Sneed exclusive: Eddie Johnson set to get kidney from relative

SHARE Sneed exclusive: Eddie Johnson set to get kidney from relative

Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson | James Foster/Sun-Times file photo

Sneed is told Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson, who is in need of a kidney transplant, has found at least two donors, the leading candidate being his son.

“Let’s put it this way,” said Johnson, who has been on a kidney transplant waiting list. “I’m so grateful.”

“My son, Daniel, who is 25, is a match and so is a cousin — and two anonymous donors are going through the process.

“So if all the i’s get dotted and t’s crossed, the worst-case scenario is the procedure will be taking place in June at Rush University Medical Center.”


Ironically, Johnson was diagnosed with glomerulonephritis, a kidney condition, 32 years ago when he was 25 — the same age as his son.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who handpicked Johnson as his top cop after the abrupt departure/firing of a very stunned/angry Garry McCarthy, told the press Johnson let him know about his kidney problems early on.

It was shortly after Johnson’s near collapse at a press conference in January, his longstanding kidney condition was disclosed — although his near faint was apparently unrelated to the kidney problem. He said he fell ill because he had taken blood pressure medication on an empty stomach.

But it was then Johnson also disclosed he had been on a kidney transplant list for several years.

“I do not require dialysis, nor do I have diabetes,” Johnson said.

Johnson told Sneed on March 18: “When the press found out I needed a kidney transplant about a month or so ago, I was inundated with a lot of enthusiasm from people offering to make donations.

“I had been on a transplant list for a couple of years after being diagnosed 31 years ago — and was waiting for a conventional transplant donation,” he said.

“But now things have changed and are moving quite rapidly.

“Now people are volunteering to donate a kidney. . . .

“To be honest, I’m getting to a point that I’ve babied these puppies about as far as I’m getting to go,” Johnson chuckled.

Since then, Johnson has steadfastly stuck to a regimen that has resulted in weight loss.

“Mike, I have now lost a total of 35 pounds,” he said Thursday. “I work out on the treadmill for 40 minutes every day and I eat healthy. This whole process has been amazing.”

Emanuel also continues to have high praise for his top cop.

In a recent stop at Sneed’s office at the Sun-Times, Emanuel gave Johnson high fives and was anxious to have him back on the job after surgery.

“Eddie is an amazing man,” the mayor said.

“Look, Mike. I love the police. I love the city,” Johnson said.

“We are going to make Chicago the safest big city in the country. We are going to get there.

“Believe me. We are going to get there.”

Desiree departs . . .

Sneed is told Desiree Rogers, who was once the White House social secretary during President Barack Obama’s first term, is this/close to exiting Johnson Publishing Co. after five plus years, returning the management reins to the Johnson family.

• Backshot: Rogers helped engineer the sale of Ebony and Jet magazine brands and other media assets — as well as repositioned the Fashion Fair cosmetics line, a subsidiary of Johnson Publishing, where she is the CEO.

• Upshot: Sources say Rogers feels the time is now to shift her focus to the leadership of Choose Chicago, where she is board chair of the city’s tourism bureau — and her other passion, the Conquer Cancer Foundation.

Sneedlings . . .

I spy: Former mayor Richard M. Daley spotted at Ocean Cut on Wednesday night. . . . Today’s birthdays: Adele, 29; Vanessa Bryant, 35; Brian Williams, 58, and a happy belated birthday to former state senator Art Berman, 82.

RELATED: Sneed: Top cop Eddie Johnson optimistic he’ll get new kidney soon CPD Supt. Johnson says he is on kidney transplant waiting list

The Latest
Jordan Hawkins scored 20 points and UConn overwhelmed its fourth straight NCAA Tournament opponent, blowing out Gonzaga 82-54.
Brendan A. Kennedy-Gasior, 37, faces a felony count of promoting prostitution and was released from custody after posting $500 bond in the case.
Officers responded to a call of shots fired at the store Saturday evening.
Alijah Martin, Vlad Goldin and ninth-seeded Florida Atlantic became the first and lowest-seeded team to reach this year’s Final Four as the Owls withstood another huge game by Kansas State’s Markquis Nowell to win 79-76.