My name is Tyler Ransom and I have been battling nephrotic syndrome since I was 2 years old, I am 11 now (2012).
Martial arts has been a part of my life, since as far back as I can remember and I think, no I know, it has helped and continues to help me battle nephrotic syndrome and helps me with everyday life.
I have had some of the best instructors in the world and I have learned what I call nephrotic syndrome lessons from each of them. I use pretty much all of the things they have taught me and from rolling and on mats to how I approach school, deal with friends and how I battle against this kidney illness. I’ll start with when I first began, which was at age 3 doing kinder karate at Ken Nagayama Martial Arts, my instructor was Mr. Juan Vargas.
Mr. Vargas taught me to be respectful to not only people that are older than me, but to everyone. Respect is something that I try and show everyone, when I go to get my blood drawn, go to my primary doctor, go to my other doctors outside of traditional medicine, I show them all respect the same thing with my family, friends and people I meet for the first time.
After I left Karate at the age of 6, I switched arts and trained with Dartanian Bagby at Dartanian Jiu Jitsu. It was tough as it was nothing like what I learned in karate, so it was like starting over. Dartanian taught me to help people that are not as good. In his classes when we rolled, the smallest two went first and the winner stayed to face the next person who was bigger and it kept going. The bigger person would not destroy the smaller person, he would let him learn and kind of teach him. Whenever I get emails from other kids who look at this site and they just got diagnosed and they ask me a ton of questions, I answer all of their questions. I take the time to share with them the meds I have taken, and things that have helped me. It’s like they are the younger kid or weaker kid and I am helping them, like at Dartanian’s with the rolling and sometimes the kids are way older than me, like 18 or even some 20 year olds and as far away as Russia.
After little over a year I went to train at Hollywood Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and my instructor was Steve Cardenas. I had been training there for a couple of months before my dad told me that Mr. Steve, had been a Power Ranger. I looked it up online and watched so many episodes, and I couldn’t believe my teacher had been this character and he never told any of us in the class. From Mr. Steve, I learned how to be humble. A lot of times if any of my classmates look at my site and they are UFC or Jiu Jitsu fans they watch the videos and then tell everyone about them. I have never bragged about whom I have met or if I am any good at Jiu Jitsu. I just let them say what they want and I just thank them for looking at the site and I tell them about other kids I know who aren’t doing as well as me. Speaking of the other kids who have nephrotic syndrome, many times when I go to walks or even just through email, the kids act like I am kind of like a celebrity or something and I let them know I am just like them, no better no worse. Mr. Steve being humble showed me that I don’t have to brag about things to get people to like me, I am just myself. (Hope this makes sense).
My next stop where I still train once a week for over three years now is the Gracie Academy with Ryron Gracie. Ryron is like a family member to me, I am not sure how he feels, but that is how I feel. I remember when I first went there I was not use to getting tapped out, because I use to win in rolling a lot. When I went there the amount of kids was like triple what I was use to and some of them were really, really good. Like the first or second week, I had to tap and I started to cry really hard when my dad and me left. Ryron came outside and talked to me about tapping out. He told me that when he was my age he would get tapped out thousands of times, and by getting tapped out he knew he was getting better. He explained to me that when you get tapped, you learn, you learn how not to get tapped by that move again, you learn to defend better, you learn to overcome your fears. I have used this lesson every time I have a relapse, or I have more medicine to take, or when my arm hurts so bad because of the scar tissue stuff they have to switch arms and take blood from my left arm instead of my right. I learned that I am not always going to win, and that by losing I learn and I can get stronger.
The other place I have been training at for a few months in an adult class is Dynamix MMA with Henry Akins. I really like the training there and the adults are all very nice to me. Henry is an awesome teacher and from the first class I took there I felt like I was learning at a new level. It wasn’t because I didn’t know Jiu Jitsu, it was how he made adjustments to moves I thought I was good at and made them better. Henry has taught me to use my bodyweight better and more importantly how to put moves together and think two or three moves ahead. To relate it to my illness, I have to check my pee everyday to see how much protein is coming out. In my head I am already thinking what to do if it is a bad reading, I know I have to increase certain meds, I know I have to tighten down on my eating, get more rest, I am already thinking of a three or four step solution. It is just like someone trying to take your back and at that time you have to decide what to do and it is better to think many steps ahead to not get choked. With me I think as many steps as I can and I do all that I can to avoid having a relapse, but if I do I don’t panic, I just think of the moves I have to do.
I have to mention a place I have not trained at for long periods of time, but off and on whenever I can and that is 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu, with Eddie Bravo. Eddie has been a very good friend to me and he was the very first place that I went to and my dad filmed me talking and rolling. From Eddie I learned that it is okay to be different and create your own path, your own way. I know that when people see my site or hear about me they feel sorry for me or something, but I am not nephrotic syndrome, I am me, and I like Jiu Jitsu, I like building and programing robots and I like helping others as best I can. From how he has treated me and what I have seen, Eddie has shown me that I can create my own path and it is okay to be different.
I hope that the lessons I have learned from these great guys makes sense to you and that you took the time to read it, because it took me a long time to write it that is for sure.
Thanks to everyone who is donating on my site it will help not only me but also a ton of other kids and adults surviving the sickness I have. You are helping finding a cure for the Nephrotic Syndrome and the FSGS.
Watch the video below to see my daily routine and a walk I did for the Nephcure Foundation in 2009.