My story starts over a decade ago, several thousand miles away. When my mother came to visit my older brother and me in Israel, she noticed that my brother didn’t look well and insisted he see a doctor; shockingly, he was diagnosed with unexplained double kidney failure.
Upon his return to the US, he started dialysis and we began the feverish search for a donor, a daunting task in those
pre-Renewal days. An altruistic donor was located and surgery scheduled for two months later. During the wait for surgery, women from the community gathered at our home for an Amen party, where thousands of brachot were made and answered in my brother’s merit. Just three days later, a recently deceased donor came through – and this one was a perfect 6-point antigen match, a one in ten million occurrence!
A decade after the transplant, my brother’s kidney function began to decline. His health was not in immediate jeopardy, but his quality of life was markedly reduced and the doctors recommended seeking a new donor. We contacted Renewal – AJ Gindi is a family friend, and my mother has been a part of the kidney “community” since the first transplant – and I immediately volunteered for testing. Since I’d been too young to donate the first time, I had never been tested. Incredibly, the test results showed that I, too, was a perfect 6-antigen match for my brother!
Surgery went smoothly for both of us; the kidney is functioning beautifully, and my brother’s levels are better than they’ve been since the very start of this saga. We know that Hashem prepares the cure for every illness – the refuah before the makkah. In our case, I was the refuah from the moment I was born, and I am so grateful for the chance to provide my brother with another chance at life.