By Tod Gomes
The Spotlight Athlete this month is Pleasant Hill native and College Park junior, Jeremy Bedig, who has been passionate about soccer for 14 years, participating on club and school teams and assisting with his siblings’ teams. Almost any time of the year you can find him on the soccer field, but this year was different.
At age 14, doctors diagnosed Jeremy with Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis (FSGS,) a condition that attacks the kidneys causing them to fail. Doctors figure he has probably had this condition since the age of 10. Suffering and in need of a new kidney, he was put on a waiting list for a transplant in April of 2009. Seven months later, Jeremy and his parents were given great news; a kidney was available. On November 5th, 2009, he received his transplant. He spent two weeks at Stanford following his surgery followed by two more weeks at a nearby hotel. He was then able to return home, but visited Stanford three times a week.
Jeremy proudly shares, “I am recovering fantastically, and the doctors say this is the fastest recovery they have ever seen. I’ll be 100% in a month or so, I just need to get my endurance back.” There is no doubt he will. He is motivated. At one of his visits in mid-February he brought a padded jersey to demonstrate to the doctors that he could safely resume his soccer season. Impressed by what great shape he was in, the doctors asked if he wanted to participate in the Transplant Olympics, held in Madison, Wisconsin in July. “I was so happy that my doctors thought I would be able to compete. It encouraged me to push even harder to get into shape,” he exclaimed.
In record speed, Jeremy was able to finish the season with his varsity teammates and plans on playing in the State Cup followed by summer tournaments with his club team, the Martinez Pleasant Hill Futbol Club. He is looking forward to competing in track & field and tennis at the Transplant Olympics. Jeremy shares, “This was definitely the hardest thing I have ever gone through, but I am at the end of this whole endeavor and I know that getting back to a normal life won’t be a problem.” Back on the field, he will undoubtedly make up for lost time.