Australian cricket star Cameron Green has spoken for the first time on the “irreversible” kidney disease that he has been living with.
Green was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease at birth with doctors telling his parents there was a chance he wouldn’t live beyond 12 years of age.
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The 24-year-old has since thrived to become a key member of the Australian cricket team across all three formats.
Speaking about the disease for the first time, Green explained his kidneys don’t filter the blood as well as others.
“Chronic kidney disease is basically a progressive disease of your kidney’s health function. Unfortunately, mine doesn’t filter the blood as well as other kidneys,” he told Channel 7.
Cameron Green speaks exclusively to Channel 7. Credit: Seven
He said his kidney functionality was at about 60 per cent at the moment which was stage two.
“With chronic kidney disease there’s five stages, with stage one being the least severe, and stage five being transplant or dialysis,” he said.
“Fortunately, I’m stage two, but if you don’t look after them enough, it easily goes back down.
“Kidneys can’t get better. It’s irreversible. So any way you can find to slow the progression, you basically try and do.”
Green considers himself very lucky that he isn’t affected physically as others are with the same disease.
While he is lucky now, Green’s mother Bee Tracey was “scared” when the problem was first spotted on an ultrasound during her pregnancy.
“I was at my 19-week scan and they picked up that he had thickening of his bladder, they said it was a urethral valve blockage where the urine basically backflows to the kidneys and they wouldn’t develop properly, so it was quite a shock,” she said.
Green’s father, Gary, said that the original prognosis was distressing.
“At the time it was uncharted territory as such, the prognosis wasn’t great,” he said.
“There were life-expectancy issues that he might not expect to live past 12 years of age.”
Green has largely been unaffected by the disease throughout his cricket career, although there have been some instances of cramping during games that could be attributed to the kidney problem.
“There was definitely one time up in Cairns, playing Australia versus New Zealand, I think it was pretty well documented that I had a pretty long day of bowling and a pretty long bat as well, and then had a cramping episode,” Green said of the ODI in September 2022.
“It took me a long time to realise that it was probably my kidney function that was affecting my cramping.
“I always thought I didn’t drink enough, didn’t eat enough, didn’t look after myself during the game as well as I could have, but I think over time I realised that I was doing absolutely everything right, but I was still cramping, unfortunately.”
While Green has kept his condition out of the public spotlight, some members of the cricket world have been informed as well his Australian teammates and coaching staff.
Green has gone public in the hope that his story will help other sufferers and their families.