We sometimes avert our eyes. We don’t want to make eye contact with the person standing outside our car window begging for money.
Some hold signs. Some simply hold a cup.
They’re asking for a job, money, or any kind of help.
Occasionally, you glance over and read the sign. You might give some loose change or even a dollar bill.
“What they do is they stop and offer me money and I go, ‘No, no. I’m not trying to get money,’” smiled Steve Smiley. “I’m not doing too much else besides trying to get a kidney.”
Yes. A kidney.
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That’s what Steve Smiley’s sign and shirt say as he stood alongside the road outside Rancho Bernardo Community Park.
“Stephen Smiley needs a kidney! Can you help?”
It then lists an email address: StevesChampion@gmail.com.
The Rancho Bernardo man needs a kidney.
“I’m weaker than I used to be,” he said. “My doctors tell me you better get this, and you better get it soon.”
He got this idea from attending a seminar on creative ways to get organ donations.
“One of them was a guy standing in the street with a sandwich board saying, ‘I need a kidney.’ So, I figured maybe I’d try that,” Smiley… smiled.
He waved at car after car as the sun set over Rancho Bernardo. He has done this for weeks.
Unfortunately, no one in his family is a match.
Smiley acknowledged it’s a long shot, but he has nothing to lose.
“I probably should be more nervous than I am but I’m not really nervous," he said.