A Cape Breton, N.S., man desperate for a kidney turned to Kijiji for a donor.
Ken Wilkie, 47, posted the online classified with the eye-catching heading "Boost Your Karma."
“I am a hard-working father of two, I don't drink, smoke or do drugs so I promise I will look after your kidney,” reads the post.
Wilkie told CBC’s Maritime Noon his kidneys are functioning at nine per cent.
“I’m running out of steam pretty quick,” he said. “A transplant usually takes place at 11 per cent.”
His genetic condition is hereditary, so he says a family donation is out of the question.
He had a donor match, but then tests revealed she had cancer.
'They say you can get anything on Kijiji.'- Ken Wilkie
“Basically jokingly I said to her, ‘Don’t worry about it,’ I said. ‘I’ll throw an ad on Kijiji. They say you can get anything on Kijiji.'”
Wilkie said so far he’s received about 40 emails from people willing to get tested.
“People feel strongly about it, I guess. They’re just willing to help,” he said. “If I do get a kidney I’ll do everything I can to look after that kidney. This is an incredible gift.”
The Capital District Health Authority in Halifax said it has never had to handle someone finding a donor on Kijiji. They said the donor and the recipient have to know each other.
The Kijiji ad has been taken down as it violates the site's policies. Wilkie said that policy limits opportunities.
His only option besides a donation is dialysis. He's still looking for a kidney.
Wilkie said that's a hard road, but “beats the alternative.”
The Kidney Foundation of Canada says it doesn't object to public appeals for kidneys, but supports “rigorous evaluation protocols” to keep the donor and the transplant recipient safe.
“Individual appeals to the public for living donors may increase the number of kidneys available for transplantation,” it says.
But you can't pay for it. "The connection between the potential donor and transplant recipient must not include an economic incentive to the living organ donor," the foundation warns.