Man Stands on Ellsworth Corner Asking For Kidney Donor
A Sorrento man stood on an Ellsworth street corner last Friday, asking for someone to donate a kidney to his stepson. His huge yellow sign was bright, easy to read, and full of love.
This time of year, it's not unusual to see someone standing on a corner or outside Walmart with a sign, asking for help. It's become so commonplace that, I think, too often we don't even look at them or read their signs.
But it was tough to ignore Gerry Mehl on Black Friday. His sign with a fluorescent yellow with huge black letters. And he wasn't asking for food or cash, but rather a kidney. And he's not asking for himself. His stepson, 51-year-old Mark Harrell, lives in Milbridge but, according to the Ellsworth American, spends four days a week receiving dialysis at his parents' house.
Harrell has polycystic kidney disease, that has caused his kidneys to grow to the size of footballs. He told the EA that his pain is sometimes so great that he can't sleep. The dialysis helps, but it's not a long-term answer. His best bet would be to get a new kidney.
Mehl has tried posting the need on his car as he drove around town, but that hasn't netted the needed donor. So he thought all the traffic and holiday spirit on Black Friday might be a golden opportunity. So he made the huge, bright yellow sign, and stood on a corner in Downtown Ellsworth, asking for help. He even moved over to the Walmart parking lot and spent some time there.
If you want to be tested to see if you could be the donor, call Gerry Mehl at (207) 422-1119. Or you can call the Maine Medical Center transplant center in Portland, 1-800-870-5230, and select option 4. Here's hoping Mark and his family get their Christmas miracle.