Generous offer saves would-be organ donor


Bud Wilkinson/Republican-American Tim Sparks and Mike Wallace share a love of motorcycles, a passion that drew Sparks to want to help Wallace, a stranger who needs a kidney transplant.

Mike Wallace's urgent need for a new kidney may have saved Tim Sparks' life.

Wallace, 52, who owns Southworth's Wayside Furniture, has suffered from kidney disease for a dozen years. For nearly three years, he has endured nightly peritoneal dialysis, hooked to a machine in his home from midnight to 9:15 a.m.

Three months ago, Wallace's name was added to the wait list for a kidney transplant at Yale-New Haven Hospital.

Sparks, 56, a Bantam native who moved to Watertown in August, read an article about Wallace, which mentioned his love of motorcycles. It is a passion Sparks shares.

"Maybe it was the motorcycle connection. For some reason, it just got to me," said Sparks last week, as he stood in the driveway of Wallace's home looking over a faded red 1983 Audi GT car that Wallace had just picked up for $800. The two also appreciate sporty cars. Continue reading