High River family appeals to Canadians for kidney transplant

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.

Now with few directions to turn, a High River family is reaching out to residents and even further afield—to Canadians across the country—for those with O positive blood to consider donating a kidney to their son whose kidneys were almost destroyed by Goodpastures syndrome.

In a previous interview with the High River Times, Jeremie Downs, 24, addressed his ongoing health concerns since being diagnosed with the autoimmune disorder in 2011.

As of early August, it was reported that a cousin had offered her kidney and the match, although differing in blood types, looked promising. Now, doctors say that donation is not at all recommended.

This is the second time a match has proved unsuccessful for the family, as Jeremie’s parents previously applied, with his mother going through necessary tests. That match was also not approved.

Now, this latest setback has left the Downs family without any clear direction forward. However, they now know they’re seeking out a generous donor with the same O positive blood type.

Doctors were looking into suppressing Jeremie’s immune system to the point where a kidney—from a donor with a different blood type—would not be rejected, according to his father Allan Downs. Continue reading