Former All Blacks winger Jonah Lomu says he needs a second kidney transplant after the failure of the donated organ he received in a 2004 operation.
The 36-year-old retired star told the New Zealand Women's Weekly magazine he is hunting for a new donor to provide a replacement for his failed kidney.
In the meantime, he faces seven-hour dialysis treatments three times a week, he is highly susceptible to infections and he has lost 30 kilograms since he appeared in the opening ceremony of the Rugby World Cup last September.
Lomu's international rugby ended in 2002 after 63 test matches, largely due to ill health. He developed nephrotic syndrome, a degenerative kidney disorder, and in 2004 received a transplanted kidney donated by New Zealand radio personality Grant Kereama.
Difficulties in finding suitable donor
Lomu told the Women's Weekly that his kidney ceased working last October.
"We were hoping to see some improvement but nothing has made any difference, so the next step is to try to find a donor," Lomu said.
"I know I was fortunate to get the first transplant but there are more difficulties this time around. The match will be harder and the process of finding a suitable donor is difficult. The chances of my body rejecting this kidney are higher too.
Lomu recognises his luck
"I'm really lucky, I've already lived more in one lifetime than many would in six or seven lifetimes. The thing about being human is that everybody has to die sometime. For me, the important thing is to ask 'can you look in the mirror and say you done everything to enjoy life?'"
Lomu scored 37 tries in his 63 tests for New Zealand and was the individual star of the 1995 and 1999 World Cups. He became rugby's first international superstar, his fame spreading well beyond the sport's relatively narrow geographical boundaries.
(Sapa, February 2012)
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