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Borough Park, NY - Brooklyn Kidney Transplant Donor and Bnei Brak Recipient Meet

Published on: January 4, 2010 03:19 PM
By: VIN News Staff
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Last week Tuesday evening, Leah and Aliza met for the very first time at Orchidea, an upscale dairy restaurant located on 12th Avenue and 49th Street in Boro Park. Smiling broadly, they embraced warmly. Neither one of them said very much at that special moment. They didnt have to. Their emotions spoke volumesBorough Park, NY - Leah is a young and vibrant wife and mother living in Flatbush, Brooklyn.  Aliza is a middle aged grandmother of 26 grand-kids living in Bnei Brak.  The two might never have met except for the fact that Aliza was ill and desperately in need of a kidney transplant in order to survive.  Leah was determined to be a donor and to save someone else’s life.  And that’s how these two brave women formed an indelible bond.

Last week Tuesday evening, Leah and Aliza met for the very first time at Orchidea, an upscale dairy restaurant located on 12th Avenue and 49th Street in Boro Park.  Smiling broadly, they embraced warmly.  Neither one of them said very much at that special moment.  They didn’t have to.  Their emotions spoke volumes. 

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The transplant was facilitated by an organization called Renewal , under the direction of Rabbi Menachem Friedman. Renewal assists patients in a variety of ways but their ultimate goal is to help obtain a kidney for those in need of a transplant procedure.
Assemblyman Dov Hikind attended the event saying that he felt fortunate to be there.
About a year ago, Leah contacted Renewal.  Her own mother, Rochel bas Moshe, O’H, had passed away several years ago from kidney disease.  Leah had wanted to donate to her back then, but unfortunately by the time the screening process was completed her mother was not considered a good candidate for surgery.  Ever since then, Leah had dreamed of donating a kidney to another Jewish woman l’iluy nishmas her own wonderful mother.  “I just felt,” says Leah, “that if I couldn’t do it for her, I would at least do it for someone else’s mother or grandmother.” 

Meanwhile, Aliza and her family were anxious about her own medical prognosis.  A victim of kidney failure, Aliza knew that her days were numbered if she would not receive a transplant sometime soon. Boruch Hashem, a call came in from Renewal several months ago.  A match had been found. Aliza and her husband were on their way to New York’s Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center for surgery.

About three weeks ago, the surgery was successfully performed.  Both the donor and the recipient recovered nicely.  Within two weeks Leah was back at work and Aliza had a new lease on life.  In honor of the occasion, a seudas hoda’ah was held at Orchidea.

Mazal Wercberger and Ofer Kohen are proprietors of the elegant and sophisticated Orchidea.  They have hosted many special occasions before, but none so heartwarming and inspiring as this one.  Mazal is the sister in law of Aliza, so this celebration is also a personal expression of appreciation.  “It is our greatest pleasure,” says Mazal, “to host a special celebration such as this one.”

Friends, family, and well wishers gathered together at Orchidea to show their support and to wish both women well.  Leah’s friends were thrilled to see her glowing with happiness and beaming with pride.  “She’s just an amazing person,” says Mindy.  “We’re all really proud.”  Aliza’s husband called Leah a “malach min shomayim” and says that his entire family feels tremendous “hakoras hatov”. 

Renewal’s President Sendy Ornstein welcomed the guests, noting that Renewal has already been instrumental in twenty six kidney transplant procedures since its inception just three years ago.  “Boruch Hashem,” he says, “many others are coming forth to donate.  There are no words to describe this tremendous mitzvah.”  He also thanked Leah’s husband and family for supporting her throughout.

To continue the momentum, Rabbi Ornstein revealed that Aliza’s son Ariel is scheduled to donate his own kidney to another recipient (the surgery is IY”H scheduled for Tuesday, January 5th).  Having witnessed the miracle in his own family, he is determined to do the same for someone else.

Assemblyman Dov Hikind attended the event saying that he felt fortunate to be there.  “To be in Orchidea with Ofer and Mazal is always a pleasure,” he said, “but tonight more so than ever.”

Assemblyman Hikind said that “the most important thing to me is the chesed.  In spite of all our problems, we in the Jewish community, the average people, perform acts of chesed that are unsurpassed.”  He called Leah “a leader of klal yisroel”  who “sets an example for the rest of us.”

