Ed Hearn was born August 23rd, 1960 in Stuart, Florida.In 1986, Ed made his major league baseball debut with the New York Mets. That same year, Ed made baseball history during the World Series Championship game in which he subbed for Gary Carter. The following season, Ed was traded to the Kansas City Royals for All-Star pitcher David Cone. Shortly after being traded, Ed suffered a shoulder injury so severe that he was sidelined and eventually forced to retire in 1990.Unfortunately, his shoulder injury would not be the only physical affliction that he would have to endure.In 1991, Ed was diagnosed with Focal Segmental Glomeruloscerosis (FSGS). To combat FSGS he has undergone three kidney transplants. In addition to being diagnosed with FSGS, Ed was also diagnosed with skin cancer and sleep apnea.He has successfully beaten numerous bouts with skin cancer; however, for the past 13 years, he has had to use a breathing apparatus to help him cope with his sleep apnea, the same disease that took the life of former NFL star Reggie White. Hearn takes up to 50 pills each day and must undergo an expensive IV treatment once a month to keep his FSGS at bay.Ed often suffered from depression and even contemplated suicide after his first kidney transplant.It was not until a chance encounter with a nurse that he was inspired to change his ways.The nurse had told Ed a story about a young woman who often complained about her ragged shoes until she happened across a man without any feet.It was this story that transformed Ed’s life and made him realize all the good that he had in life.From that point on, Ed embarked on a path of advocacy and philanthropy.Today, Ed is an unrelenting ambassador for the NephCure Foundation; promoting its initiatives across the country, traveling to hospitals and dialysis centers to bring hope to patients and speaking at symposiums to further the organizations mission.He also participates in fundraisers for other non-profits committed to fighting kidney disease and supports his family, wife Trisha and son Cody, through his work as an author and motivational speaker.In 1996, Ed wrote a well-known autobiography called Conquering Life’s Curves.He is the only current or former major league athlete to be awarded the designation of a Certified Professional Speaker and he has appeared in such notable media as The Oprah Winfrey Show, MSNBC, ESPN’s Cold Pizza, 700 Club, The New York Post and Nephrology News. Ed Hearn stands as a true hero and role model from the world of baseball who inspires us all to "keep swinging for the fences".Thanks to Matt Cerrone for bringing this story to our attention. After reading the website linked on Metsblog, I immediately emailed Mr. Hearn to try and get an interview and to promote his work for the NephCure Foundation. I quickly received a response and we have worked out a way for TRDM fans to get the opportunity to ask Ed Hearn a question. His only request is that we in turn go to this site: www.nationalpeeparty.org and vote for the NephCure Foundation between now and January 22nd. For more information on this charity and the drive click more info at the bottom of this post.Now back to the interview. Please post any questions that you have for Mr. Hearn in the comment section. A few of these questions will be selected to be answered on TRDM. <!--more More On the NephCure Foundation-->Help Kids With Kidney Disease from David D. Speace on Vimeo.The NephCure Foundation Launches"The National Pee Party" in Pursuit of $1 MillionKidney disease non-profit seeks everyone's vote January 15-22 in Chase Community Giving contest on Facebook, targeting need to fund research and populate clinical trialsBERWYN, PA (January 12, 2010) - The NephCure Foundation, a non-profit organization committed to finding a cure for devastating diseases that lead to kidney failure in children and adults, has launched The National Pee Party (www.nationalpeeparty.org), a campaign for public votes in the Chase Community Giving contest on Facebook. One of 100 charities that earned enough votes to qualify for Round 2, NephCure is competing for a $1 million grant in the program.Because thousands of children and adults in kidney failure are on dialysis and as a result can't pee, NephCure is funding research seeking treatments and a cure for these diseases, which have no approved or effective treatments. The two kidney diseases that NephCure focuses on are Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) and Nephrotic Syndrome (NS).The National Pee Party is a rallying point for NephCure during the Chase Community Giving initiative on Facebook.com with voting set for Friday, January 15 through Friday, January 22. The NephCure Foundation is the only kidney foundation among the 100 eligible charities in this final round of voting. Visit www.nationalpeeparty.org to vote. You must be a Facebook user to vote.Chase will donate $1 million to the charity that finishes first in this second round of voting and $100,000 to each of the five runner-ups. NephCure garnered enough votes in Round 1 to beat out some 500,000 eligible charities, thus earning $25,000 from Chase."One of the unique aspects of this campaign is that all people need to do to make a difference is vote," said Henry Brehm, NephCure's Executive Director. "We're not shy about asking people for money to fund our research grants. But in this case, we're having fun asking everyone to vote for NephCure on Facebook. It takes about 15 seconds and doesn't cost a dime. By simply voting and asking their ‘friends' to vote, people can affect the lives of so many people struggling with these devastating diseases."The money raised by NephCure during this voting will go towards the foundation's work with the National Institutes of Health's Nephrotic Syndrome Network Consortium (NEPTUNE), which involves several research hospitals in the US and Canada.NephCure's "Big Idea" is to create the National Pee Party Registry of patients suffering from these diseases which is vital for clinical studies. Locating and engaging these people is a task that requires exhaustive direct contact with Nephrologists and healthcare pros plus grass roots marketing to find the victims of these diseases, many of whom suffer silently. Creating The National Pee Party Registry of patients with FSGS and NS and integrating that registry with researchers is the goal.The $1 million will also help cover the cost of establishing a regional system for NephCure to hold free educational programs and place PSAs on TV and radio using NephCure Ambassadors Alonzo Mourning and Ed Hearn, NBA and Major League Baseball World Champions, and others affected by these diseases.Voters can join NephCure in the fight against FSGS and Nephritic Syndrome and vote at www.nationalpeeparty.org January 15 through January 22.Other relevant informational websites include: www.nephcure.org, http://apps.facebook.com/chasecommunitygiving/On-line Videos: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qoeuz2fVHGUhttp://vimeo.com/8603634NS and FSGS are conditions that affect the tiny filtering mechanisms in the kidney. The result is that beneficial protein is spilled from the kidney into the urine and lost. Over time this condition can result in renal failure and the need for dialysis or a kidney transplant. The cause for NS and FSGS is not known and there is no cure.Comprised of patients, their families and friends, researchers, physicians and other healthcare professionals, The NephCure Foundation, located in Berwyn, PA (20 miles west of Philadelphia) aims to help science unlock the biological mechanisms that cause these serious conditions and ultimately find a way to cure and prevent them.Because of privacy laws, The NephCure Foundation has a unique challenge in finding families affected by NS and FSGS. Therefore, in addition to fundraising for research and education, The NephCure Foundation devotes much of its efforts to identifying patient families. Further information for families or potential supporters can be obtained at www.nephcure.org or by contacting Miriam Long at mlong@nephcure.org.Chase Community Giving, a grassroots campaign launched November 16 to inspire a new way of corporate philanthropy, allowed Facebook's 350 million users to chose from more than 500,000 of their favorite small and local charities and vote for them to win their share of $5 million. Throughout the campaign, Chase Community Giving fans nominated tens of thousands of charities from all 50 states and the District of Columbia.