GOOD NEWS! Ben received his new kidney in November, 2019...just in time for Thanksgiving! 



NFL Defensive Lineman Searching for a Kidney


Meet Ben Williams, 42, Minneapolis, Minnesota.


When Ben decides to do something, he does it with purpose. He dedicates his mind and body to his every endeavor. Blessed with natural athletic ability and raised with love and discipline, Ben made the most of what he was given. Growing up, Ben was an “All-American boy." He enjoyed life in every way. He liked to hunt and fish, he worked on the farm, played football and baseball, and went to church on Sundays.


After becoming a standout football player in high school, Ben was given the opportunity to live the dream of American boys across the nation. He left this hometown in Mississippi to attend college at the University of Minnesota. At the U of M, the work ethic  previously instilled in him by his parents resulted in Ben becoming the captain of the Gophers football team for 4 years and making the All-Big Ten Conference Team for 3 years.


But Ben wasn’t satisfied. He doesn’t know how to be content. He continued to push himself, and all this hard work paid off. Ben continued to live the dream and had the opportunity to play football in the NFL. He played with the Philadelphia Eagles, the Baltimore Ravens, the Dallas Cowboys, and the Minnesota Vikings. Utilizing his strength and abilities, Ben was twice the winner of the NFL Strongman competition.


But Ben is more than a football player. After football, many players decide to give themselves a break. But not Ben; he knows only how to work. He continued to work with his body. The transition from football field to weight room was a natural one.


He shifted his focus to bodybuilding. Having learned much about fitness, bodybuilding, and nutrition, Ben began working to help others realize their dreams. He became a personal trainer and developed a line a nutraceutical products, focusing on keeping himself and his clients healthy and strong.


At 42 years old, Ben is faced with a new challenge. He has gone from being on the defensive line on the football field to playing defense against kidney disease. After years of successfully managing inherited high blood pressure, medication side effects and the high blood pressure itself took their toll on Ben’s kidneys. Only a few months ago, Ben learned that his kidneys were failing and that he would need a transplant. It seems unbelievable when you look at him--he appears to be the epitome of health and strength.


But Ben is ready to do what he has always done: Identify the challenge, find an answer, and do whatever it takes to accomplish that feat.


                  ✓_ Challenge identified                                                                           ✓_ Find an answer                                                                                ___ Up next: Find a living kidney donor  

Ben has Type B blood but because the U of M transplant center participates in paired donation, anyone of any blood type can donate.

Can you help check off the next task? If you think you can--or at least want to try--please contact his coordinator, Marilyn Leister, at the University of Minnesota Medical Center: 800-328-5465, ext. 1 or 612-626-6254. Let her know you are calling in regard to helping Lewis Ben Williams find a kidney donor.

You can also check Ben out on Facebook by clicking here or e-mail him personally at