Bloodwork, tissue, CAT scans and a long, four-to-six-week waiting process is the norm for giving an organ. For senior Wildcat and former Weber State University softball player, Jasmine Ioane, the process of giving an organ became all too familiar when her brother Jeremy Ioane was diagnosed with a rare kidney disease called IgA Nephropathy.
He is a former Boise State University football player who was diagnosed with this disease when he was a sophomore and went through chemotherapy his entire sophomore season. He stopped doing the chemo because everything was presumed to be back to normal.
However, before his senior season the disease came back stronger than ever.
“It sucked seeing him like that. He was in his last season of football and this was his year to ball out because everyone knew he had the potential to go to the league (NFL),” Jasmine said, “Then all of a sudden his disease just got worse. It sucked seeing what he had to go through and how much it drained him.”
Both of his kidneys are down to functioning at one percent. He has to go to dialysis every other day, which flushes out his system and does the work of his kidneys.
When the family found out that he needed a kidney, Jasmine jumped to the opportunity to give brother a kidney. However, their mom, Doris Ioane, volunteered to be his donor.
“Being the mom, I wanted to be the first to offer my kidney, even though Jasmine didn’t hesitate to offer hers,” Doris said, “I went through the process and everything felt good and I turned out to be a match, but they turned me down because they test for high blood pressure.”
She expressed her frustration because in the forms she had to fill out asked if she had high blood pressure and the doctors knew she did. She felt like she wasted time, time that could be used to see if Jasmine would be a match.
Through all the trials the family has faced they remain close.
“The process is affecting my family in a good way. It’s been a sense of relief for my family,” Doris said, “It’s just scary because now it’s two of my kids going into surgery, but it’s like our prayers have been answered.”
For Jasmine, this is her first surgery.
“I’m nervous. Recently, if I’m not doing anything I’ll go online and look up kidney transplants and the surgical things,” she said, “But I’m also excited at the same time because I’m just focused on doing this for my brother and getting him healthy.”
Her brother Jeremy is experiencing a great deal of emotions. Despite everything he’s going through, he worries about Jasmine more than himself.
Jeremy wanted people to take one thing from his story.
“I want people to be educated about organ donning and the importance of their organs,” he said.
Jasmine graduates this spring on May 1 and four short days later, on May 5, she will undergo surgery at the University Of Utah Hospital.