Veteran in search of kidney donor says, "I'm not giving up, I never will'

- FOX 46 Charlotte is continuing to get results for a man who needs a life-saving kidney.

Edmund Baines, a veteran who has been driving around with a sign posted on his truck asking for a kidney donor, has had little luck since February.

His story spread around the country and calls poured in but a call he received Wednesday morning wasn’t what he had hoped for. With his birthday just days away Baines is hoping for the gift of life.

"That would be the best birthday gift of ever, of all times. You know the love of my children, the love of my grandchildren, my family that's great but to get a kidney...I would have to put that up there as one of the highest gifts I've ever had for a lifetime," he said. 

The hospital tells him they will test everybody he sends their way but so far, no one including fellow veteran Chris Duschel, who was the first to offer a kidney, has been a good candidate.

"Every donor that I've had so far has not been able to give me a kidney. I've been through about 11 people, but I've still got hope,” Baines said. 

RelatedArmy vet in need of kidney transplant gets slew of calls

He was recently cleared for surgery and told he's ready for a transplant; the only thing missing is a donor. It could be seven years before a donor is identified and while Baines remains positive the waiting game takes an emotional toll.

"It doesn't feel good at all and you don't know when, you don't know where and you don't know what your health, how your health is going to be tomorrow, if it's going to take a turn for the worst or what," he said.

Baines believes being emotional won't help his diagnosis, so he goes about life trying to stay as positive and healthy as possible.

“I have learned that emotion, it won’t do you no good, you just have to bear it because otherwise it’s okay. I’m not mad about it, I’m not upset about it but I just go on everyday living my life like its normal, like I don’t have the disease. But I know I need it because I wind up going to dialysis Monday, Wednesday and Friday’s…they say the healthier you are when you receive your kidney you're bettering your chances of succeeding.” Baines explained. 

Baines began calling the people who reached out to him to donate a kidney to see if they were still interested in being tested. Many of those people have not answered or returned his calls but he’s still thankful for them.

"They didn't have to call me and say nothing you know but I'm alright with that, you know. But I'm saying, if they changed their minds I understand that too because this is a very important procedure. You know so, I'm not mad with nobody and everything, I'm still happy, I'm still optimistic, you know. I'm not giving up, I never will," he said. 

Eighty percent of people on the transplant list are waiting for a kidney. Right now, that's more than 98,000 people across the country and nearly 3,000 in North Carolina.

If you'd like to Get Results for Edmund Baines you can call him at 980-505-9130.

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