright, now how do we fix this?

When your doctor gave you the diagnosis, how did you feel? Surprised? Scared? Hopeful?

I was definitely surprised. It didn’t seem like it was something that I would ever have to deal with. And then it was a difficult thing to understand so I just wanted to learn more — what was going on with my body and how I could fix it and how I could reverse everything that was going on. I wanted the doctors to tell me everything.

Have you had to change your lifestyle since the diagnosis?

Mostly everything that has changed has just been diet and making sure that I get a lot of rest. I’m someone who’s always on the go and never really gets a lot of rest. My doctors have made sure that that’s become something that was a priority.

That must be difficult since you have twins.

Yeah, absolutely, because they’re always awake.

Is it possible that your kids could inherit your illness?

We already checked on that. That’s not even an issue.

What kind of support has your wife given you throughout this?

The best support. I call her Dr. Carey. She’s been there for me more than anyone, making sure I’m taken care of.


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