Giant black and yellow digital signs around the city rose earlier this month, stated in all capital letters that "Ryan Mclennan needs a living kidney donor" who has blood type O. Al Charest / Postmedia
Ryan Mclennan, a Calgary shop teacher who installed dozens of billboards in search of kidney transplant donors, will head to surgery later this month after selfless foreigners offered to save his life.
"A match was found and the date of bookkeeping was booked," wrote Mclennan's Facebook post, written on Friday. "This is the most extraordinary thing and the opportunity to live without pain every day; the chance to get a portion of my life back! The road ahead is unknown, but I have hope. "
Back in February, Maclennan and his wife Shakina bought 27 giant black and yellow digital signs around the city with the capital letter "Ryan Mclennan needs a living kidney donor" who has blood type O.
Billboards display photos of the couple and their telephone numbers for potential donors to call and direct people to a family-initiated Facebook page to help spread Mcennan's story and find him as a donor.
He said 30 potential donors were advancing after billboards rose, but one by one the doctors decided everything was incompatible with the transplant.
But that's where Airdrie resident Tony Timmons enters Maclennan's life.
Maclennan said that he had never met Timmons until a few months ago, but because of his good fortune, the wife of Timmons ran a day care center attended by one of Maclennan's co-workers.
Timmons saw one of the billboards and started through donor testing and it turned out he was suitable for Maclennan.
The co-worker helped connect the two men who became fast friends, with Maclennan saying Timmons was "an extraordinary person."
"You can only say thank you very much, but he is truly a hero in my eyes," Maclennan told Postmedia, talking about Timmons and his more generous offer.
"I have very good friends and family members who really don't have the courage to move forward, and then I have someone who doesn't even know I am moving forward."
Maclennan said he was delaying announcing the news that he had found a match because it was still possible the operation could be hit by a few days or he would not be fit enough to undergo surgery.
"The doctor told me if I was sick, if I got a bad blood result, or for some other reason, then operate wellNothing will happen, "he said. "But I have to be strong and think positively because I have been given a miracle."
Mclennan was a mechanic before his kidney began to fail about 15 years ago and he could not continue working in his field.
He is now an autobody mechanic and teacher at Father Lacombe High School in Calgary, winning this year's Teacher award about four years ago.
Elaine Austin, Mclennan's mother, donated her own kidney to transplant her first child about 15 years ago.
He told Postmedia in February that his son's health had been "pretty good" until the last year, when his body began to reject transplanted kidneys.
Mclennan's operation is scheduled for November 28 and says it "will be one of the biggest days of my life."
He thanked all his supporters and followers for Facebook, calling Timmons an "extraordinary person" who was willing to change his life for the better.
"This process has changed me," he said. "That makes me see light and what's important."
In twitter: @RCRumbolt