74-year-old man travels 250 miles on foot for wife’s kidney


«If someone is facing a difficult time, one of the kindest things you can do for him or her is to say, ‘I’m going to love you through this.’»

We all live in a time when material things cost a lot and not everyone can afford most of them, while spiritual things are becoming devalued, and still not all of us can afford them.

We live in a time when love, friendship, loyalty and kindness turn into something unreal and imaginary. So, when I hear the stories like this one below, I still have hope that our society is able to feel.

How many miles would you be willing to walk in order to save your loved one’s life? How many would you walk to save a stranger’s life?

Seventy-four year-old Wayne Winters of Farr West, Utah recently spent months pounding the pavement while wearing a sandwich board sign. His mission was to find a kidney donation for his ailing wife, Deanne, who had stage 5 kidney disease.

Deanne had been undergoing dialysis for over two years as she waited for a perfect organ match. “Just to watch somebody hooked up to dialysis is a traumatic experience,” Wayne explained to KSTU-TV. “I held my wife’s hand.”

Wayne and Deanne have been married for 26 years, and they’re hoping for just a little more time together.

After Wayne began wearing his “Need A Kidney 4 Wife” sign, his story went viral and he received thousands of calls from people who wanted to help.

“Between 7-800 [calls],” Wayne said. “It filled my phone up. I’m sitting here with this full phone.”

After three weeks of spreading the word, Wayne received the incredible phone call he’d been dreaming of getting. “They said, ‘We have a kidney for you, get down here!’”

An organ donor had passed, and Deanne was a perfect match. Now that Deanne is recovering from her surgery, she and Wayne are hoping to resume their life together and even start traveling again.

“I have my wife back,” Wayne said. “If she could have good five years, that would be awesome. We can have our life back.”

Although Wayne’s personal mission may be over, his experience made him realize how many people are on the organ donation list that still needed help. He has decided to keep walking to encourage people to think about becoming organ donors, and perhaps to find out if they are a match for someone who is waiting for a kidney today.

“I will spend more of my days walking with my sign to see how many I can get,” Wayne said. “Think about it; we could start a kidney revolution, and that would be so great.”

Be sure to share this story to help spread Wayne’s message, and consider being an organ donor yourself to help save someone’s life someday.

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