During rush hour, drivers trying to get home to their families see lots of signs for all sorts of things. But Wayne Winters's sandwich board isn't advertising a business.
If you're driving down the busy roads of Farr West, Utah after work one day you might spot the sign he wears with a simple message in bright red letters: "NEED KIDNEY A- 4 WIFE 675-0278." It's an unusual way to find a kidney donor, but Winters is willing to try anything.
He met his wife Deanne 26 years ago, and until recently they lived a happy life together. But Deanne's recent diagnosis of stage five kidney failure has put her life in jeopardy. She needs dialysis, and time is running out to find her a matching transplant.
So for hours each day Winters pounds the pavement wearing his sign, marching for miles in the hopes of finding a donor. He got the idea after hearing about similar signs that went viral and attracted a lot of attention. "I don't walk real fast," he told Fox 13, but he "felt like I needed to do something" to help his wife get better.
But Winters isn't just helping his wife, there's a different message on the other side of his sign, and it's just as important...
Since his search began, Winters has had some luck getting people to stop and read his sign, and some drivers have even promised to see if they're a match.
The first day he went outside wearing his sign a driver stopped him and promised to get tested. "I think we have a good chance of getting you a kidney," he's told Deanne, but he won't stop wearing the sign until he knows she'll get the transplant.
And even afterwards, Winters says he'll keep raising awareness about the importance of organ donations. The back of his sign reads "1,000 KIDNEYS NEEDED O AND O- UTAH/IDAHO," with contact numbers for drivers interested in getting tested.
Waiting for his wife to find an organ donor has made Winters determined to help others in the same situation, and he says he'll keep promoting the donor hotlines for the rest of his life. “After I get a kidney I will have my wife back the way she was, normal, helping people, loving people,” he hopes.
If you want to get tested or learn about organ donation, you can call 801-675-0278 or visit kidney.org.
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[H/T: FOX 13]