July 22, 2018 9:15 pm
Updated: July 24, 2018 5:30 pm

Calgary guitarist in search of kidney turns to social media

Sun, Jul 22: Calgary punk rocker Stephen Rubletz has turned to social media in search of a kidney donor. As Michael King reports, the musician was stunned by the response he received.

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A Calgary punk rocker suffering from an autoimmune disease is searching for a kidney donor, turning to social media for help.

The Foul English guitarist Stephen Rubletz said he struggled with asking for assistance initially, but when he found out his family and friends weren’t matches, he felt convinced to put the ask out on Facebook.

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“I don’t like asking someone to help me lift something heavy,” Rubletz said. “So to ask someone to donate an organ, it’s a pretty big thing. It’s a little bit of pride, I guess. It’s an awkward thing to ask for.”

So far, almost a dozen people have reached out directly to Rubletz to see if they’re a match — and even more have messaged his bandmates.

Nick Broadley, the lead singer for The Foul English, said he’s really happy to see the growing support for Rubletz.

“I really hope it helps Stephen out directly and maybe raises a bit more awareness for the situation with kidney failure and the living donor program,” he said.

READ MORE: Alberta man who purchased billboards in search of a kidney not giving up hope

A common side effect of autoimmune diseases is a lack of energy, so playing in a punk group is not easy. Rubletz only has seven per cent function in his kidneys but he continues to rock out when he can.

The members of The Foul English have stepped up to help Rubletz get through practices and shows.

“I get pretty tired, so a lot of times the guys will take over my load and let me go home early,” said Rubletz. “I have people looking out for me everywhere. I’m a very lucky guy.”

Broadley is glad that his friend and bandmate has a distraction that can ease some of the pain.

“It’s really great that he has an outlet, something that can take his mind off of all of his issues for a few hours a week. I can’t imagine the band without him.”

Rubletz continues to search for a living donor while he starts dialysis and has hope that social media will help him find a match.

More information on organ donation can be found at kidney.ca or moretransplants.ca

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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