Resilience. It’s not just the title of Alonzo Mourning’s stirring memoir; it’s the stuff he’s made of. Whether petitioning himself into foster care as an eleven-year-old, tirelessly studying his way onto the dean’s list at Georgetown University, making it as an all-star center in the NBA, or returning to peak form after organ-transplant surgery, Mourning has shown enormous inner strength. His faith, his determination, and his courage are what have driven and sustained him throughout his extraordinary life.
In 2000, Mourning was on top of the world: He had a fat new contract, an Olympic gold medal, and a second beautiful child–all that and the fame and wealth he had earned playing the game he loved. But in September of that year, he was diagnosed with a rare and fatal kidney disease. Over the next couple of years, as his health faltered, he retired, unretired, and retired again–and sought to make sense of the rest of his life.
Finally in 2003, after a frantic search for a donor match, Mourning had a new kidney and a new outlook. He vowed to make this second chance count by dedicating his life to others. He resolved that he would consider the disease a blessing, a revelation of God’s plan for him.
Although he battled his way back to the NBA, winning a championship with the Miami Heat in 2006, Mourning believed that the most important and fulfilling part of his life still lay ahead. Basketball, it turned out, was just the vehicle that would allow him to devote his talents and energies to a greater cause.
Alonzo Mourning’s return to basketball glory, already familiar to sports fans and non-sports fans alike, has inspired millions of patients suffering from kidney disease and living with dialysis, as well as organ donors around the world. By sharing his experiences of the physical, emotional, and spiritual roller coaster of illness and recovery, Mourning hopes to deliver a message of faith and fire, hurdles and hope, trust and triumph. Resilience is a story about the meaningful everyday lessons that he longs to share and about the things that truly matter in life.