NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A Long Island man is taking his search for a kidney donor to the Crossroads of the World, a grand gesture in hopes someone will give a life-saving gift.
Times Square is one of the most popular spots in the world, inundated with humongous advertisements, but one is a bit different.
It’s a picture of Great Neck, Long Island, resident Marc Weiner with the caption, “My name is Marc. I need a kidney. You can help.”
“Being on dialysis isn’t easy, and juggling a full-time job and a family. I want to be healthier, and the way to do that is to find a kidney donor,” Weiner told CBS2’s Andrea Grymes.
Weiner is married with a 14-year-old daughter and works for CBS News.
He was diagnosed with cancer in 2015 and lost both kidneys. He’s now cancer-free but on dialysis three days a week.
“To stay alive. I gotta do that until I get a kidney,” Weiner said.
Believe it or not, this is the second time a company donated ad space to Weiner in Times Square. Back 2018, he had another billboard.
Michael Lollo, then an NYPD detective, saw Weiner’s story and was inspired to help a perfect stranger. He wasn’t a match for Weiner at the time, but he was a match for another stranger, a woman in Pennsylvania.
“The process was actually quite simple. I didn’t think it would be as simple as it was, and I’m wondering why aren’t more people doing it?” Lollo said.
Now retired, Lollo is an advocate with the National Kidney Donation Organization and an advocate for Weiner.
He says this time, Weiner is looking for any living donor anywhere to give any kidney on his behalf. That’s his ticket into the National Kidney Registry’s new voucher program, which will then find his perfect match.
“Literally, the second they donate their kidney, sometime later on that day, Marc’s voucher is activated and the computer is working, looking for one of those 3,000-4,000 people that are in that database who’s going to be a match for Marc, and it could potentially start a chain,” Lollo said.
And potentially as quickly as just a few months, much shorter than the years-long wait on the state organ registry list.
Weiner has big hopes for a new lease on life.
For more information, visit HelpMarcFindAKidney.com.
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