William Larry Swilling is walking the streets of Anderson County, S.C., to save his wife's life. And he'll keep walking until the sign he carries reaches the right person.
Armed with a sandwich board that reads "NEED KIDNEY 4 WIFE," Swilling, 77, has told news outlets that the sign has generated lots of response and even offers of money -- but no kidney yet.
Jimmy Sue Swilling, his wife for nearly 56 years, was born with one kidney. Now that one is failing.
"I love her more now than I believe when I married her because we're not two, we're one," he told CNN (video above). "We need each other and we've been together so long."
Swilling walked 7 1/2 miles on Friday, and hits the streets when he isn't working his job at Consolidated Southern Industries, reports say.
He told WYFF that he had six pages of names of potential donors. All will be tested for free, and Swilling said he'll even pay for gas money to the clinic.
Neither Swilling nor the couple's three children have the proper blood type, so Swilling came up with the attention-getting plan last Tuesday. "I know Larry will do everything possible for me," Jimmy Sue Swilling said to CNN.
Statistically, Swilling's outreach to strangers appears to make some sense. Among the 18,052 kidney donations in 2006, only 4,000 were from living related donors and just 824 came from spouses and other romantic partners, according to kidneylink.org. The number of unrelated living donors numbered 1,450. However, the bad news for Swilling's campaign is that the vast majority (11,576) were harvested from deceased donors.
It should be noted that kidney donation does not alter life expectancy for the donors, said the University of Maryland Medical Center in citing current research. Those with one kidney can live ordinary lives, the website added.
Swilling hopes his determination -- and the kindness of strangers -- will pay off.
"I want my kidney," he told CNN. "That is going to save my wife and that's what I want."
Click through the slideshow below to read 11 inspiring organ donation stories.SLIDESHOW:
Leanne Stefanovic, 31, found her soulmate with ease, but it was the best man who became her perfect match. He stepped up to donate his kidney to the bride who had been chained to dialysis for four years.
When Hélène Campbell, 20, hoped to spread the word about her struggle to get a lung transplant, she turned to one of the most popular tweeters out there, @JustinBieber to spread her message. "@alungstory i got the word....you have amazing strength," Bieber tweeted to his 17-million plus fans. "i got u. #BeAnOrganDonor"
After three sisters found out they weren't matches to donate a kidney to their father, they brought their plea to Craigslist. There, they found a donor and the inspiration to start The Flood Sisters Kidney Foundation of America to help pair donors with those in need.
After Mary Ann Holder killed her niece and son, Hannaleigh Michelle Suttles, 8, and Zachary Lee Smith, 14, some hope emerged from the senseless tragedy. Zachary and Hannaleigh Michelle's organs were donated, which helped save 12 people's lives.
When former HuffPost Impact editor Erica Liepmann found out that she was a match to donate a kidney to her adopted mom, the news felt that much more miraculous when Liepmann learned just how rare it is for biological strangers to be compatible. "The fact that my mother didn't actually give birth to me, yet I still had the perfect organ to save her life, solidified my belief that this was fate -- perhaps even part of a divine plan -- for me to be the one to donate," Liepmann said.
When the youngest victim of the Tuscon, Ariz., shootings died last year, the parents of Christina Taylor Green, 9, were determined to perpetuate her legacy by donating her organs, a gift which helped at least one young girl in Boston.
When Ava Kaufman, a dancer who committed decades to her craft, saw her body swell to a shocking weight, she knew something was terribly wrong. Kaufman was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disorder and received a life-saving heart transplant just in time. She now raises awareness for organ donations and supports patients awaiting surgery.
After her brother struggled for 45 years with a number of health issues -- starting with losing a kidney to a tumor at 9 months old -- Elissa Stein learned that she was a match to save her brother's life. She didn't hesitate stepping up to help.
After Hernan Perez died in a sledding accident when he was 6, his organs helped save a number of people, including Megan Corfee, now 9. The families live just 30 miles from each other and work together to inspire others to become organ donors.
Charles Hoffman was getting desperate, so turned to MatchingDonors.com, a site that matches living donors to recipient in need and hoped for a miracle. When Hoffman was saved by a complete stranger, he became the site's 114th success story.
After 2-year-old Jariah Henderson was accidentally shot while playing at a relative's house in Gary, Ind., his family donated his organs, helping to save up to seven lives.