Merritt, who lives and trains in Arizona, recognizes that it is a top priority. And now, amazingly, nine months after successful kidney transplant surgery, he's a favorite to make the U.S. team for the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro. Still, he said, "People should know that no matter what you're going through in life, if you keep your mind focused on something you want to accomplish, anything is possible. If patients have an organ from a living donor, in the way Merrit is receiving one from his sister, it will usually begin working immediately. This is the story of his recovery, by David Hunter, who has followed Aries this spring and summer. In 2015, he earned a world championships bronze medal with kidney function at less than 20 percent. However, he subsequently returned to play club rugby with Cardiff Blues after two years on the sidelines. If anyone deserves a relaxing cooldown, it's Merritt, seen here stretching out on a treadmill at the EXOS facility in Scottsdale, Arizona. In 2015, Aries Merritt was on top of an operating table. If you want remove this page, please contact us. He set the world record in the event a month later. Gold Medalist Aries Merritt on His Post-Kidney Transplant Olympic Comeback Plans: 'I Kept Pushing Forward' this link is to an external site that may or may not meet accessibility guidelines. He owns the world record in the 110 hurdles and won the Olympic gold medal in the event in 2012, yet Merritt calls the hurdles "your worst enemies.'' Meet the workers behind the face of one of America's most famous sports venues. The Olympic athlete underwent a kidney transplant last September. As impressive as that is, what he has been able to overcome over the past three years is even more amazing. You may have your attention fixed on Michael Phelps, Simone Biles and Usain Bolt at the upcoming Olympics, but Merritt is someone you had better keep in your mind, because his story is incredible and inspiring. "I am here in Beijing for mental sanity more than anything," he said. When Merritt received the news that his kidneys were functioning at just 10 percent due to a genetic disorder, he feared that he never would run again. Merritt ran 13.25 seconds to win his heat on Wednesday and qualify for Thursday's semi-finals in Beijing. "It hurts so much on the inside to know you are the best but you're struggling with this illness and you are just trying to fight through. Aries Merritt is a 2012 Olympic gold medalist and owns the world’s fastest time in the 110-meter hurdles. "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger,'' the lyrics say. After a transplant, patients like Merritt begin treatment with immunosuppressants to prevent their bodies rejecting the new kidney. Regardless of what his finish would be, Thomas said Merritt is an inspiration. But what could be more magical than what he has already done? Although he clipped the hurdles four times (which he usually does not do), Merritt ran the sixth-fastest time in the first round at the U.S. Olympic trials, good enough to advance to the semifinals. Lomu's new kidney was donated by New Zealand radio personality Grant Kereama, who said: "It's what you do for your mates". “Just my luck of the draw.” Merritt was in hospital from October 2013 to late April 2014. She's the one who donated her kidney to save him. In 2015, Aries Merritt, world record-holder in the men’s 110-meter hurdles, leaned across the line at the IAAF Beijing World Outdoor Championships in third place. Here's a look at how the contenders fared at this year's U.S. Olympic track and field trials. "I'd rather be out enjoying life because, who knows, this could be my last championship if the surgery doesn't go well.". A rare genetic disorder ravaged Merritt’s kidneys, leaving the reigning Olympic 110-meter hurdles champion in desperate need of a transplant. "The more I train the worse my kidneys get and that's why I am getting a transplant.". He underwent a transplant after returning from Beijing — receiving a kidney from sister LaToya. When he returned home he would undergo a kidney transplant. Prepping Churchill Downs for the Kentucky Derby is a massive task involving thousands of people. Almost four years after he broke the mark, Merritt remains the world-record holder. Aries Merritt Transplant to Success Aries Merritt was on top of the world in 2012, with an Olympic gold medal and a world record of 12.80 seconds in the 110-meter hurdles, and he recorded the most sub-13-second races in a single season by any athlete. Merritt walks into the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona, where he received his kidney transplant. But he won over a crowd that didn't know all that he has overcome. While shopping for groceries, Merritt is able to pick most food items that he wants. "After the Worlds, I'll focus on it," he added. by Photography by Bill Frakes, Baseball player Jake Hofheimer finds acceptance and community with his team. Here's a look at how the contenders fared at this year's U.S. Olympic track and field trials. She not only raised him, she helped nurse him back to health following his kidney transplant. '', Merritt just missed the Olympic team, finishing fourth by 1/100th of a second. The 88-pound high school senior, born without legs, didn't win a state wrestling title in Ohio. After the preliminaries, Merritt was