The giant black and yellow digital signs around the city rose earlier this month, stating in capitals that "Ryan Mclennan needs a living kidney donor" that has type O blood. Al Charest / Postmedia
Ryan Mclennan, the Calgary store professor who has put dozens of billboards in search of a kidney transplant donor, will be going to surgery later this month after a stranger has volunteered to save his life.
"A match was found and a target date for surgery," says Mclennan's Facebook post on Friday. "It's the most incredible thing and a chance to live without pain every day; a chance to get some of my life back! The road ahead is unknown, but I have hope. "
In February, Maclennan and his wife Shakina bought 27 giant black and yellow digital signs throughout the city, saying in capital letters: "Ryan Mclennan needs a living kidney donor" that has blood type O.
The posters showed a photo of the couple and their phone number for potential donors to call and direct people to a family-initiated Facebook page to help spread the story of Mclennan and find him as a donor.
He said that 30 potential donors emerged after the billboards went up, but one by one determined that all were incompatible with the transplant.
But that's where Airdrie resident Tony Timmons comes into Maclennan's life.
Maclennan said he had never met Timmons until a few months ago, but luckily Timmons 'wife runs a nursery in the presence of one of Maclennan's co-workers' sons.
Timmons saw one of the billboards and started to go through donor testing, and it turned out he was a match for Maclennan.
The co-worker helped connect the two men who became friends, with Maclennan saying that Timmons is a "versatile" person.
"You can only thank him so many times, but he's definitely a hero in my eyes," Maclennan told Postmedia, speaking about Timmons and his more than generous offer.
"I've had extremely good friends and family who really did not dare to step forward and then I have someone who does not even know me to take a step forward."
Maclennan said he had postponed the announcement that he had found a match because there is still a chance that the surgery will be impaired for a few days or that he is not healthy enough to perform the operation.
"The doctors tell me that if I get sick, if I have bad blood results, or for some other reasons, then the surgeryIt will not happen, "he said. "But I have to be strong and think positive because I was given a miracle."
Mclennan was a mechanic before his kidneys began to fail about 15 years ago and he could not continue working in his field.
He is now a professor of mechanics and autobody at Padre Lacombe High School in Calgary, winning a Teacher of the Year award four years ago.
Elaine Austin, Mclennan's mother, donated her own kidney for the first transplant of her son about 15 years ago.
She told Postmedia in February that her son's health had been "very good" until last year when his body began rejecting the transplanted kidney.
Mclennan's surgery is scheduled for Nov. 28 and said "it will be one of the best days of my life."
He thanked all of his supporters and followers for Facebook, calling Timmons an "incredible person," willing to change his life for the better.
"This process has changed me," he said. "That made me see the light and what is important."
On twitter: @RCRumbolt