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NEW Zealand All Black giant Jonah Lomu, 29, was one of the most formidable forces in rugby union until he was brought down by kidney disease. The 116 kilogram winger was hooked up to a dialysis machine during a visit to Sydney this week when he spoke to Frank Walker about overcoming illness and making a comeback on the field. Jonah, what's it like being on the dialysis machine? Basically they just put a line into my arm and I sit there for a few hours.
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At home I sleep with the line in overnight five times a week, but when I am travelling I hook up for five hours each time. I have nephrotic syndrome, which means my kidneys are shot so my blood has to be cleaned out. I have to spend more time on the machine than others because I'm a bigger bloke. How long will this go on? Until I find a compatible donor. I hear less than 50 per cent get transplanted in three to four years. The other 50 per cent have to wait.
It all depends on getting the right donor. Plenty of friends and fans have come forward to offer me a kidney. Under the rules, you have to have an emotional attachment to the person donating the kidney. I have three friends who have volunteered to go through the process and one is going through the final stages. So I am hoping it might happen before the end of this year. When did you first discover you had this kidney problem? At the end of 1994, and we confirmed it in 1995 by having a biopsy done. I was 19. I was just at the start of my rugby career, getting my first game for the All Blacks against France in June 1994.
The doctors just said to see what happened and see whether I grew out of it or if it would deteriorate. It was a roller-coaster. It sure kept my life interesting. At the end of your autobiography [Jonah: My Story], you write "Watch this space". You say you have your eye on the 2007 World Cup in France. Could there be a Lomu comeback in the next year or so? Oh, definitely. It all hinges on how successful the transplant is. I keep my strength up by doing exercises after I've been on dialysis. It's not as bad as it sounds. It's just a big amount of time hooked up. The hardest part is sitting watching the sun outside and you can't go out.
You say in your book you are going for the world record for the loudest decibel level in car speakers. How's that going? We decided to give it a go. The mob I'm with broke the Australasian record with 169.1 decibels and we're talking of having a go at the world record in Nashville in November. They're chasing 174. It's called decibel drag racing. I like all sorts of music R&B, reggae and jazz. You had a tough start in life, being involved in street gangs in South Auckland and getting into trouble as a young teenager. But getting a scholarship as a boarder to Wesley College and playing rugby seemed to have saved your life. It did, definitely. Read more: What are The Speaker Sizes in My Car | Speaker Size for My Car
It was the best thing that ever happened to me. Rugby and the world around it was great for me. I am still reasonably active in the rugby world and there are so many options and so much work I can do in it, like speaking and promotions. I am very, very active. Rugby is an international family. You have all these great battles against your opponents on the rugby field but over the years you make tremendous friendships. It is a great bond. I have great friends in France, Italy, Ireland and the UK. I'll bet Mike Catt, the English fullback you went over like a steam train in the 1995 World Cup semi-final, doesn't call you up every week.
No, but I've met him a few times since then and he's a good man. I guess he doesn't mind that try now as England's got the World Cup and we haven't. You were the youngest All Black aged 19 and 45 days. What did pulling on that black jersey mean for you, as Kiwis seem to get a couple of feet taller dressed in black? It was so surreal. At the time the guys I ran onto the field with were the guys I worshipped while watching the games on TV.
I couldn't imagine playing with them. We lost that first Test I played against France, and the second, but I had the taste and wanted more. I was grateful for the chance to keep on playing. Who would you rate the toughest Wallaby you have played against? That is a tough one. Ben Tune would be up there. Stirling Mortlock is another. There are quite a few tough characters, but the one who would take the icing on the cake would be George Gregan. He's like a parasite. He gives it to you and you just can't seem to get rid of him.
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He disappears and then he pops up in the weirdest places and he causes havoc. He's only half my size but, mate, he brought me down. He does really, really well and he's a feisty character. He is a great leader and an awesome player. You married Fiona last year. How has that changed your life? It has made me feel so complete, which is good.
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Is it too big for handlebar due to small diameter circumference?
Is this the light,
or this light?
See the handlebar on Schwinn Ranger is small and it won`t fit but need something to put it in as cut up old tube or make a thick rubber strip to wrap around it to fit.
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