Mazal’s husband also offered his good wishes, saying that he knows firsthand about “the angst and the stress” that Aliza’s family were going through as their mother’s kidney continued to deteriorate.  All that changed when they heard about Leah’s offer to donate a kidney.  “This mitzvah is strictly l’shem shomayim,” he said. 

Aliza’s husband, R’ Shmuel, a respected Torah scholar in Bnei Brak, spoke passionately about Leah’s incredible mitzvah.  He and his family presented her with a beautiful gift, a stunning silver candlabra, as a token of appreciation. He also expressed his deep gratitude to Renewal for helping them every step of the way.
Sendy Ornstein and Rabbi Chaim Steinmetz of Renewal with Rabbi Dovid Goldwasser at the seudas hodaah.
Also, in attendance was the Dinover Rebbe from Williamsburg, as well as Rabbi Dovid Goldwasser, who came to honor Leah. Rabbi Goldwasser offered strong words of chizuk to Leah and everyone in attendance. He also joined in the saying of “Nishmas” oft said at a seudas hodaah.

As for Leah, she says she is “on a high” from this entire experience.  The sense of achievement and triumph that comes from saving the life of a fellow Jew is something that cannot be put into words.  She was the gracious Guest of Honor all night long, perhaps even a little bit embarrassed by all the fuss and attention, even heard saying “I’m just a regular woman from Flatbush”.  The elegant Orchidea, she feels, was the perfect venue for spreading the word about kidney donation to the community at large.  “If it will help even one person decide to do this mitzvah and save someone’s life,“ she says, “that would be wonderful.”  What a beautiful way to pay tribute to the memory of her beloved mother.



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Read Comments (64)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Jan 04, 2010 at 03:29 PM Liepa Says:

WOW. Tears in my eyes. 'Mi k'amche Yisroel'.

2

 Jan 04, 2010 at 03:40 PM big Fan Says:

This is just one of the wonderful things that Sendy does.

3

 Jan 04, 2010 at 03:42 PM Anonymous Says:

this is unreal wow

4

 Jan 04, 2010 at 03:44 PM Anonymous Says:

"kemosoh yirbah beyisroel"

5

 Jan 04, 2010 at 03:53 PM Hoply Says:

Jews are so special to each other !!!

6

 Jan 04, 2010 at 03:56 PM Anonymous Says:

What a special woman this leah is. Thanks to all the friends and family around her

7

 Jan 04, 2010 at 04:01 PM Anonymous Says:

I have no words but my tears are saying it. May Hashem take there tears and let His cup overflow with them so we're zoiche to the geula

8

 Jan 04, 2010 at 04:06 PM gadol hador Says:

wow... boy am I proud be one a yid! we need more stories as this!!

9

 Jan 04, 2010 at 04:09 PM f18 Says:

I personaly know Leah and her husband (who is in Flatbush Hatzoloh) and her father who is a true Talmud chochum. This story is befitting an amazing family like theirs. B"H there are still wonderful stories to be told.

10

 Jan 04, 2010 at 04:18 PM miriam Says:

Hashem should bentch Leah for her good deed, with mazal , nachas , parnosa and especially good health!

11

 Jan 04, 2010 at 04:36 PM Ofer Kohen Says:

Dear Editor,

I must express my deepest appreciation to Renewal for the critical role their services played in my sister in law's recent kidney transplant. From Bnei Brak, having raised her children to the Derech Hatorah, she had envisioned spending the rest of her life enjoying the fruits of that labor and watching her children begin their own families. This vision was cut short by the end stages of Renal failure. We had been searching for years to find a match for her but to no avail. It was heart rending to watch this vibrant woman, who was literally bursting with life, become debilitated and progressively non-functional. As her illness progressed, she became unable to work, the stress on her husband, a noted Maggid Shiur became unbearable. Part of the problem was that she is o+ blood type (hard to match) which limits the chances of finding a matching donor.

Renewal took us in and led us through each step of the way. The first thing they did was explain each step of the transplant process and discuss the particulars of our case with us. The knowledge they gave us itself was empowering. Following this, they remained available to answer any questions as they arose. When I say as they arose, I really mean, as they arose. I felt and saw that Renewal was there at all times of the day to answer my questions, to help me get more information as needed and to share our burden. Not once did I feel that I was imposing on them, and although they do not accept money for their service, they made me feel as though I was giving them the greatest benefit. Rabbi Friedman worked tirelessly to find us a match. In order to ensure that donors would not be deterred by the thought of financial loss, they offered to cover all the costs associated with testing, convalescence and loss of work. In the end, despite the challenges, a match was found. The transplant was successfully completed on December 3rd at Columbia Presbytarian Medical Center.

