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Alberta man hopes Billboard will find him a kidney donor

Billboard plea for kidney

The large billboard overlooking the town of Drumheller in east-central Alberta is hard to miss.

Next to a photo of a smiling man in a blue shirt, his arms crossed, the sign reads: "Jim really needs a kidney donor."

Jim Lomond, a 54-year-old former oilfield worker, has been waiting for the last four years for his fourth kidney transplant. He has rare B-negative blood, which makes finding a donor that much more difficult.

He keeps a positive attitude, but says it's hard being on a waiting list and waiting for the phone to ring.

"It's demoralizing to know you're on a machine to keep you alive," says Lomond, brushing away a tear, as he sits in his home in Carbon, a village near Drumheller. "I want to have a normal life and do what everybody else does."

Lomond says someone involved with his daughter's high school football team suggested using a billboard to find a donor. Fundraising helped pay for the sign. Posters also went up in business windows, at the local rink and on transport trucks.

He's received one call, but didn't hear back from the person.

 

Lomond, who moved to Alberta from Newfoundland in 1997, has Berger's disease, a rare disorder in which a protein buildup causes inflammation that damages kidney tissues.

His father gave him a kidney when he was 17. It lasted just 36 hours.

Another transplant in 1988 lasted five years. In 2000, he received another kidney, which kept him in good health for 15 years.

Dialysis kept him going in between transplants and he's back on it now — up to six hours a day, five days a week.



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