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'Pete needs a kidney': Comstock Park man resorts to road sign to find organ donor

Pete Bottoroff has been in kidney failure for the past two years. He hopes his sign will find an eligible donor soon.

COMSTOCK PARK, Mich. — Pete Bottorff loves many things. One of them, his uncle's Antique Farmall H Tractor.

His other love: his family which includes his wife, kids and 12 grandkids.

Including their youngest Landon.

"Landon's one, and I want to see him grow up," said Pete.

However, Pete needs a kidney, he's been on dialysis for the past two years.

"Dialysis doesn't work forever," said Pete. "A kidney will help me keep a long lifestyle and to see my grandkids grow up."

When Pete was 16, he became an insulin-dependent diabetic after a ruptured appendix damaged his liver. The diabetes now put him in kidney failure.

Now at 73-years-old, Pete has resorted to putting up a roadside sign in Comstock Park in early November.

Credit: WZZM

The words "Pete Needs a Kidney" can be seen by hundreds and hundreds of drivers daily in the hopes that someone out there can help.

"The more people who know about it, maybe you'll find somebody that's willing to make the donation. It's a big sacrifice, I recognize that," said Pete. "It's not easy for anybody to come to the conclusion that they want to, you know, give up an organ. So the whole idea is, just keep expanding and get the word out."

Pete says if he does get a new kidney, he'll try to get back to doing things that are so familiar to him.

"If I had a kidney and got some freedom, I could go back to volunteering at some of the organizations. I could do some travel, see some of the things I'd still like to see," said Pete.

For now, all Pete can do is pray.

"I've been praying very hard," said Pete. "I'm a firm believer in good words come through action. And that's why I'm trying with the sign and stuff like that. I feel that if I do my part, good things will come to me."

Pete adds that you don't need to be a perfect match in order to be a donor.

According to the National Kidney Foundation, there is a process called the "Kidney Paired Donation" or "Paired Exchange". 

"If the recipient from one pair is compatible with the donor from the other pair, and vice versa– the transplant center may arrange for a "swap"–for two simultaneous transplants to take place. This allows two transplant recipients to receive living donor kidneys and two donors to still be able to donate, though the original recipient/donor pairs were unable to do so with each other."

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