Gabriel Mvumvure's race for his life
BATON ROUGE - "One doctor in the hospital told me you have about 5 or 6 years. That's what he's seen in young people. And I would love, and believe I have a life ahead of me."
Gabriel Mvumvure is in a race for his life, but overcoming long odds isn't something he hasn't done before.
The former Tiger was a national champion sprinter at LSU in 2008, before more recently becoming an olympian for his home country of Zimbabwe this summer.
"There some things that you actually feel like a dream is coming true. At that time, I didn't really care what happened in Rio. I was just happy that out of the billions of people in the world, I'm going to be one of the thousands that actually represent his country in the olympic games."
Gabriel made a name for himself on the track at LSU, respresenting LSU on the worlds' biggest stage. But after coming home from Rio, he was diagnosed with kidney failure due to high blood pressure. Now he's fighting sickness every day.
"It was around October, I just started feeling like I had stomach pains. I was getting sick, nauseous, fevers, and I felt like I was about to pass out. So then the paramedics got called and took me to the hospital."
LSU track and field coach Dennis Shaver remembers, "It was heartbreaking for all of us to know that he was in that type of condition suffering."
"Unfortunately my kidneys had worsened because they were struggling monitoring my blood pressure or lowering it down. That caused a lot of damage on my kidneys."
The damage causing Gabriel to have start dialysis, a treatment that's doing his kidney's work for him.
"Now if I want to live a normal life, I have to do a transplant because they say dialysis in young people really cuts your life spand."
"This is something that has to be done. For me, Gabriel is like a son, and you really do hurt and try to help."
Coach Shaver and LSU now raising money for a kindey transplant, and all Gabriel can do is wait. But no matter what happens, he's not giving up hope.
"I don't know, it's something within me being an athlete. I believe that it doesn't matter how big an obstacle is there's always someway to get out. I just hope that we reach the goal, but if we don't reach the goal I'll still be grateful that they at least gave me an opportunity to live this out."
An opportunity he hope comes in the next two or three months. As soon as the Tiger Athletic Foundation can raise $250,000, Gabriel's treatment for a kidney transplant can begin. To donate, click here.