My Almost Kidney Donation and the Urgent Need in Our Community

From the Inbox: A concerned member of the Crown Heights community shares his experience with signing up for kidney donating and brings up the 200 Yidden currently waiting on the kidney donor list.

By A Fellow Member of Anash

Allow me to share an interesting experience from a few weeks back that hit home what it really means to give.

I was at work one morning and received a phone call from Renewal, the organization that helps facilitate kidney donations in our community. Thinking that it was likely a fundraiser, I answered the call, only to find out that I had matched as a kidney donor. About five years ago, they were doing a kidney drive for a resident of Crown Heights (who still needs a kidney transplant), and knowing him from Shul, I got a swab kit and sent it in, and had not thought about it since.

The woman on the phone told me that I matched with someone else and asked if I would be interested in donating a kidney. My first reaction was to say yes, but as it’s one of those things that you need to discuss with your spouse, I told her I would let her know shortly.

Seeing what is going on in the world, how so many Jewish lives were taken from us only a few weeks prior, and knowing people who had rushed back to Israel to serve at risk to their lives, it was a fairly easy decision.

The Talmud states very clearly that whoever saves one life, it’s as if he saved the entire world, and the statistics of kidney donors are pretty good. The rigorous screening process for kidney donors ensures their complete health, with minimal risks beyond the donation itself and an annual checkup thereafter.

Recognizing this as an opportunity to contribute, especially knowing there was a Jewish woman in New York awaiting a kidney, I completed the initial forms and awaited contact from the hospital for the preliminary checkup.

Unfortunately, after a brief discussion, it was revealed that my past experience with kidney stones disqualified me due to potential long-term risks. Nonetheless, as nothing happens by chance, this experience must have occurred so that I can help raise awareness for this great cause. 

Did you know that approximately 200 individuals from our communities are currently awaiting kidney donations?
Were you aware that humans can function perfectly well with only one working kidney? Consider the impact: without a new kidney, individuals with kidney disease endure painful dialysis, tethered to a machine emulating the kidney’s function. Imagine knowing that a part of you, residing in someone else’s body, is aiding them in living a normal life every day.

For those interested in initiating the kidney donation process, Renewal is a valuable starting point – visit for information and stories. A simple call or email can set you on the path, with a short questionnaire leading to a mailed swab kit for testing. Even if a match is found, a thorough vetting process ensures both donor and recipient’s well-being.

May the merit of all of the mitzvahs being done, bring all of our brothers and sisters home safely.

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