Baby on billboard is asking you to save her Grandpa's life - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Baby on billboard is asking you to save her Grandpa's life


We drive past billboards every day.  But now one in South Bend is unlike the rest.  A baby is pictured asking for your help in saving her grandpa's life.  It's at the intersection of Ironwood and 23 and is aiming to find Jerry Graf a kidney.  It has a picture of one-year-old Adelynn and reads "Please donate the kidney that will save my grandpa's life"  Thursday night Adelynn and her grandpa were together to celebrate Adelynn's first birthday.  The family hopes the billboard will let them celebrate many more birthdays together. 

"I just know the relationship I had with my grandpa and I was really fortunate and I want here to have the same," said Adelynn's mother Ragen.  But in order for that to happen, Grandpa needs help.  "My kidney started going 8-10 years ago," said Jerry Graf.  He's been on the transplant list for over two years.  Now Graf is two months away from becoming a level 5.  That means he will have to get a transplant or dialysis to keep going. 

His wife Diane Graf, who is also Adelynn's grandmother, came up with the idea of a billboard to help find the kidney he needs.  "I was watching the word news one night and this gentleman was walking with a sandwich board that his wife needed a kidney," said Diane.  Graf wanted to reach people on the streets just like that, without having to stand outside in the Indiana winter weather.  So the billboard idea was born and the next idea was to put Adelynn on it.  "You want to see your grandchildren get married and go through college and all that and it was just like if this doesn't come to fruition perhaps this may not happen," said Diane.  She's a teacher for a local school and has taken a leave of absence.  She said right now her job is finding her husband a kidney.

And it's not just about finding a kidney for Grandpa.  They hope Adelynn's face can help raise awareness and find kidney's for thousands of others who need them.  They said it'd be great to find Grandpa a kidney but if they don't and can find kidney's for other then it's still worth it.

Adelynn's mother is grateful that her daughter will hopefully be able to do what she can't.  "There's this part of me that wishes I was able to give my kidney but I'm not a match.  To have Adelynn help him to possibly find a kidney for him would be amazing."

The Ad featuring Adelynn will run on the billboard until Sunday.  If they're not successful in finding a kidney they may buy more ad time.  

Grandma Graf said they've had a couple calls about it.  But she said when you donate it remains anonymous.  So they pass callers onto the hospital and they'll never know if the callers get rejected because they're not a match or if the kidney he gets ultimately comes from someone who saw this billboard. 

If you'd like to help you can call 574-333-7071 or email  The family has also set up a Facebook page you can view here.

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