James Donaldson Rumors
James Donaldson, a former NBA All-Star player and mental health awareness and suicide prevention advocate, is reminding everyone that September is National Suicide Prevention Month. Donaldson, who battled through mental health challenges of his own a few years ago, now makes it a point to try to de-stigmatize mental health issues. He’s a published author and his latest publication is Celebrating Your Gift of Life: From The Verge of Suicide to a Life of Purpose and Joy
Many former professional athletes, including NBA players, have run for public office. And now there’s another prospective politician to keep an eye on. Former NBA big man James Donaldson posted this message on Facebook on Friday: 10 years ago, I was running for the office of Mayor here in Seattle. I did pretty well, but came up a little short. Now I’m running for Seattle City Council – District 7, and ballots go out next week for the August 6 primary.
“Mental health for student-athletes is my new advocacy,” he says. We’re trying to find out what a program looks like, and try to create a model. The long-term hope is to do it with more schools.” The discussion and the potential ways to help have done wonders for Donaldson’s own outlook. “I’ve gone from a place of hopelessness and despair to a place of hope,” he says. “It’s night and day. There are opportunities ahead. I’m striving for things, making new friends. I have a reason to get up and live. A few months ago, I had none of that.”
Dr. Peter Casterella is an interventional cardiologist (stents and angioplasty) at Swedish Hospital on Capitol Hill. He was on duty when Donaldson was wheeled into the operating room. His job was to get Donaldson’s blood pressure under control. “By all means, he should have died on the day it occurred,” Casterella says. Thanks to the swift, intense work by Dr. Samuel Youseff and the cardiology team at Swedish, Donaldson survived the aortic dissection. The physical recovery was slow – he was later diagnosed with sleep apnea – yet the psychological consequences are often harder to remedy.
Five retired NBA players are receiving scholarships to attend Kaplan University and study online to earn certificates, bachelor’s or master’s degrees. The players — Adonal Foyle, Joe Smith, James Donaldson, Kevin Loder and Eldridge Recasner — received the scholarships during the National Basketball Retired Players Association annual conference in Las Vegas.