Veteran asks strangers for kidney donation

Published On: Oct 14 2013 07:39:16 AM HST

A local veteran took to a street corner to ask for a new kidney. 

Robert Dean, of Arcadia, said he's tried everything. On Sunday, his 84th birthday, he took to a street corner to ask strangers for the gift of life. 

Dean is using his last bit of strength for his last hope.

"I feel bad all the time," Dean said.

His kidneys are failing. Friends and family offered theirs, but no one was a match. While waiting to find a donor, he has dialysis three times a week.

“It takes all the strength away from you,” Dean said. “It does terrible things to your body.”

Despite the way he feels, Dean stood strong at the corner of Memorial Road and Pennsylvania Avenue wearing a sandwich board with his phone number. As an ambulance passed by, Dean joked, “I’m glad I’m not going with him today.” 

Most cars pass him by, but Dean said all he needs is the one with the right person inside to stop. He told one man who rolled his window down, “I need an ‘A’ or an ‘O’ [blood type].”

Ten years ago, KOCO interviewed the Air Force pilot turned sculptor helping others. He was teaching art and music to children in need when a vandal ruined a year of his work. He started over on the life-size sculpture creating a marble masterpiece of Jesus. Now he's praying for a miracle.

So far, two strangers who saw this sign have called offering to donate. Neither was a match. 

One woman also said she would donate but has failing kidneys of her own. Dean told her he hopes she too will find a match.  

Anyone interested in donating to Dean can reach him at 405-255-3587.


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