April 26 | 2019

A family saved by living kidney donation

At Harvest, we offer a monthly Karma yoga class. The purpose of these classes is to raise money for causes close to the heart of our studio. Previous causes have include the DLA Program at Victoria Park High School, which supports students with mental health concerns, and the Feed the Need program, which provides food to those in need throughout the Lethbridge community.

Throughout the spring and summer of 2019, our Karma classes will be raising funds to support one of our practitioners, Jay, and her family in their goal of completing the Kidney March. Please read on to learn more about Jay and her family, and why this cause is close to their, and our, heart.

From Jay:

In 2008, my brother Jimmy was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease called Granulomatosis with polyangiitis. This autoimmune disease is an uncommon disorder that causes inflammation of the blood vessels in your nose, sinuses, throat, lungs and kidneys. It slows blood flow to some of your organs. The affected tissues can develop areas of inflammation called granulomas, which can affect how these organs work. My brother has been living with the disease since then. There is no cure. 

Jimmy was doing well and managing the disease with medication until November 2017 when his kidneys suddenly failed. He was hospitalized and remained there throughout the Christmas season. His kidneys were functioning at less than 6% during this time. He struggled with a few types of dialysis and endured several surgeries. By the new year he was on hemodialysis 3 days a week. 

In the new year my mom began getting tested for kidney donation. After several months, and rounds of testing, we found out she was a match! Jimmy had a date set for September 2018. The process came to a crashing halt in the summer when the doctors discovered that Jimmy’s heart was not strong enough to withstand surgery. At this time they were able to switch him to night dialysis and he began taking some new medication in hopes of strengthening his heart. At this time it was functioning at 27%. 

In January 2019 our family was blessed when all the stars aligned and my mom successfully donated her kidney to my brother. The two are recovering very well and we are all incredibly thankful for the kidney foundation. The three of us, along with Jimmy’s girlfriend and her sister all decided to participate in the Kidney march this fall!

The Kidney March is a 100km trek in 3 days to raise money and awareness for the kidney foundation. We have started training and we are all incredibly excited for this journey!

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