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San Diego man isn't losing hope in his quest to find kidney donor

Posted at 5:51 AM, Jan 18, 2022

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Every day at Rancho Bernardo Community Park, you’ll see Stephen Smiley holding a sign in hopes of a new kidney.

“I come in the late afternoon, usually, and I wave to the cars, wave to people in the cars. Some wave before I do," said Smiley.

The 71-year-old suffers from a kidney disease called IgA nephropathy or Berger's Disease.

The condition has put him on dialysis for eight years.

He's been standing at the park for the past two to three months in hopes of finding the right match. It’s the second time over the two years he’s done this after a potential donor match was disqualified.

“I’m trying to see what else I can do to get some donors," said Smiley. “She tried for the tester for about a year and but then they almost a year and they decided that she had a problem that's a health problem. They would they wouldn't allow her to donate her kidney. And I just recently found that out."

Smiley’s not giving up hope.

He said he wants to take part in a clinical trial called Freedom One.

“It frees you from immuno-suppressive drugs the first year after your transplant," he said.

He said if he can find a donor he’s ready to tackle his interests.

“I'm interested in energy efficiency for houses and so I'm interested in that see if I can do something along those lines. And then I haven't been swimming ever since I had this implanted catheter. So I might like to sometime go swimming," said Smiley.

You can contact Smiley at