Baltimore community members Rabbi Dr. Moshe Lasson and Rabbi Yossie Ryback are in need of a kidney and they are reaching out to our community for help.
On Tuesday evening, September 26 at 8:00 P.M. Bikur Cholim and Renewal will host a Kidney Donation Awareness Event at Bnei Jacob Shaarei Zion. The event is free and open to the entire community.
Many of us know someone who has successfully received a kidney transplant and may have wondered what is involved in becoming a donor. During Tuesday’s event this topic will be discussed. Representatives of Renewal will familiarize the community about kidney disease and all that is involved in being tested as a potential donor. Renewal is a nonprofit organization dedicated to assisting people suffering from various forms of kidney disease. They are a multi-faceted proactive team that is dedicated to saving lives through kidney donation.
Renewal explains as follows: “There are people from all walks of life, and of all ages. Men, women and children ranging in age from a five year old child to a 73 year old adult. They are from all parts of the world, including the USA, Canada, Israel as well as England and Brazil. They all wait for that call that a match has been found. These people are willing to travel to be in an area closer to the location of the donor, if necessary. Renewal has been successful in helping many of these patients, but the need is still great. Each year, 8 percent of the patients on the national list die waiting for a kidney.”
Renewal offers assistance along the various aspects of the kidney donation process. A representative accompanies the donor and recipient throughout the entire transplant, from the first day of testing through the morning of transplant when the donor is driven to the hospital. Renewal makes sure the process is smooth and works to ensure the comfort of the donor and patient. After a donor is released from the hospital, Renewal sends the donor to convalesce, which makes the recuperation period much more tolerable. Transportation to and from testing as well as airfare for out of state donors is covered by Renewal.
On Tuesday evening, Rabbi Hauer and Rabbi Eichenstein will offer brief remarks. Altruistic members of our community who have donated a kidney and recipients who have benefitted from their gift of life will be introduced. A donor will share his experience with the audience. Representatives from the University of Maryland transplant team will be available to answer questions or concerns. Those who are interested in being tested will be able to do so at the conclusion of the evening. Community members will also have the option of taking the testing package home to have some time to think it over. The testing is a simple swab of the cheek; no blood is drawn.
Bikur Cholim urges all to please attend this life-saving informational even that is fortuitously taking place during the Yomim Norayim. Bikur Cholim wishes everyone a G’mar Chasima Tova; a year filled with good health and happiness.