Marc Weiner needed a new kidney. In a desperate measure, a 5,000 sq. ft. electronic billboard was generously donated in Times Square to flash a message asking a stranger to become a living kidney donor. That was two years ago. The plea was successful – although not for Marc.
NYPD Detective Michael Lollo saw the billboard and was inspired to donate his kidney to save Marc’s life. Unfortunately Detective Lollo was unable to donate to Marc. However, Detective Lollo decided to become a Non-Directed Donor. Detective Lollo’s kidney was a match for someone else; Ruth Tisak (then unknown to Michael), was awaiting a transplant at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland and received Detective Lollo’s kidney. Ruth’s husband Paul, a Marine Veteran, had already donated to a stranger in order for his wife to receive Detective Lollo’s kidney.
The kidney exchange was arranged by the National Kidney Registry (NKR), which uses big data and complex algorithms to optimally pair compatible donors with recipients across the country. The one-of-a-kind computer platform has made more than 4,400 kidney transplants so far but many more are necessary – at any given time some 100,000 Americans are on the waitlist for a kidney transplant.
NKR arranged for an organ transportation service to pick up Detective Lollo’s kidney from his operating room at New York Presbyterian Weill-Cornell Medical Center in Manhattan and drive it to Walter Reed where Ruth was in her operating room ready to receive his kidney on December 19, 2018, the same day as Detective Lollo’s operation.
Michael recently retired from the NYPD and is now working for Altaris Consulting Group and is assigned to the Baldwin School District. Michael is an avid proponent of living kidney donation. He is a leader in the National Kidney Donation Organization, Inc. (NKDO) a non-profit organization that educates prospective living kidney donors about how to donate as safely and effectively as possible in order to end America’s kidney crisis.
Michael and Ruth are doing well. But Marc still undergoes dialysis treatments three times weekly as he continues his search for a living donor.
Mark, Michael, and Ruth will gather on Friday, Dec. 18, 2020 in Times Square to celebrate the two year anniversary of Michael’s life-saving kidney donation to Ruth and to help Marc renew his campaign and to encourage healthy individuals to save the lives of others by becoming living kidney donors: www.HelpMarcFindAKidney.com