Jon and Bryan speak with soccer coach and kidney disease survivor Jeremy Bedig about his journey battling kidney disease.
In this episode, Jon and I speak with soccer coach and kidney disease survivor Jeremy Bedig.
Jon and Jeremy were both diagnosed with FSGS around the same time. Yet their journeys have been about as different as you can imagine. Jeremy’s experience has been much more typical, which means he’s had to endure countless medications, dialysis, kidney transplants, and all the physical, emotional, and mental challenges that come with them.
Jeremy walks us through many of these challenges, and more importantly, how he was able to endure them and overcome them. The combination of amazing health care, a strong support network, and his passion for playing (and now coaching) soccer were all essential to his being where he is today.
Today Jeremy is doing great. He’s coaching at the college and club level. He’s actively working with the Nephrotic Syndrome Foundation as a peer team lead, and he’s working on projects to amplify athletes’ voices and share their stories.
I learned a ton from this conversation and I truly admire how Jeremy has stuck with his passion for coaching despite all the setbacks he’s had to overcome.
We talk with soccer coach and kidney disease survivor Jeremy Bedig about his experience with FSGS.
Jeremy’s Kidney Disease Diagnosis and First Transplant
– His passion for soccer as a kid and the path he was on prior to his diagnosis with FSGS at the age of 14
– The weird swelling and symptoms caused him to go to the doctor and get diagnosed with fast-acting variant FSGS
– The first time he really felt sick, not because of kidney disease but because of the treatment
– His experience trying to keep up with school and soccer while undergoing chemotherapy and taking multiple drugs to battle his condition
– The mental challenge of dealing with a life-threatening diagnosis, and how you struggle to process what it means as you go through the day-to-day experience, especially as a high school student
– The amazing support he received from his parents and grandparents, and how important that support system is for patients
– His experience with dialysis and having a double nephrectomy (where both kidneys are removed) as a junior in high school
– The unique opportunity he got that most of us will never experience
Jeremy’s Second Transplant
– The legal battles he had to fight with his school to allow him to study based on his health situation, and how difficult some teachers made his experience
– How unprepared he was to be a college student, and why he dropped out
– What led him to try being a soccer coach, and how quickly he progressed in his first couple of years
– The staph infection that destroyed his new kidney and sent him back onto dialysis for 3 1/2 years, and the emotional toll that took to be back where he was years earlier
– The experience of finding a donor but having it fall through because of a failed test
– The role coaching played in giving him something outside his condition to focus on
– His eventual transplant from a family relative and the special bond that created between them
What Jeremy is Doing Today
– One of the scary realities of being a kidney disease patient: going into the surgery not knowing if you’ll have a kidney at the end
– His new coaching career with Diablo Valley College and Contra Costa FC, and the process of receiving his official US Soccer licensing
– His role as a Peer Team Lead with the Nephrotic Syndrome Foundation, and the podcast they are creating
– His desire to spread the word about mental health and his continued struggles to deal with the PTSD associated with his kidney experience
– Why even though he received amazing care and had an amazing support network, he still often felt alone, which is an opportunity for improvement in the current health care system
– His founding for the Amplify Athletic Alliance to support the LGBTQ community to share their experiences
– And of course, what Go Be More means to Jeremy
If you liked this episode, check out Jon’s Kidney Disease Story and our interview with Kidney Fighter Marc Coronel.
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Recorded August 26, 2020.
Amplify Athletic Alliance – website
Nephrotic Syndrome Foundation – website
Contra Costa FC – website
Diablo Valley College Soccer – dvc.edu
Jeremy Bedig – @coachjeremyb, @ysarb_mot
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