23-year-old Garner man looking for living kidney donor

Sydnee Scofield Image
Tuesday, February 27, 2024
23-year-old Garner man looking for living kidney donor
At just 23 years old, Harris Cannady is facing a battle he never expected and needs a living kidney transplant to survive.

GARNER, N.C. (WTVD) -- At just 23 years old, Harris Cannady is facing a battle he never expected. The musician, soil scientist, graduate of NC State, and loving son needs a kidney transplant.

After living a healthy life for more than two decades, he came down with a cold last summer. He then found out he had abnormally high blood pressure. After many tests, he was diagnosed with a rare auto-immune disorder called IGA Nephropathy. Only about 60,000 people in the United States have the disease.

He's had to stop working for now, with his kidneys functioning at about 10%. He's also moved home with his parents as he battles this disease. He's tried multiple different treatments and therapies, but at this point, he needs a transplant.

It sounds really scary to like, give up an organ, but it's really not.
- Dori Goebel, living organ donor

"I'm bound and determined for my son to find someone for him," Harris's mother, Angela Cannady, said.

The process has been significantly more challenging than the Cannadys would have ever thought. Full of obstacles and uncertainties, they've had to do a lot of learning and a lot of praying to get them to this point. They've had periods of desperation and hopelessness, but they're leaning on their faith now to get them through this next chapter.

They're asking for anyone who is at all interested in helping this family to at least go get tested and see whether they are a match.

"It sounds really scary to like give up an organ, but it's really not," Dori Goebel from Greensboro told ABC11. "I donated at 55, my daughter donated at 27. So, we're both doing fine and you can go on and live an active life."

Goebel and her daughter learned about people who needed a living donor and felt called to get tested. Their recovery time was only a few weeks, and Goebel said she would do it all over again if she could.

"You're saving someone's life, and we would be forever grateful," Angela Cannady said.

As reporters, we rarely tell our own stories, but as I cover Harris Cannady's story, I feel compelled to be transparent. My mom received a kidney transplant years ago from a living kidney donor. My aunt and grandpa have also received kidney transplants.

Their disease, Polycystic Kidney Disease, is hereditary, and one day, I'll need a kidney transplant as well. Roughly 17 people die every day waiting for an organ donation. The need for donors in our community, and across the country, is great.

If you are interested in learning more about living kidney donation in the Triangle, click here.