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This hunter needs a kidney

Family seeks kidney donor for 15-year-old Arviat youth
Hunter Kablutsiak has a kidney working at 16 per cent capacity, but that hasn’t stopped him from hunting in his hometown of Arviat. The 15-year-old is in need of a kidney donor to avoid going on dialysis. Photo courtesy of Francine Kablutsiak Hᐊᓐᑐᕐ ᖃᑉᓗᑦᓯᐊᑉ ᑕᖅᑐᖓ 16%-ᒥᒃ ᐊᐅᓪᓛᕐᓂᓕᒃ, ᑭᓯᐊᓂ ᐊᖑᓇᓱᐃᓐᓇᖅᑐᖅ ᐊᕐᕕᐊᓂ. 15-ᓂᒃ ᐅᑭᐅᓕᒃ ᑕᖅᑐᑖᕆᐊᓕᒃ ᐅᐃᓂᐲᒃᒦᓕᖁᓇᒍ ᐃᒻᒥᖅᑐᖅᑕᐅᖃᑦᑕᕐᓗᓂ.

Hunter Kablutsiak’s Stage 4 kidney is working at 16 per cent capacity, but that hasn’t stopped him doing what he loves: hunting.

“He loves fox trapping, wolf hunt, wolverines hunt, caribou hunt, sea mammal hunt, any hunt,” said mother Francine Kablutsiak about the 15-year-old Arviat youth.

He’s also a hockey player for the Arviat Wolves.

In September 2020, Hunter was diagnosed with a genetic kidney disease called juvenile nephronopthisis. He is currently on a ‘work up’ for a kidney transplant, which is a term for the process of diagnosing all the medical needs of a patient.

As soon as a kidney donor is found, a transplant can be performed.

Francine said Hunter’s cousin Jackson Kablutsiak had the same condition at the same age as Hunter, and his transplant was successful.

“His kidney disease has not stopped him from what he loves to do,” said Francine. “We mainly watch closely what he eats and what he cannot eat.”

Now, Francine has taken to social media and any other means necessary to try to find a kidney donor for Hunter. Some family members have already signed up to be donors, but more are needed, said Francine, as donor testing can take up to a year to complete all the evaluation for a match.

Hunter has A+ blood type, meaning he is eligible for transplants from people with A+/A- and O+/O-.

Francine said he is being monitored and seen every six weeks.

“They want him to get a transplant before he goes on dialysis,” she said. “His kidney function is 16 per cent. Dialysis would start when he goes five per cent.”

Anyone 18 or over and interested in potentially serving as a kidney donor can confidentially call the Living Kidney Donor Program at 204-787-2323 or 1-877-499-8774 ext. 72323. Potential donors should give Hunter’s name and date of birth of May 18, 2006.