Josh Prymych is a young man from Steinbach who has been on the search for a kidney donor for over three years now, and he is still looking.
Currently, his kidneys are working at less than 5 percent, as he has a genetic condition called Autosomal Recessive Alport Syndrome.
Prymych says Alport Syndrome causes the kidneys to severely deteriorate, and the timeframe is different for every patient.
“For me, it took just less than a year before my kidneys shut down to the point where I was in need of at home dialysis, which also happened to be right around the same time COVID hit Southeast Manitoba.”
He is grateful he hasn’t had to travel to Winnipeg to do dialysis, and can do peritoneal dialysis at home.
“So once a month, I have a truck carrier who delivers me about 50 to 60 boxes for the whole month,” he says “And I've got a bunch of bags that I hook up to a machine that hooks up to me, and then it just drains into a toilet and my blood gets filtered.”
Prymych runs his machine every night while he is sleeping.
"It takes about 9 hours for the actual dialysis to work, and I can just do that while I'm sleeping, so I don't have to worry about it during the day.”
He says it can be inconvenient, especially when he wants to sleep away from home.
“I like to go camping with my family and my friends, and I used to love going on road trips with my friends,” he says. “But I mean, especially with COVID, that kind of had to stop too, but it definitely hinders my ability to travel, considering I have to travel with boxes and bags and stuff as well.”
When he first started looking for a donor a few years ago, a lot of his closest friends wanted to see if they were a match, so they started by finding out their blood types.
Prymych has O+ blood, so he needs a donor who has either O+ or O- blood.
All of his friends ended up not having the required blood type, except for one.
“She went through a bunch of testing. I ended up meeting with them at the same time to do tests together and it got very close to surgery,” he says. “They ended up denying her of donating the organ because a test came back and it said that she would not have survived had she had given me the kidney.”
He says it was unfortunate it didn’t work out, but he is very thankful for the thorough testing.
“I would not have let her donate a kidney just so I could stay alive and she couldn't.”
Prymych is on the deceased donor list, but the wait time is about 9 to 10 years.
If you want to see if you can donate a kidney to Josh Prymych, you can talk with your family doctor, or if you don’t have a family doctor, go to a walk-in clinic.
“You can talk to them and let them know that you would like to donate your kidney and they should help you find out your blood type.”
He says another way to find out your blood type would be to donate blood. You can book your appointment online by going to Canadian Blood Services website at blood.ca or by calling 1-888-236-6283.
With files from Corny Rempel