The bladder cancer survivor looks for a kidney – with a 5,000 square foot Time Square billboard

Broadway billboards in Time Square glimpse Marc's 5,000-square-foot commercial looking for a kidney donor

People from all over the world travel to Time Square to see models of six floors and Marquises of a block of the city illuminated in the shining billboard that illuminates the area night and day.

From now until November, they will also be seeing the face with glasses of hundreds of feet of 53-year-old Marc Weiner.

And he hopes that only one of the 330,000 daily visitors to the plaza will be kind enough to give him a kidney.

The message on the 5,000-square-foot billboard that the generous friends of the bladder cancer survivor bought him is simple:

"My name is Marc. I need a kidney. You can help! & # 39;

Broadway billboards in Time Square glimpse Marc's 5,000-square-foot commercial looking for a kidney donor

Broadway billboards in Time Square glimpse Marc's 5,000-square-foot commercial looking for a kidney donor

Marc was diagnosed with bladder cancer two years ago.

He was in stage I when doctors caught him, but when they operated to rid him of the disease, his doctors discovered that it had actually spread to his kidneys as well.

Then all three organs had to leave.

Since the operation, Marc has been cancer free. He is well enough to travel periodically, work as an executive producer of television news and even play basketball with his friends in Great Neck, New York, on Sundays.

But there is a trap: three times a week, Marc spends four hours sitting in the hospital for dialysis treatments that act as a substitute for missing kidneys, filtering the metabolic waste from his blood.

& # 39; It keeps me alive, but, at 53, [the doctors] He told me I had to quit dialysis because it's hard for my heart, "says Marc.

"It will not give me longevity."

Dialysis tends to harden the arteries and veins because it is an increase in the levels of a compound called phosphorus, which binds with calcium in a rigid substance that lines the blood vessels.

For the most part, Marc's quality of life is reasonably good, but trips should be planned well in advance and involve a tour of local hospitals and can not ride all the rides & # 39; with her 12-year-old daughter, Lilly. .

He is relatively lucky, and he knows it. Although their cancer was somewhat unique, once bladder cancer spreads to other organs, the five-year survival rate is only 35 percent.

For two years, Marc has not had cancer, which means that he is now finally eligible for a kidney transplant.

But there are more than 100,000 people on the waiting list in New York alone. It could take between five and eight years before Marc has a chance in a new organ.

"It's not that I'm going to die, it's that my health is better if I have a living kidney donor," says Marc.

His wife, Lisa, is in the process of getting tested to see if she can be a donor to donate a kidney to Marc.

Marc goes to dialysis treatments for four hours at a time, three times a week

Marc goes to dialysis treatments for four hours at a time, three times a week

Marc goes to dialysis treatments for four hours at a time, three times a week

At first, Marc hesitated to show his face on a giant billboard, but his daughter, Lilly (center) and his wife, Lisa (right) encouraged him to go for it.

At first, Marc hesitated to show his face on a giant billboard, but his daughter, Lilly (center) and his wife, Lisa (right) encouraged him to go for it.

At first, Marc hesitated to show his face on a giant billboard, but his daughter, Lilly (center) and his wife, Lisa (right) encouraged him to go for it.

But a former colleague of hers had a suggestion: think big; much, much bigger.

"He said:" What can we do? How about a billboard? A 5,000-square-foot billboard calling for action? "Marc remembers.

"At first, I thought: I'm not going to do this, I'm not going to look fat, this is silly, but my wife said," Are you kidding me? You should do this! "& # 39;

He did it.

"Now, someone could walk from Burbank, California, or Vermont, or Atlanta, Georgia and see that," says Marc.

For $ 3,500 a month, paid for by his friends at City Outdoor Advertising, Marc's bill dwarfs others for the Broadway shows The Kinky Boots, Jersey Boys, SpongeBob and Gettin & # 39; The Band Back Together below.

Your monthly cost is a little over one tenth of what a new kidney costs.

& # 39; I'm very lucky. There are thousands who do not have that opportunity, so I'm even more grateful, "says Marc.

"If I can shed light on what happens to people like me, that's a good thing."

"It is not easy to ask for help, to look to others to help save your life, but life is the most important gift, it is better than anything on the planet, I know that people do not have the same resources, but you must be creative , expand your network and your creativity ".

Marc's billboard with his message and a link to his website will be open until November, and will run periodically day and night.

Meanwhile, Marc's hopes are as high as his announcement is high.

"I think it's positive, I love life … and I'm going to find a new kidney," he says.

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