CHICAGO (WLS) --At a citywide event to raise awareness about organ donations, Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson revealed that he may be getting a kidney transplant within the month.
An emotional Supt. Johnson spoke at the first-ever Chicago Summit on Organ Donations on Tuesday. Johnson said he remembers when doctors told him about his kidney condition after a physical to become a police officer.
"Imagine at 25, he's telling you, you probably had strep throat and that virus went down into your kidneys. Imagine him telling you at 25 years old, probably within three or four years you're gonna need a new kidney," Johnson said.
Johnson said they've narrowed potential donors down to about a dozen and his surgery could happen in a few weeks.
"I'm looking forward to it because I believe in the doctors and I believe in God. So I'm not worried about it, not whatsoever," Johnson said.
But the superintendent was quick to point out that this is about much more than just him. Tuesday's summit was planned to raise awareness that 4,700 patients in Illinois are waiting for a lifesaving transplant. The hope is to increase organ donations in the state by 35 percent by the year 2020.
"If one person saves one person's life, it's the equivalent of saving the entire world," Mayor Rahm Emanuel said.
Christine Ho lost her husband, also a Chicago police officer, when he was killed in a motorcycle accident. Officer Jonathan Ho had registered to be an organ donor.
"He created a lasting legacy for my children, our family, the recipients and their families. Now that legacy touches all of you," Ho said.
While grateful for his upcoming surgery, Johnson hopes many more will join the effort to save lives.
"I will be forever a spokesman for organ donation because I believe in God and I believe it works," Johnson said.
When ABC7 asked Johnson if he wanted to add anything at the end of our interview, he simply said to register today at giftofhope.org.