I would never wish this situation on anyone. But the best blessing I can offer to anyone whom the Hashgacha determines must endure this challenge, is that they should be able to go it along with Renewal's help. Recently, we made a seudas hodaah in Orchidea in Boro Park with over 70 people. We had quite a few rabbonim who came and joined in this simcha including The Dinover Rebbe and Rav Dovid Goldwasser. I looked at my sister and realized for the first time in many years, that looming thought, of ..... had been removed.

Ofer Kohen
Proprietor,
Orchidea

12

 Jan 04, 2010 at 04:42 PM Renewal Fan Says:

I just got an email from Renewal about tomorrow's transplant:
"The transplant is scheduled to start at 7am and should take around eight hours. We ask you to take a few minutes out of your busy day to say a "kapital t'hilim" for the success of the transplant and the quick recovery of both the donor and the recipient. The donor name is Ariel ben Eliza the recipient name is Yitzchok Elyhuia ben Chaya Zisel"
kol hakovod.

14

 Jan 04, 2010 at 05:12 PM Robert Says:

we need more such people of altruism

15

 Jan 04, 2010 at 05:15 PM miriam Says:

Wow! Beautiful news beautiful!may leah and aliza be blessed with many more healthy years. It is so nice of leah I know someome who tried donating butshe had too high level of something bekitzur my point is its not easy to donate so kol hakvod

16

 Jan 04, 2010 at 05:17 PM Anonymous Says:

Very nice story indeed. I'd just like to ask, aren't there many people all over the world donating Kidneys, how is this story different that people say "Jews are so special to each other", or "Mi Ke'amcha Yisroel"? Just asking, please don't reply with personal attacks. Thanks.

17

 Jan 04, 2010 at 05:29 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #16  
Anonymous Says:

Very nice story indeed. I'd just like to ask, aren't there many people all over the world donating Kidneys, how is this story different that people say "Jews are so special to each other", or "Mi Ke'amcha Yisroel"? Just asking, please don't reply with personal attacks. Thanks.

Because the Orthodox culture is inherently against living donor transplantations (i.e. livers and kidneys) and Jewish Law is very murky in this regard. The fact is that it is supremely rare when a frum individual makes a gift of this nature that it is worthy of mentioning, by the goyim, it is much more common.

18

 Jan 04, 2010 at 05:37 PM yeapb Says:

My mother, sister and husband are currently undergoing and awaiting testing to see if they could be a potential match for me. I am in end stage renal failure after my transplant from 1993 started failing, I am currently being prepared for dialysis just in case none of them are a match. I would then be in the position of awaiting a cadaver kidney. Anyone who wants to can say a few kapitlech tehillim for me, no name needed Hashem Yisborach knows exactly who I am!

19

 Jan 04, 2010 at 05:43 PM Anonymous Says:

WOW!!!this is amazing!!! i have tears in my eyes!!!! may HKBH reward leah and her family with all the brachos!!! and may we all be healthy untill 120, and never need any donations!
beutiful story11 thanks for sharing!!

20

 Jan 04, 2010 at 05:43 PM Kidney Donor from Boro Park Says:

Leah is special! And her husband also with Hatzalah. Wow! What a wonderful couple! I wish you all the brochos in the world and lots of Simchas and Nachas. Hoping that you and your family will be in good health, 'till 120 years!

I am in touch with many kidney donors as myself, all of us are doing great, no one has regrets and some of us wish we can do it again! Many people in the frum community have donated a kidney, but far from enough. People out there, if you didn't donate a kidney yet and you are in good health, come join us!

21

 Jan 04, 2010 at 05:50 PM chesed Says:

Sendy please dont stop here
keep it up
and do more and more chesed
people are really amazed with your work

22

 Jan 04, 2010 at 05:56 PM formelly Says:

this is a great story and very heart warming

and for those who comment Jews are so special or yiddin are so special, you are right. And to prove it, just do a search on a search engine and I am sure you will not find a case of a goy donating a kidney.

Why can't you just leave it that Leah is an amazing person who helped others she did not know.

Not to bust your delusion, but if you do a search you will find hundreds in not thousands of goyim who did the same. All of them who donated a kidney Jew, Yid, Goy are better people than I ever will be, and maybe some of you too

23

 Jan 04, 2010 at 05:57 PM Anonymous Says:

G-D bless the young woman, Leah, for such a brave heroic thing to do - what an unusual woman. May HaShem bless these women to know of only good health and shetizku l'Mitzvot!

