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Indiana man gets kidney transplant 2 years after holding up sign at NFL game

Marcus Edwards went to a Chicago Bears game in 2019 with a goal: end up on TV so he could show his sign looking for a transplant match.

CLARK COUNTY, Ind. — An Indiana man is alive today, thanks to a sign he held up at an NFL game.

Marcus Edwards needed a life-saving kidney transplant. He came up with an idea to find a donor, and his world has been changed ever since.

On a February morning at Edwards' kitchen table, the talk was the upcoming Super Bowl.

"I'm an honorary Bengals fan just for this week," Edwards said.

It's a game he never thought he'd see — not necessarily because of the matchup, but because of the date on the calendar.

Edwards was in kidney failure at a Chicago Bears game at Soldier Field in 2019 when he held up a sign that read, "I NEED A KIDNEY O POSITIVE."

A year later, he was still fighting for his life.

RELATED: Jeffersonville man's transplant request at Bears game goes viral

"As long as I've got that dialysis machine and I've got my wife and kids, I'm going to be all right," Edwards said at the time.

Jennifer Michel, of New Albany, saw the story and couldn't help but shake the feeling that she was the one who could help.

"The nurse said, 'You're a match.' I said, 'Like a real match?'" Michel said.

So in October 2021, Edwards and Michel met for the first time at the hospital — two days after she gave him her kidney.

"There was a complete stranger 15 minutes from me that just saved my life," Edwards said. "It was incredible."

Edwards still has that sign that started it all. At the time, his wife questioned his decision to hold it up, trying to get on TV. Now, they both credit the sign for starting a chain of events that led to his new kidney — and they consider Michel to be family.

"My uncles and aunts, they've contacted her," Edwards said. As a result, Michel has gained family herself.

Edwards, who once wondered if he'd be around to see his kids' milestones, now knows he'll be there and said Michel will be there, too.

"Boys graduating high school, she'll be there," Edwards said.

MORE: Noblesville family raising money for infant 's kidney transplant

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