Kidney transplant to offer young man ‘new lease on life’

High River Times | Kevin Rushworth

KEVIN RUSHWORTH HIGH RIVER TIMES/POSTMEDIA NETWORK. Jeremie Downs, 24, was diagnosed with autoimmune disorder Goodpastures syndrome in 2011. The condition attacked his lungs, heart and kidneys. Lung and heart function returned, but today, his kidneys operate at two per cent per kidney. Pictured above, Jeremie (right) sits with his father Allan in their High River home.

Four years after being diagnosed with autoimmune disorder Goodpastures syndrome, High River’s Jeremie Downs, 24, knows a successful kidney transplant will mean the end of peritoneal dialysis and a completely new lease on life.

In an interview with the Times, Jeremie spoke about his difficult journey thus far, what improved health will mean for him and how he takes each day as it comes.

Now that a family member has offered to donate her kidney and the match looks good, Jeremie said he is excited. Yet, too much anticipation is not good in case something changes, he explained.

“I try not to get too excited, because I’ve had it before where I thought I was (getting) a transplant and nothing happened,” he said. “I don’t set myself up to get excited, because there could be a let-down.”

Admitted to the hospital in 2011 for a broken leg, Jeremie came down with a cold a few months later. However, according to his father Allan, Jeremie became very ill. Few knew what was wrong.

After being diagnosed with Goodpastures syndrome, the condition had already attacked his heart, lungs and kidney function. Apheresis treatment was necessary to suppress his immune system at that time. Continue reading