CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) - A Chicagoland family has taken it upon themselves to find a donor for a loved one, and their efforts have gained the attention of people all over the state, thanks to Facebook.
"I started doing dialysis 3 days a week, four hours a day. Monday, Wednesday and Friday,” said Stewart Botsford.
After years of health issues, 54-year-old Stewart Botsford learned he was in Stage 4 Renal Failure and needed a kidney. But the waiting list was three to five years long, which was too long for his wife Laura.
"She said I’m gonna get you a kidney. I’m gonna work on it and that. And I was kinda down and that and then she just started workin on it,” Stewart said.
“All I did was go online and look to see what other people had done for a living donor,” said wife Laura.
She had an idea, went to an awning store in Evanston and asked if they could cover their cars.
"The guy at the awning store wouldn't accept any money because when he was dealing with cancer, a lot of people were good to him and he wouldn't accept any money,” Laura said.
She decorated their three cars with their donor message for free.
"My daughters is ‘dad needs a kidney.’ Stewarts is ‘Stewart needs a kidney’ and mine is ‘my husband needs a kidney.’ It's overwhelming,” Laura said.
Their campaign for a living donor started only three weeks ago when someone posted a picture of it on Facebook, and their quest for a kidney reached far beyond what they ever imagined.
"The other day I saw a lady take a pen and paper and write it down,” Laura said.
Their only child, 18-year-old Samantha, is still having a tough time.
"Some days are harder than others,” Samantha said. "He’s my best friend.”
But she also says this has given her hope.
“I’m positive that we'll find something. Everyone has a great heart. It really does restore faith in humanity,” Samantha said. “I have total faith that he'll find one."
You can learn more about Stewart at donorforstew.com.
The family is also telling people that if they are not a match for Stewart that to still join the kidney donor list and give because it will move Stewart up the eligibility list.