24

 Jan 04, 2010 at 06:14 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #17  
Anonymous Says:

Because the Orthodox culture is inherently against living donor transplantations (i.e. livers and kidneys) and Jewish Law is very murky in this regard. The fact is that it is supremely rare when a frum individual makes a gift of this nature that it is worthy of mentioning, by the goyim, it is much more common.

"Orthodox culture is inherently against living donor transplantations."

Maybe your statement is true for the ultra-Orthodox, certainly does not pertain to the Modern Orthodox.

25

 Jan 04, 2010 at 06:31 PM Anonymous Says:

we are so lucky that Dov could be their for us.

26

 Jan 04, 2010 at 06:32 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #17  
Anonymous Says:

Because the Orthodox culture is inherently against living donor transplantations (i.e. livers and kidneys) and Jewish Law is very murky in this regard. The fact is that it is supremely rare when a frum individual makes a gift of this nature that it is worthy of mentioning, by the goyim, it is much more common.

Thanks for the clarification!

27

 Jan 04, 2010 at 06:44 PM 11215 Says:

Actually #17 many jews donate kidneys including myself. We a3e usually reluctant about public with our names and photos. I do commend Leah for doing the mitzvah and for also allowing it to be publicised. When I did it a few years ago it wasn't so accepted and people thought I was nuts. Today we already have much more data and it is known to be so safe to donate. Of course there is some pain, but is safe. There are a lot of yidden that give away their kidneys, actually probably more that by aino yehudi. I am so proud!

28

 Jan 04, 2010 at 06:52 PM Anonymous Says:

Thanks leah and renewal. You are both amazing!

29

 Jan 04, 2010 at 06:53 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #16  
Anonymous Says:

Very nice story indeed. I'd just like to ask, aren't there many people all over the world donating Kidneys, how is this story different that people say "Jews are so special to each other", or "Mi Ke'amcha Yisroel"? Just asking, please don't reply with personal attacks. Thanks.

Yes. At least in the u.s. quite often people of all races, religions and nationalities donate kidneys to people they don't even know . My gentile barber heard about someone in town who needed a kidney and donated his since he was a match. That, of course, doesn't minimize Leah's selfless act which I applaud, but we should applaud all people who go out of their way to save the life of a fellow human being.

31

 Jan 04, 2010 at 07:36 PM Anonymous Says:

# 17 Percentagewise orthodox Jews actually donate a lot of kidneys. Check the facts before you post! It is not against the halacha to donate a kidney. It quite the contrary. It is a huge mitzva to save a life by donating a kidney.

32

 Jan 04, 2010 at 07:39 PM Past kidney donor Says:

Menachem is the man!

34

 Jan 04, 2010 at 07:48 PM Anonymous Says:

# 17 Percentagewise orthodox Jews actually donate a lot of kidneys. Check the facts before you post! It is not against the halacha to donate a kidney. It quite the contrary. It is a huge mitzva to save a life by donating a kidney.

35

 Jan 04, 2010 at 07:53 PM Inspiring Says:

It's amazing when ordinary people do extraordinary things. It's not as big a deal as you think. You life a comple healthy life with one kidney. It's well worth the few days of discomfort. Call renewal today to discuss the procedure. You will be pleasantly surprised on how healthy you live afterwards. Will you be the next Leah?

36

 Jan 04, 2010 at 08:04 PM MendyG Says:

sendy!! keep up your good work! you are a true askan!!!!

37

 Jan 04, 2010 at 08:32 PM speachless Says:

leah,
Im at a loss of words and only Hashem can repay you for the great mitzvah youv'e done.
And to the staff at Renewal....WHAT A WOUNDERFUL THING TO BE BUSY WITH.
Hatzlochah Rabba

38

 Jan 04, 2010 at 08:56 PM yudi Says:

I was at that event and it was beautiful.The crowd laughed every time Alizas husband wanted to thank renewal but was unable to pronounce it and we all as if on que said "renwal". It was a real seudas mitzva.

39

 Jan 04, 2010 at 09:18 PM Kidney Donor & Kidney Matchmaker Says:

Some FACTS about Kidney Donation:

How many people know that a person can live just as well with one kidney as with two?

