Army veteran hopes signs will help him find kidney donor

- An Army veteran who’s already waited several years for a kidney has taken matters into his own hands – putting the pedal to the metal in sure of a match.

For Edmund Baines, 55, of Charlotte, it’s not a matter of wondering what he needs. The problem is finding the perfect match for a lifesaving kidney transplant.

“I’m just trying to get the word out there that I need a kidney. I’ve been on dialysis for two years and I need a kidney and the hospital that I was attending told me to just put it on the side of my car, to just advertise it,” Baines explained.

And that’s exactly what he did. Baines told FOX 46 Charlotte he’s been driving around for three weeks with these signs on his truck, hoping the phone would ring.

“This really stops your life. You can’t do certain things, you can’t go certain places. It just messes with your life altogether,” he said.

For Baines, it’s all about being able to watch his children and grandchildren grow up. Although he admits he started giving them what he owns just in case he doesn’t make it. He tries to stay positive.

“Well, it doesn’t feel good but you make the best of it. You don’t let it get you down because you just look at it from day to day, that one day it’s going to be your day,” he said.

Baines said he’s on dialysis and can’t work so he’s on disability. He served eight years in the Army so he’s being treated by the VA. Doctors said it could take as many as seven years before he gets a kidney.

“If I ever get a kidney I will pamper it and baby it because I know the importance of having a kidney now,” Baines explained.

Eighty percent of people on the transplant list need a kidney. Right now that’s more than 98,000 people across the country and nearly 3,000 right here in North Carolina.

Baines said he will keep driving with his sign on his truck until a donor is found. His son told him if he’s a match he’ll give him his kidney but it will be a few more years until his son is even old enough. 

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