somewhat fatigued. His season's best was 13.12 s, achieved in Eugene, Oregon and Oslo. "That I am here again running shows me that I'm a fighter and that I can overcome anything if I stay with a positive mind. The 30-year-old American was told he … From start to finish, the 100-meter dash takes mere seconds, but it takes years of training to cross the finish line first. But recovering from his kidney transplant was as challenging as anything he had faced. A month later, he broke the world record in the 110 hurdles at 12.80, bettering the previous mark by seven-hundredths of a second. Merritt was diagnosed with the disease in 2013 and was told his athletics career might be over. After advancing to the 110 final, Merritt hugs his mother, Linda Hubbard. As if training for his second Olympic Games wasn’t enough, hurdler Aries Merritt also underwent a kidney transplant, … He enjoys giving back and inspiring children through clinics. Four days after taking the bronze medal, Merritt underwent kidney transplant surgery. Two photo finishes: Olympic heartbreak as Allyson Felix and kidney transplant hurdler Aries Merritt do NOT make 2016 US team by .01 secs - in races where they won 2012 gold Asked whether he would give LaToya his gold medal if he won again in Rio, Merritt said she didn't want it. In 2013, Aries was diagnosed with collapsing FSGS (a genetic kidney disease), and in 2016 he received a kidney transplant in 2016 from his sister LaToya. And why wouldn't he? Hurdler Aries Merritt on the mend after kidney transplant ... Hurdler Aries Merritt on the mend after kidney transplant have 314 words, post on www.foxsports.com at September 9, 2015. With him were Sergey Shubenkov of … He remains hopeful he can defend his Olympic title in Rio next year. Baseball player Jake Hofheimer finds acceptance and community with his team. In the final of the 110m hurdles at the 2011 World Championships in Athletics, Merritt was initially classified 6th, with a time of 13.67 s. After Dayron Robles was disqualified, Merritt was promoted to 5th. Merritt says it has been "difficult" competing with his health issues. Juli 1985 in Chicago) ist ein US-amerikanischer Hürdenläufer, der sich auf die 110-Meter-Distanz spezialisiert hat. The finish was so close that determining those qualifiers took an agonizing amount of time. The Chicago-born athlete said he "felt like a weight was lifted" after being able to share his plight with others. Given all that he has gone through, Merritt clearly is even stronger in his attitude and approach to life. Merritt has quite a story to tell. Hurdler Aries Merritt on the mend after kidney transplant The narrow five-inch scar across Aries Merritt's stomach still aches from where doctors recently went in to place his new kidney. However, the new kidney can sometimes take up to six weeks to start working properly and patients need dialysis during this time. For nearly two years, Aries Merritt ran with a secret. "For this championships, I'm going to take it one race at a time.". And we mean Anything!''. Doctors encourage kidney transplant patients to resume active lives quickly. But dinner and meeting up with his 22-month-old niece, Lela, and his sister LaToya helped re-energize him -- just as his story should re-energize you. The challenge for Merritt, who turned 30 in July, will be to rejoin the world’s best. Meanwhile, reigning Olympic and world champion Caterine Ibarguen of Colombia was handed only her second loss in the triple jump since 2012. The kidney transplant doesn't stop Merritt from living life like everyone else -- after all, he competes like few others can. Merritt always gives it his all, even when his kidney only could give him 10 percent. Well, briefly. For Aries Merritt, victory in the 110 hurdles marked his first Diamond League victory since a kidney transplant two years ago. by Photography by Bill Frakes for ESPN, Zion Shaver left the wrestling mat to a rousing ovation last month. Before the operation, Lomu struggled to walk more than a few yards. The 88-pound high school senior, born without legs, didn't win a state wrestling title in Ohio. “You know they give you all the disclaimers,” Merritt said. Live on BBC TV, Red Button, Radio 5 live, online, mobiles, tablets and app. The normal waiting list for a kidney can be years; some patients die before they can get one. "I don't want to be sitting in my house cooped up in bed waiting for surgery. After a long postsurgical layoff, Merritt was able to get back into training. “It was a double whammy,” said Merritt. Hydration is always important for an athlete. Merritt had the lead in the 110 final with just three hurdles left to the finish line. He received the transplant from his sister less than a … He is involved in community outreach in the Knoxville, Tennessee area. One thing he can't eat, however, is pomegranates. Three days later, Aries Merritt had a kidney transplant. He still finished third. But he won over a crowd that didn't know all that he has overcome. For Aries Merritt, victory in the 110 hurdles marked his first Diamond League victory since a kidney transplant two years ago. He was able to get going in seven, then needed to wait several more weeks when his new kidney needed a second surgery in October. Merritt calls his sister LaToya Hubbard every day. Fortunately, Merritt is able to relax in his home afterward. Thursday, June 