An Indiana man in desperate need of a kidney transplant took his quest to Soldier Field on Sunday, and while his homemade sign didn’t make it on television, he says that a stranger’s social media post could help save his life.
Marcus Edwards, like many other fans, had an opportunity to make a sign prior to the Bears’ game against the Detroit Lions earlier this week. As soon as he had the poster board and markers in his hands, he knew exactly what he wanted to write:
His phone number, blood type, and a plea for a kidney from a living donor:
Edwards’ quest really began when he got a huge surprise from his wife: tickets to his first ever Bears game at Soldier Field.
“They were the best tickets. I was just worried because I was like ‘honey, we can’t afford to spend this kind of money,’” he recalled. “She said not to worry about it.”
It’s been a long year for Edwards, his wife and four kids. He lost his father, stepfather and father-in-law, and his kidneys shut down after a long battle with diabetes.
When Edwards arrived at the game, he met Jessica Jenkins, who posted a photo of Edwards holding up his sign.
The post was shared thousands of times, and he received texts and calls from potential donors before he even left the stadium.
“I’m just overwhelmed,” Jenkins said. “It’s just crazy.”
Jenkins knows what it’s like to struggle, as her home caught on fire while her family was inside in 2018. The Jenkins family survived the blaze because of the help of a stranger who alerted them to the fire.
“To this day, we don’t know who that is,” she said. “For me, the only way we can repay them for saving our kids is to help someone else have their life extended longer, and to pay it forward.”
Edwards is still looking for a donor, and said that even if you aren’t a match for his O-positive blood type, you should still consider making a life-saving donation to someone else.
If you are a match for Edwards’ blood type, he has requested that potential donors call the Living Donor Program hotline at 1-859-323-2467, or his personal phone number at 502-767-6267.