Local teen with rare kidney disease to throw first pitch at Phillies Home Opener

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A local teenager is getting ready for the chance of a lifetime - to throw out one of the ceremonial first pitches at the Phillies Home Opener on April 7. (WPVI)

Today may not feel like baseball weather.

But believe it or not, the Phillies Home Opener is just one week away.

And a local teenager is getting ready for the chance of a lifetime - to throw out one of the ceremonial first pitches on April 7.

"I was kind of like lost for words, and then I was like 'whoa!' " said Fred Alward.

Registered Nurse Ali Gorman met up with the 15-year-old while he was undergoing dialysis. He always tries to stay positive, despite his health taking a scary turn recently.

Just several months ago, he was at the top of his game, playing football with the Stanton Steelers.

"It just came natural to me," said Fred.

Then in December, his mother says a routine physical revealed he had high blood pressure. When a headache followed, she took him to Nemours Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children.

There he was diagnosed with a rare kidney disease known as Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis or FSGS. His kidneys were barely functioning.

"I was scared. I mean a lot of emotions," said Fred's mother Cynthia Alward. "You just want answers, and sometimes you realize you don't get the answers you want. You just have to pick up the pieces and move forward."

Fred now spends three hours, three days a week, at dialysis, often with his family, including little brother Noah, by his side.

Melissa Nicely with the hospital says activities like Opening Day help to reshape a kid's experience at the hospital, bringing something more positive.

Fred is looking forward to it.

"I feel like I'll do pretty good. I just have to practice," he said.

He's also hoping for a kidney transplant.

"Just get back to my normal routine and just have a healthy lifestyle," said Fred.

His mother is undergoing testing to see if she can donate her kidney.

For more information about FSGS, CLICK HERE.

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healthhealthcheckphilliesPhiladelphia Phillies
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