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Nate Robinson shares powerful story that helped him during his health crisis

The former Bulls point guard is using faith and appreciation for life to fight the depression from his kidney failure

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Former Bulls point guard Nate Robinson has been fighting kidney failure since 2018. He's been going through dialysis for years to help treat it, too.

Recently, he told Daily Mail he doesn't "have long to live" if he doesn't receive a kidney transplant.

"I know that I don't have long if I can't get a kidney," Robinson told Jake Nisse of Daily Mail. "I know I'm not going to have long to live. So I just want to make the best of it as much as I can.

Robinson goes through dialysis three days per week. Each session is four hours. He said he usually sleeps, reads, or watches a movie while going through treatment.

But the depression he faced at the beginning of his dialysis was crippling. He experienced some dark days.

"I lost it for a while for the first couple of years when I was on dialysis," Robinson said on "The OGs Podcast with Udonis Haslem and Mike Miller." "I didn't pick up a basketball for a while, man. I was just down in the dumps. I was too tired, wasn't doing nothing, was in the dark a lot."

The demands of consistent treatment paired with the fear of not knowing if you'll receive a transplant, or see another day, are brutal. Robinson said, too, he's made relationships with people at his treatment center who have died, despite receiving treatment.

At his treatment center, he learned to lock into a stronger, more positive mentality. Robinson has a stronger appreciation for life, knowing some people are going through worse times than him. And he shared a powerful story on the podcast of what helped him reach that mentality.

"When I go to dialysis, and I plug in, they clean my toxins and they clean my blood, and I'm going through my whole dialysis treatment," Robinson said. "There are different types of people that are sitting next to me that are going through the same thing. And every morning, I go into dialysis at 5:30 a.m. or something like that. And there's a lady and her son. Her son comes and sits with her. And she's blind.

"So she's blind and she has kidney failure. So it's like how can I be down or in the dumps about what I got going? She can't even see and she's going through what I'm going through. ... I humble myself. I be thankful for things that I do have. I can see, I can taste, I can feel, I can walk. There's a whole bunch of things that so many people go through that they don't get the chance to do any of those things. I take my time to really thank God for every opportunity."

Robinson told the "Playmaker" podcast that he learned he would eventually face kidney failure later in life due to high blood pressure when he was with the New York Knicks in 2006.

The warning didn't stop Robinson from captivating NBA fans with an electric career, though.

Robinson, 39, played 11 seasons in the NBA for eight different teams, including one season with the Bulls in 2012-13. That year, he played in all 82 games and averaged 13.1 points, 4.4 assists, 2.2 rebounds and shot 40.5% from three-point range.

Prior to his stint in Chicago, Robinson made a name for himself as a member of the Knicks when he became the first player in history to win the Slam Dunk Contest three times.

He's ventured into other fruitful areas outside of basketball, too. In 2014, Robinson released a book called "Heart over Height." That same year, he opened a chicken and waffles restaurant in his hometown in Seattle.

In 2016, he played for the Seattle Seahawks practice squad. In the podcast mentioned above, he donned a Seahawks chain. And in 2020, he trained in boxing, fighting Jake Paul in the undercard of the Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones Jr. exhibition match. He lost in the second round via knockout.

Robinson's made an incredible life. And despite going through a life-altering kidney disease, he's found a positive light to keep true through his treatments.

"I was like, man, that's not who I am," Robinson said about his depression. "I'm too positive. I'm too much of a positive person. I got too much life in me to be in the dumps like this. I never felt this before --- being depressed. It was hard, bro. It was really hard the first couple of years."

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