How many people know that most of these people who are on dialysis - when one goes the other goes at the same time? (In other words kidney disease strikes both kidneys at the same time.)

How many younger women know that they can still have children after kidney donation? (I had made a kidney match in August 2007 - the kidney donor in that match had a baby last June. I also know of other women who have had a baby after their kidney donation)

How many people also know that kidney donation is a much lower risk than childbirth?

How many people know that one out of about 750 people are born with only one kidney? A great number of people who have donated a kidney have had people try to talk them out of it prior to their kidney donation, thinking that the person will need both of their kidneys. Some of those people who try to talk others out of it - can possibly be walking around with only one kidney and may never know it!

- Chaya

40

 Jan 04, 2010 at 10:25 PM Anonymous Says:

Renewal matched my sister to a donor 3 years ago. Their concern continues even after the transplant to make sure the recipient is not abusing their gift.

41

 Jan 05, 2010 at 07:01 AM Howard Says:

According to the (UK) Daily Mail, a total of 927 transplants involving living donors were carried out in 2008/09 in the UK, only 15 of them being altruistic donations (approximately 1 altruistic transplant a month).

According to Rhode Island Hospital Research, only a few hundred altruistic donations have actually taken place.

Bottom Line: Altruistic kidney donation is very rare, and we can be very proud of a Brooklyn frum organization that managed to coordinate 27 altruistic kidney transplants (all 27 donors were frum), in just 3 years!

Indeed, mi keamcha yisroel?!

42

 Jan 05, 2010 at 08:44 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #41  
Howard Says:

According to the (UK) Daily Mail, a total of 927 transplants involving living donors were carried out in 2008/09 in the UK, only 15 of them being altruistic donations (approximately 1 altruistic transplant a month).

According to Rhode Island Hospital Research, only a few hundred altruistic donations have actually taken place.

Bottom Line: Altruistic kidney donation is very rare, and we can be very proud of a Brooklyn frum organization that managed to coordinate 27 altruistic kidney transplants (all 27 donors were frum), in just 3 years!

Indeed, mi keamcha yisroel?!

How are you defining "altruistic"? Do you mean donating to someone you don't know?

43

 Jan 05, 2010 at 09:22 AM NB Says:

Reply to #1  
Liepa Says:

WOW. Tears in my eyes. 'Mi k'amche Yisroel'.

I have news for you..
Goyim do this too...all the time...

44

 Jan 05, 2010 at 09:25 AM want to be a donor Says:

I have wanted to be a donor for a long time, i am 50+ years old and my father has asked me not to. He feels that will a large family of children and grands it is likely that one day, a family member may need a kidney and I may be the only compatable one. Does this make sense? (not talking about the kibud av part of the issue)

45

 Jan 05, 2010 at 09:35 AM Howard Says:

#42- yes. A donation to a stranger is altruistic. A donation to friends/family is kindness to your loved ones.

#43- that's not true. ALTRUISTIC kidney donation is very rare. Look it up online. Whereas 27 ALTRUISTIC kidney donations in 3 years, just from the american frum population (a tiny minority, and that doesn't include all the frum jews who donated altruistically through organizations other then Renewal), demonstrates a willingness inherent in the frum jewish community, much more than in the common American non jewish community. So for the future, check your facts before you make light of these dedicated donors.

46

 Jan 05, 2010 at 09:51 AM narisher mensh Says:

we r so hypocrital!

here we do good thing and in the other hand we are...

face it!

47

 Jan 05, 2010 at 10:02 AM Anonymous Says:

#17...Rav Chaim Kanievsky was asked and he said it was a mitzva and gave her his brochos.

48

 Jan 05, 2010 at 10:05 AM leah Says:

F18-thanx for the kind words, we wanted to tell you about it over shabbos, but somehow it didn't come up in conversation!!

49

 Jan 05, 2010 at 10:14 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #18  
yeapb Says:

My mother, sister and husband are currently undergoing and awaiting testing to see if they could be a potential match for me. I am in end stage renal failure after my transplant from 1993 started failing, I am currently being prepared for dialysis just in case none of them are a match. I would then be in the position of awaiting a cadaver kidney. Anyone who wants to can say a few kapitlech tehillim for me, no name needed Hashem Yisborach knows exactly who I am!

May Hashem grant you a complete and speedy Refuah Shaleimah!!!!!!!

