A New Hampshire man battling kidney disease is waiting for a transplant, but because it may take years before his name makes it to the top of the donor list, he and his family are taking matters into their own hands.
“He promised me that we would grow old together, and that’s my biggest fear, that we are not going to be able to,” said Tammy Boomhower of Sandown, New Hampshire.
Time is running out for her 54-year-old husband, Mark. He was diagnosed with kidney disease 15 years ago.
He’s on a donor list, but that could take another seven years — time Boomhower simply doesn’t have.
“Now, the search is on to try and find a living donor,” Mark Boomhower said.
As a truck driver stuck in traffic every day, he decided to take his search on the road.
"Kidney needed for Mark," it reads in all caps on the back of his 18-wheeler. "Would you share your spare?"
The message is hard to miss.
“What else do people do sitting in traffic for hours? Let them sit there and read this,” Mark Boomhower said.
His kidney function is down to 12 percent, dialysis is looming, and the clock is ticking.
“It’s very scary,” he said.
The truck's message, a moving billboard asking a stranger to spare a kidney, is the couple's last-ditch effort.
“I don’t want to lose him,” Tammy Boomhower said. “It’s so much to give, but you could save someone’s life, you know, my husband’s life.”
Boomhower is being treated at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. The hospital participates in the Paired Donation Program, which means that Boomhower doesn’t necessarily have to find a donor to match his blood type, he just needs a person to donate a kidney to the program.
In return, he’s guaranteed a kidney that will work for him.