WHAT WE DO
As is often the case in a serious medical diagnosis, the patient and family can quickly be overwhelmed by the pronouncement that one is suffering from irreversible kidney failure. With the increased frequency of transplants from non related donors, it was decided to start an organization dedicated to assisting people suffering from various forms of kidney disease. About ten years ago through the initiative of a few caring individuals, Renewal was created.
Although the aim is to help in any way possible, the ultimate goal is obtaining a kidney for those that would like to undergo a transplant. On the waiting list are people from all walks of life, and of all ages. Men, women and children ranging in age from a young child to an 80 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. If you feel that this is something that you can do, it would be a great mitzvah indeed to help any one of these patients.
Understandably, the first place one would look for a donor is within the family. With kidney disease however, this is not always the solution. Many times the ailment is a familial one and therefore the family members are suffering from the same condition. Other times the family is small and the few that are of age to donate are either not the same blood type and/or not compatible for various other reasons. Many of our coreligionists are suffering emotionally, physically, and financially as are their families. Jewish leaders both in Israel and the U.S. have stated the greatness of this act and have enthusiastically supported those that have given a kidney.
All costs of the actual procedure are covered by the recipient’s insurance. Transportation for the testing, if needed, is taken care of by Renewal as is food, lodging for a family member wishing to be with the donor during the hospital stay. Renewal’s goal is to assist each and every patient and donor with any help and support they may need.
G-d willing, it will be a most uplifting experience and everyone will return to their normal daily routine in a relatively short time.
SERVICES WE PROVIDE
Although there are many good medical referral agencies, they do not put a particular emphasis on the specialties of nephrology and transplant surgeons. Renewal offers guidance through the maze of experts in these fields.
There are many centers that do kidney transplants throughout the United States. It is imperative to use one that has the experience of doing many transplants, yet is not overly aggressive in putting the donor or recipient at risk.
Guide(s): Renewal has published a guide that explains the process of donating a kidney. This took months of research and has served as a useful tool for many donors. Copies have been requested throughout the US and Canada and we have received requests to have it translated into Hebrew and Yiddish. In the works is a guide written for the patient and family.
Renewal 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 as comfortable as can be and even arranges for volunteers to sleep at the hospital. After a donor is released from the hospital, Renewal sends the donor to convalesce, which makes the recuperation period much more tolerable.
Renewal believes that there should be no financial obstacle whatsoever to one's kidney donation. Therefore Renewal is happy to cover a donor's potential loss of wages, transportation and convalescence.
After the transplant, a past donor will visit the current donor in the hospital. As is normal after an operation, there is pain and discomfort. Seeing someone who has done it and is now fully functional is a tremendous support.
It is Renewal's belief that it is imperative to keep the familial harmony during this challenging time. Therefore, we strive to make the experience as smooth as possible.