The Star Phoenix | Terrence McEachern, Leader Post
The 19-year-old from Gull Lake was away at Medicine Hat College in October when she started suffering from headaches. She also wasn't eating or sleeping properly and just had the feeling that something wasn't quite right.
When Ballentine went home for Christmas, she got some routine blood work done, and then more blood work in February during spring break.
She was sent to Calgary for more tests and a biopsy on her kidneys. It was then that a doctor diagnosed her with Goodpasture's Syndrome.
"We had no idea what it was," said Ballentine.
Ballentine's treating physician, Dr. Siva Karunakaran, said Goodpasture's Syndrome is very rare. It can affect either the lungs or the kidneys. In Ballentine's case, the condition has created antibodies that have attacked the tissue in both her kidneys, causing them to shut down.
A kidney transplant is her only option. Until then, she has to have dialysis three times a week in order to stay alive, he said.
While in Regina, the family is supported by Yvonne Wedrick, a longtime friend of Ballentine's mother, Shannon Elmslie, and an advocate of organ donation. With Sunday being the start of National Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Week, both women are encouraging residents to get involved and place the organ donor sticker on their Saskatchewan Health Services card. Given her daughter's experience, Elmslie has consented to be a donor for the first time.
Read more: http://www.thestarphoenix.com/health/Families+encourage+organ+donation/6501488/story.html#ixzz1ss8j4tYL