SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) - A man who needs a kidney to survive turned to desperate measures to save his life by using an unusual method to find a donor.
Rick Elenes said none of his family members or circle of close friends is a suitable kidney match. So, he sent out a flier to 20,000 homes in Encinitas - asking for someone to donate a kidney.
Rick, who lives in Cardiff, had his first kidney transplant 16-years-ago. Unfortunately, that donated kidney and the one he has are failing.
Doctors told Rick the odds of getting a new kidney are 25-1.
"When I heard that, I wasn't going to sit around," said Rick.
He and his wife, along with a friend, came up with the idea of sending out mailers - yellow post cards that share Rick's story.
"I am willing to cover anything they (the donor) need," he said. Rick is offering full compensation for a kidney matching blood type-O.
According to Rick, the mailers appear to be working. People touched by his story have been responding. Most of the calls are from well wishers, but there were others who did not like his approach.
"'Oh, you're asking for body parts? Shame, shame, shame,' then he hung up," said Rick about an angry caller.
Rick is not trying to buy a kidney because that would be illegal. What he's trying to do is increase his odds of living a little longer.
"I'd like to be the person that lives to 100. Maybe if I get a kidney I might have that second chance," he said.
For Rick, it's his last hope. He believes he is one step closer to finding a kidney.