They said that once you find true love in this crazy world, you have to hold on to it and never let go. Lilit Marcus, an observant bystander, saw a glimpse of true love in the identity of a strange man in Target. The kind of true love that is willing to go beyond greater heights for the love of their life.
According Lilit Marcus, it was just a regular Friday afternoon when she had to stop by their local Target to buy some medical prescriptions. It was at this moment that her attention was piqued by a strange man in a black coat. Posted on his backpack was a sign that says: “In need of a kidney for my wife, B+. 917-442-6202.”
Not knowing what to say, Lilit took a photo of the man before her. Afterwards, the man went out of the store and was out of her sight. And since she could not forget about the man in need of a kidney donation, she decided to post the photo she took on her Twitter account.
Her caption of the photo reads: “Here is a photo I took at my Target yesterday and can’t stop thinking about.”
Although, Lilit says that she does not usually post pictures of people she does not know without their approval, she felt that she had to share the photo on her account. After all, the message written at the back of the strange man seems urgent.
The photo she took and posted on Twitter was shared for more than 22,000 times and 35,000 likes. In fact, as Lilit wrote on CNN, even celebrities like Zach Braff, Martina Navrotilova, and Evan Rachel Wood shared her post to help raise awareness about the man. Actress Sarah Hyland, who had a second kidney transplant, shared her post as well.
As it turned out, the strange man wearing a black coat at Target is Raymond Thompson. He is the husband of Mylen and father of a 4-year-old charming daughter named Rachel. The supportive and concerned husband does not have a Twitter account, but he knew that something must be happening when his phone buzzed up with calls and texts coming from unknown numbers from the different parts of the world. It seems that all of them are more than willing to help out Raymond’s wife.
Because most people sent Raymond a screenshot of Lilit’s original Tweet. He immediately recognized her name when she reached out to him.
Raymond and Mylen met each other through an AOL chat room in the year 2000, because of their common interest over pro-wrestling, the two found something to talk a lot about. Since then, their relationship became their great source of joy. However, in the year 2016, Mylen was diagnosed with a kidney disease.
“She called me at work and said, ‘Babe, you need to come home right now.’ She said, ‘I can’t feel my right side. It’s numb,'” Raymond shared with Lilit. “Now “she goes to a [dialysis] center for three hours, three days a week. There’s a machine that filters your blood. It takes a lot out of you.”
Trying to look for a perfect match, Mylen and Raymond’s family got themselves tested, sadly, no one turned out to be a match. But Raymond is determined to find one that can match Mylen’s and save her life. After learning about the story of Rob Leibowitz who donned a t-shirt that reads “In need of kidney” around Disney World, Raymond thought that he could do the same thing as well.
Raymond firmly expressed that he only wanted to find someone whose kidney matches with his beloved wife. Apparently, some people want to set-up a GoFundMe page for him and Mylen to help them cover their medical expenses.
“I had a few people walk up to me and try to give me money,” Raymond stated. “I refuse that every single time.” Raymond says that his work’s insurance and Medicare are enough to pay for their medical bills.
To further help Mylen find the right kidney donor for her, they decided to transfer Mylen’s care to NYU Langone Hospital. Hopefully, this will help them test the sea of people who expressed their desire to see if their kidney matches with Mylen’s.
Raymond plans to reach out to those who responded to them by January. However, Raymond would like to set his expectations right. He knows very well that despite their viral picture posted on Twitter, Mylen’s plight against her kidney disease would not be solved over night.
“Sickness doesn’t care who you are,” Raymond said. “I appreciate everyone who reaches out. It means a lot to us to get the message out there.
According to Living Kidney Donor Network, there are about 100,000 people on the Kidney transplant waiting list. For most people, it takes 5-10 years to find a matching kidney form a deceased donor. To make the matter worse, the waiting list has doubled in size over the last 10 years.
Thus, kidney centers are encouraging people to sign-up to be a Kidney donor. After all, a healthy person can live with one healthy well-functioning kidney. Donating one would help extend the life of others like Mylen!