MANTECA, Calif. (CBS Sacramento) — A family with roots in New York City took their search for a kidney to the happiest place on earth.
They thought Disneyland was the best place to get the most eyeballs on their message, and it’s working.
“We never would’ve imagined that this would all happen to come from this,” said Lindsey Ballou.
The message has gone viral for a beloved father of five.
“In May my kidney function was about 9 percent,” said Larry Ballou (Lawrence) of Manteca. “I can’t come out here and play basketball or run up and down with (my daughters) like I want to.”
Ballou is in need of another kidney. Seventeen years ago a disease caused his to fail. Luckily his father was a match back then. But in May, doctors said once again his organ was failing.
“I’ve been on dialysis ever since, three times a week,” he said.
So the Ballou troops decided to hit the road in search for dad’s new match and arrived by the dozen in colorful shirts, reading:
“My Daddy NEEDS A KIDNEY, TYPE O. Please Call 925-337-6316.”
“My Uncle NEEDS A KIDNEY, TYPE O. Please Call 925-337-6316.”
“My Husband NEEDS A KIDNEY, TYPE O. Please Call 925-337-6316.”
The message would soon be seen by millions as strangers snapped pictures and posted to social media.
“People were stopping us in the park, saying, ‘Hey, can we share this on social media, do you mind if I put this on my Twitter?’ Yeah sure please!” Larry said.
So many sharing their support and even filling out donor forms.
“Of course we would love to get a kidney for him that is the ultimate goal, but if we can get a kidney for him that all of these potential donors who filled out this form, that could be saving hundreds of lives,” said his wife, Lindsey Ballou.
“To physically see God working in your life, total strangers that we just walked by you not say God bless you when you sneeze, just stop I want to pray with you, it’s an amazing feeling,” Larry said.
A feeling he hopes will carry him through the hard times to get to the good.
“I want to be around as long as I can. I’ve got weddings to go to walk down the aisle five times!” Larry said.
Larry was born in Manhattan and grew up in the Bronx. His mother actually has a street named after her after she passed: Linda Ballou Way.
Now, by visiting the magic kingdom, he’s wishing his dreams really will come true.
“Whether I get a kidney today tomorrow, five years from now, nothing is going to take that feeling away for me,” he added.
If you’d like to help Larry you can call 925-337-6316 or become a donor yourself and fill out a form on the kidney donor website.