Eddie Johnson speaks to Palm Sunday congregation on the importance of organ donation

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CHICAGO — At the House of Hope on Palm Sunday, Chicago’s superintendent of police Eddie Johnson used the pulpit for his higher calling.

“We have to do a better job of helping each other,” he told the congregation. “We have to.  I’ve received a lot of love in this city.”

31 years ago, doctors diagnosed Johnson with kidney issues.  A transplant, they said was inevitable in the future.

“I was 25 years old at the time and the doctor said to me, ‘Sometimes bad things happen to good people.’”

But it wasn’t until this January, when he nearly passed out during a press conference, that the public knew the private medical struggle for the man who quietly rose through the ranks of the CPD to become its leader.

Sunday, Johnson used his high profile job as a platform to change lives not only on Chicago’s streets but through advocating for organ donation, even as his search for a kidney donor continues.

“I had some potential donors that washed out for different reasons,” Johnson said. “So I am still looking for one.  But I know it’ll come  because God has really carried me this entire time. And I feel great and it still amazes me that I feel as well as I do because we’re really at the fringes of where we really do need to make a decision about a few things. … I’m here for you and I know God won’t let me down and I won’t stop until we get this done.”