FORT MILL, S.C. (FOX 46) – A little sign on a busy freeway exchange is getting some attention near Fort Mill.
It’s only been out for a few months, but a local man is hoping you’ll call the number written across it, because it may mean getting his life back.
The sign positioned right at the corner of Market and North Carolina 160 near Baxter Village reads “I need a Kidney” with the phone number 803-579-7267.
It’s a little sign that Nick Koulpasis hopes you’ll pay attention to.
“The part of my kidneys that regulate red blood cells don’t work anymore,” Koulpasis explained.
Doctors diagnosed Koulpasis with a form of kidney disease back in 2017.
He said, “The technical name of the diagnosis from my doctor was glomerulonephritis.”
Koulpasis learned that he’d need a new kidney eventually, but knew that making it to the top of a donor waiting list would be a lengthy process.
“When I heard ‘ 3 or 4 years I said ‘No way,’ I said ‘I’ll get a donor,’” he said.
For the past four months, Koulpasis has been putting out signs at busy intersections across Charlotte, Fort Mill, and even on his car.
He said that the signs have brought in about 30 phone calls, some with people genuinely wanting to help, and others not-so-much.
“I’ve gotten nasty calls too, believe it or not,” he says.
Those calls don’t bother him because he said the right person will come along.
“Literally, if someone is stopped at a red light and they see my sign, they might know somebody or they themselves might want to donate or look into donating,” he shared.
In the meantime, Koulpasis is going to his dialysis treatments three times a week.
“That’s really what’s keeping me alive,” he said.
According to UNOS, The United Network for Organ Sharing, the deceased donor waitlist averages three to five years, which is why Koulpasis is set on finding a generous living donor, which can be a faster process.
He does have one request.
“I just don’t want an anonymous person that I can’t thank. I would prefer somebody that I could thank,” he said.
So, the next time you’re stuck in traffic, Koulpasis hopes you’ll take a second look.
He said, “I will never forget that gesture.”
Koulpasis is registered locally at Atrium Health, Duke Health, and the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville.
His phone number is 803-579-7267.