30, 2016 EGRAM.COM S 1 Aries Merritt begins defense of his Olympic gold medal in the 110-meter hurdles at the U.S. track and field trials. Merritt wasn't thrilled with his time of 13.64, more than a half-second off his world-record time, but he was happy to advance and is looking to do "something magical'' in ensuing rounds. Olympic champion and 110m hurdles world record holder Aries Merritt will have a kidney transplant next week. Running isn't enough for a world-class hurdler -- you must also lift weights to improve your strength. Ten months later, Merritt missed the … The Olympic athlete underwent a kidney transplant last September. Meet the workers behind the face of one of America's most famous sports venues. Last September, he underwent a kidney transplant. Merritt, right, won bronze in the 110-meter hurdles at the 2015 world championships in Beijing, four days before his kidney transplant. At that point, his kidney was functioning at just 10-15 percent, and he was scheduled for his transplant just days later. It's not surprising that someone who is a gold-medal hurdler would have a lot of shoes, and Merritt keeps his gear nicely organized. Merritt's tattoos pay tribute to his gold at the London Games in 2012 with a time of 12.92. ries Merritt won the gold medal in the 110 hurdles at the 2012 Olympics. Meanwhile, reigning Olympic and world champion Caterine Ibarguen of Colombia was handed only her second loss in the triple jump since 2012. In appreciation for his work, Merritt invited his kidney specialist, Dr. Les Thomas, to the trials. American Olympic champion hurdler reveals he is getting a kidney transplant Aries Merritt will have a kidney transplant next week after competing in the world athletics championships in … Merritt sits at Hayward Field in Eugene while Kelly Clarkson's song "Stronger'' plays over the speakers. Putting on his shoes for a training session, Merritt felt much better than he did when he donned them for the 2015 world championships in Beijing. American hurdler Aries Merritt will have a kidney transplant following the World Championships. Read about our approach to external linking. by Photography by Gail Fisher, Prepping Churchill Downs for the Kentucky Derby is a massive task involving thousands of people. Look a little more closely, and you might see the scar left on his abdomen from his kidney transplant. In the space of a month, he had achieved his two biggest career goals. Training for the Olympic trials in any sport can be exhausting. His doctors told him he had to wait eight weeks. After his transplant, Merritt wanted to begin training as soon as possible. Zion Shaver left the wrestling mat to a rousing ovation last month. Perhaps Netflix should make a series about him. It should also say "Undaunted by Anything. Leaping over the last hurdle, Merritt was behind Devon Allen and extremely close in the race to be among the next two finishers who would qualify for the Olympic team. Back and better than ever! His older sister LaToya Hubbard was the donor of a healthy organ. With Jason Hettler timing him and Olympian Muna Lee watching from the side, Merritt trains on a treadmill. Aries Merritt will not defend his Olympic 110m hurdles title in Rio after finishing fourth at the US trials following a kidney transplant. While to some it seemed like a bad day, beneath it all it may have been his greatest race. What he's done "is a way to say no matter how dark it may be, there is always a brighter spot. Most people can leave hospital after about seven to 10 days and should be able to do normal activities within a few months. Aries Merritt wasn’t sure he’d wake up after kidney transplant surgery. He wasn't in top shape and ran a shorter schedule than normal, but he went to Eugene determined to reach the Rio Games. Those words could have been written about Merritt. Here's one more demand required by the kidney transplant: Because of his immune system issues, Merritt can't clean up after his four dogs. Last updated on 26 August 201526 August 2015.From the section Athletics. New Zealand rugby union winger Jonah Lomu underwent a. after being diagnosed with a debilitating condition called nephrotic syndrome. But he still has big hopes for the future: He wants to win the world championships. She only wanted people to know she donated her kidney. Aries Merritt has a degree in sports management. "I love running, I love competing, this is my life and here I am.". 2012 wurde er Olympiasieger und stellte mit 12,80 s einen neuen Weltrekord auf. No matter how many hurdles Aries Merritt clears this week at the world championships, he knows there's an even bigger one waiting for him in a few days back at home -- a kidney transplant. Dr. Les Thomas, who treated Merritt, is so impressed by him that he traveled to Eugene to see him compete. "She gave me the gift of life,'' he says. It's easy to see the Olympic rings painted on the bottom of Merritt's pool. "When they told me I'd never run again, my whole world ended in my mind," he said. Merritt won bronze at the 2015 world championships in Beijing with his kidneys barely functioning because of a genetic disorder. Added to that, Merritt’s kidneys were being further attacked by parvovirus B16, which got into his kidneys and bone marrow and wreaked havoc on his body. Pizza, anybody? 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