Beggars holding a sign on the side of the road looking for a couple bucks are not an unusual sight. But a sign-toting man in Oregon was looking for something much more valuable than spare change — his sign reads “Need Kidney Donor.”

Earl Martinez of Oregon Searches for a Kidney Donation From a Stranger

Earl Martinez with his sign. (Photo: Facebook)

Earl Martinez, 28, told KOIN he was born with a genetic kidney disease called Alport Syndrome that rules out family members as donors. He has been on dialysis for 18 months and been waiting more than a year for a transplant.

Martinez says his insurance will cover all medical costs — on both his and the donor’s side.

Martinez explained on the Facebook page devoted to seeking out his kidney donation that he has a type O blood and can only accept a kidney from a person with that same blood type.

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And since his story has captured national attention, things are looking up for Martinez. There’s been an outpouring of offers and he wrote on his Facebook page that he can’t even keep up. One of his most recent messages says he now has two people being tested:

Earl Martinez of Oregon Searches for a Kidney Donation From a Stranger


The Associated Press contributed to this report.