WUSA9 — WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- Chet Bennett hosted his last celebrity hair battle at Howard University on Saturday, an event he’d been producing for 17 years.
“Now is the time for the younger generation to take over,” Bennett told WUSA9.
Bennett stays busy as an author, beauty school CEO, and salon owner.
“I also have two licensed and credited daycare centers,” Bennett said.
Additionally, Bennett has a radio show, has a contract for his students to do hair in the DC Jail, and sells products.
It may be hard to believe that he also has time to give back.
Bennett and his beauty school offer free services to the community and raise money and awareness for important issues.
“We go to homeless shelters and cut hair free of charge. We go to the HIV/AIDS clinics, and we even go on the streets and feed the homeless,” Bennett explained.
It is important for you to know all of the things Bennett has on his plate to truly understand the impact of the next part of this story.
Bennett was diagnosed with kidney disease in April and spends three days a week in the hospital hooked up to a machine.
“Every single time I left dialysis – before I could leave Washington Hospital Center I would break down in tears,” Bennett recalled. “One, I kept on saying why me? Two, I just felt that I was above being sick. I’ve never been in the hospital — never been sick before and I’m saying to myself ‘this is unbelievable.’ In the beginning, I looked at it as a death sentence. I looked at it as I am about to die,” he said.”
Bennett held on to his faith and teachings from his church leaders at Greater Mount Calvary Holy Church.
In a matter of months after being diagnosed, Bennett was added to the transplant list and has since found a living donor.
“I had over 11 people who came forward and said, I’ll give you my kidney,” he smiled.
Bennett plans to receive a life-saving gift after giving so much to others.
The DC business owner hopes others learn something from his experience.
“If they see me going through it, then maybe they will change their lifestyle— change their eating habits so they won’t be in the same situation that I found myself in,” he said.
African-Americans are three times more likely to suffer from kidney failure than their white counterparts, according to the National Kidney Foundation.
You can help to prevent kidney disease by doing the following:
1. Quit Smoking.
2. Lose Weight if You're Overweight or Obese.
3. Follow a Healthy Diet.
4. Lower Salt in Your Diet.
5. Understanding Food Labels.