Montgomery woman puts up billboards in hopes of finding a kidney donor

Updated: Jul. 28, 2019 at 10:17 AM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Montgomery native Verna Johnson was diagnosed with kidney disease in 2017.

“I have end stage renal failure and my kidneys are functioning at six percent," Johnson said.

Johnson has been on dialysis ever since her diagnosis; however, she needs a kidney in order to survive.

Johnson has been on the kidney transplant waiting list for a year-and-a-half, but according to the Living Kidney Donors Network, the average wait time for someone on the waiting list is between five and 10 years.

Johnson knows this fact all too well. Her sister also had kidney disease and was on the kidney transplant waiting list for over a decade, but she never received one, and passed away in 2015.

“She was on the waiting list for 11 years," Johnson said.

You could say Johnson got tired of waiting.

“Yeah, I was not gonna wait any longer," she said.

So, she got creative and took matters into her own hands.

“People put billboards up with their businesses and organizations to help advertise their needs, so why not put one up for me and advertise that I’m in need of a kidney?” Johnson said.

One of the nine "Verna Needs a Kidney" billboards in Montgomery and Birmingham.
One of the nine "Verna Needs a Kidney" billboards in Montgomery and Birmingham.

There are currently four “Verna Needs a Kidney” billboards in Montgomery and five in Birmingham.

“I’m waiting for that match. Like we say, ‘We’ll do the work, God will do the rest,’” Johnson said.

Johnson is hopeful that the billboard will help her find her “perfect match."

If you’re interested in donating to Verna, call the UAB Medical Center at 888-822-7292 and mention Verna Johnson by name, or visit Johnson’s Facebook page.

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