50

 Jan 05, 2010 at 10:20 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #17  
Anonymous Says:

Because the Orthodox culture is inherently against living donor transplantations (i.e. livers and kidneys) and Jewish Law is very murky in this regard. The fact is that it is supremely rare when a frum individual makes a gift of this nature that it is worthy of mentioning, by the goyim, it is much more common.

Got news for you but there are orthodox jews who do living organ donations. There is nothing in halacha against it. Why I would say that this is rare is that most people will give to a relative or someone they know. To give to a stranger is a lot tougher desicion.

51

 Jan 05, 2010 at 10:53 AM Chana Rivka Says:

Leah, I know that I called you this morning and expressed my tremendous awe at what you did, but I felt the need to respond here, too! What you did is too amazing for words: You, Bentzy and the kids should be benched with many, many, many years of bracha, hatzlocha and only wonderful things. I truly am proud to know you.

On a personal note, I am so grateful for what you did, as Aliza's son is continuing the chain, by donating a kidney to my very close friend's husband right this very minute! May Hashem bless you all!

52

 Jan 05, 2010 at 11:02 AM AD Says:

Reply to #48  
leah Says:

F18-thanx for the kind words, we wanted to tell you about it over shabbos, but somehow it didn't come up in conversation!!

Yshalem Hashem Pa'aleich, v'yhei maskurtaich shlaimah meim Hashem Elokai Yisrael...

53

 Jan 05, 2010 at 11:13 AM Big Fan! Says:

Rabbi Goldwasser is really doing great things for us all over: www.goldwasserstory.blogspot.com
All yidden should have a refuah shleima. If only Rav Chaim Kanievsky or Rav Shach ZTL would be here to comment and givd direction in such cases...
Big Fan

54

 Jan 05, 2010 at 11:16 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #51  
Chana Rivka Says:

Leah, I know that I called you this morning and expressed my tremendous awe at what you did, but I felt the need to respond here, too! What you did is too amazing for words: You, Bentzy and the kids should be benched with many, many, many years of bracha, hatzlocha and only wonderful things. I truly am proud to know you.

On a personal note, I am so grateful for what you did, as Aliza's son is continuing the chain, by donating a kidney to my very close friend's husband right this very minute! May Hashem bless you all!

Thanx again for calling and your heartwarming words. We are davenning that the surgery should go smoothly and this should be the beginning of a refuah shelaima for him. It is amazing how Hashem runs His world and how this chain continued.

55

 Jan 05, 2010 at 11:26 AM משה Says:

good for you on this world and good for you on the next world

56

 Jan 05, 2010 at 12:52 PM Kidney Donor from Boro Park Says:

Renewal is an amazing organization! What ever I do in my life, is just a drop in the bucket compared to the great work they do!

Kol Hakovod! May all those involved with Renewal have arichas yomim - good health to them and their families, ad meim v'esrim shana!

57

 Jan 05, 2010 at 12:54 PM shimster Says:

Wow im really choked up!

58

 Jan 05, 2010 at 01:09 PM Riverside#15 Says:

I read this article, and like many others it brought tears to my eyes. What a very special woman. What a Zchus for the neshama of her mother. After reading the article,I went back to look at the picture again, because I noticed how beautiful she was(both inside and out) and I realized that this was Leah , my good neighbor in the country. What an extraordinary eishes chayil. Anyone who knows her knows that she is not just a wonderful daughter, willing to do this for a zchus for her mother, but a extra super mother and wife as well. Leah, I am in awe of you and proud to be your country neighbor.

59

 Jan 05, 2010 at 02:16 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #44  
want to be a donor Says:

I have wanted to be a donor for a long time, i am 50+ years old and my father has asked me not to. He feels that will a large family of children and grands it is likely that one day, a family member may need a kidney and I may be the only compatable one. Does this make sense? (not talking about the kibud av part of the issue)

You are probably too old to donate at 50+.

60

 Jan 05, 2010 at 02:28 PM D.B. Says:

leah - you are not a reg lady from Flatbush. U R a v/ COURAGOUS young lady & we r & VERY PROUD of you. May this z'chus stand by you & ur family amus"h & may it be an aliya for the neshama of your hailigeh mother.

61

 Jan 05, 2010 at 09:36 AM Howard Says:

#42- yes. A donation to a stranger is altruistic. A donation to friends/family is kindness to your loved ones.

