WALKER, Mich. — A youth leader in Michigan will donate his kidney to save a man he met through a youth ministry service program.
Steven Tatreau will receive a kidney from Nate Clark in January, the Grand Rapids Press reported.
Steven Tatreau was diagnosed with Alport syndrome in 2016. The disease affects fewer than 200,000 people in the U.S., according to the Alport Syndrome Foundation. It can cause hearing loss, vision loss and kidney failure.
The 20-year-old has recessive Alport syndrome, which is the rarest from of the disease. The recessive classification means he received the recessive gene from both his parents.
The nature of the disease meant Steven Tatreau’s parents couldn’t donate their kidneys. Instead the family had to find other options for a match.
“We weren’t left with any options,” said Carrie Tatreau, Steven Tatreau’s mother. “We had to go and appeal to friends, other family members, anybody who might be able to or want to test and be a match.”
Clark is the program director at the Down Syndrome Association of West Michigan. He met Steven Tatreau through Young Life Capernaum, a program meant for young people with special needs. Steven Tatreau has autism spectrum disorder.
“You don’t forget him when you meet him,” Clark said.
Carrie Tatreau asked Clark to test and see if he’d be a kidney donor match. Clark took multiple blood tests, a urine test and met with many different specialists. After six months, he found out he was a donor match.
“I’m excited and ready and can’t imagine a world without Steven,” Clark said. “I’m excited for him to live a regular life.”