In his prime, Andrew Cole was one of the most feared strikers in world football. Then at Manchester United, the Englishman formed a deadly partnership with Dwight Yorke that ultimately led to the unique 1999 UEFA Champions League, Premier League and FA Cup treble, a feat that has not been matched 21 years after.
Now 48 years old, Cole is not in the best of shapes due to a kidney disease he has been battling with for six years.
Cole suffered kidney failure in 2014 after contracting a viral ailment during a foreign trip. To save his life, he had to undergo a kidney transplant in 2017 with his nephew donating the kidney.
Now, the former striker who joined Manchester United from Newcastle United in 1995 for a British player record £7m and helped the Red Devils to huge success, is working to raise money to fund advanced research into kidney disease. The fund will also help boost patients' mental health as they deal with the debilitating condition.
Cole, who won eight major trophies in eight seasons at Manchester United and was Premier League top scorer in the 2003/2004 season while at Newcastle United, has admitted that he has struggled mentally with accepting his current condition.
“I’ve been mentally strong enough to play football, but this is the toughest battle I’ve ever had to deal with,” Cole told the Manchester United website on Thursday while narrating how he was ‘dying inside' mentally.
He also revealed that while the physical battle is very hard, the mental aspects are tougher.
As against widely held misconceptions, medical experts insist that transplanted kidneys do not last a lifetime. They indeed last for between 10 and 15 years.
Cole’s efforts will go into raising funds to help researchers develop solutions that will make transplants last for life with no limitations of time and also aid patients in coping better mentally.
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