#43- that's not true. ALTRUISTIC kidney donation is very rare. Look it up online. Whereas 27 ALTRUISTIC kidney donations in 3 years, just from the american frum population (a tiny minority, and that doesn't include all the frum jews who donated altruistically through organizations other then Renewal), demonstrates a willingness inherent in the frum jewish community, much more than in the common American non jewish community. So for the future, check your facts before you make light of these dedicated donors.

62

 Jan 05, 2010 at 04:52 PM Riverside #6 Says:

I am proud to know Leah and am not surprised by what she did. She is an extremly warm, giving, and generous person. Riverside is lucky to have her. May she and her beautiful family have only Brocha and Hatzlocha for many many years to come.

63

 Jan 05, 2010 at 10:29 AM Shmuel Says:

Reply to #44  
want to be a donor Says:

I have wanted to be a donor for a long time, i am 50+ years old and my father has asked me not to. He feels that will a large family of children and grands it is likely that one day, a family member may need a kidney and I may be the only compatable one. Does this make sense? (not talking about the kibud av part of the issue)

I don't think it's a reason not to donate. If you saw a man starving to death, would you say, well I have a large mishpocho so I can't feed him, because one day a son or einikel of mine might be starving to death? I understand my analogy is a stretch, but I'm trying to bring out a point.

Also, from all of your offspring, only a small portion of them will be compatible with you anyhow, due to varying blood types, etc. so it is very unlikely that one of your COMPATIBLE relatives will have kidney failure, while you're in a condition to donate (in a few years, no doctor will take out your kidney, due to age, like 70 years max.).

Also, I'm sure if you donate a kidney, renewal will put your mishpocho at the top of the list, if your mishpocho will G-D forbid ever require their services. And that is much better than having your own kidney to donate, because Renewal has willing donors of many blood types, while your own kidney is only one blood type, thus not allowing you to help family with varying blood types.

By the way, if you donate a kidney, abd ever need one G-D forbid yourself, the law is you go to the front of the line at the national registry (and by kidney disease, both kidneys are always attacked together, so if one kidney goes bad, it means both went bad, and you need a transplant). So if you donate a kidney, it actually solidifies your future health, if you are G-D forbid ever going to get the dreaded kidney disease. You would be in the front of the line!

Knowledge is power, so just give Renewal a call. I did, and I am so happy I donated. They don't mind talking the details through with you. You don't have to be willing to donate to ask them questions. You'll be surprised how many fears will disappear after talking to them. Renewal also has a greatly informative video on their website.

Or if you like, just request me to call you in a post, and we'll exchange numbers through the VIN website staff/editors.

64

 Jan 05, 2010 at 05:33 PM Yankel from BP Says:

Yasher Koach Leah !... You and your family should be granted a long life, brocho and hatzlocho in everything...

65

 Jan 05, 2010 at 11:52 PM Cutlers Says:

I too am proud to say i am a friend of Leah! With tears in my eyes I still cannot believe what a special Mitzva she did. I am not surprised by such an act of selflessness on her part! She's a warm caring person, always with a smile and a nice thing to say. Her children have a lot to look up to. May Hashem bentch her and her family with all the Bracha in the world!

66

 Jan 06, 2010 at 09:57 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #16  
Anonymous Says:

Very nice story indeed. I'd just like to ask, aren't there many people all over the world donating Kidneys, how is this story different that people say "Jews are so special to each other", or "Mi Ke'amcha Yisroel"? Just asking, please don't reply with personal attacks. Thanks.

I'm sorry that you ask for no personal attacks but obviously by saying what you did, you realize that personal attacks will come. Are there really that many people all over the world donating their kidneys to people they have never met, just to save another Jew's life? How many of them do you know? I don't think I know of any others. It's not just a "very nice story indeed". It is a story that shows how much selflessness one person can have, that Leah can be an inspiration to so many Jews around her. She didn't have this story published for publicity-she did it to inspire others. If even just one other person chooses to donate a kidney because of her story, it would have been worth publicizing it. And by the way, if people all over the world are donating their kidneys, and it's not such a big deal, when will you be donating yours????

67

 Jan 06, 2010 at 03:10 PM leah Says:

Reply to #65  
Cutlers Says:

I too am proud to say i am a friend of Leah! With tears in my eyes I still cannot believe what a special Mitzva she did. I am not surprised by such an act of selflessness on her part! She's a warm caring person, always with a smile and a nice thing to say. Her children have a lot to look up to. May Hashem bentch her and her family with all the Bracha in the world!

Thank you for the amazing post, but I would love to know who "Cutlers" is and "D.b." as well!!

68

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