Welcome to Matnat Chaim!
Matnat Chaim is an organization in Israel that is dedicated to encouraging individuals found suitable for making a life-saving kidney donation, and focuses exclusively on altruistic i.e. voluntary donations. The organization functions on a voluntary, not-for-profit basis. The sole motive that drives the volunteers of the organization is the desire and willingness to help others and save lives.
We at Matnat Chaim are currently investing time and effort in increasing public awareness of the fact that medical research shows that a living kidney donation entails almost no risk for the donor and involves a minimum of discomfort.
We are also taking action to shorten and simplify administrative procedures involved in gaining approval of a living kidney donation. We walk the donor and recipient through the maze of hospital corridors, and give advice and guidance in medical matters and patients rights. All the directors of the organization are volunteers receiving no salary, and all the activities are carried out in a transparent, fair and legal manner.
So far, we have handled dozens of successful transplants that have taken place in Israel, and a few (rare and particularly complex) cases in the USA. Over time, the number of applications we receive for transplants has grown, transplant possibilities for Israeli residents have become increasingly limited, and patients are looking for an ideal solution. At present, we have no solution to offer many potential recipients, some of whom are married with families, parents with small children to care for, others with a long history of suffering. The stock of kidney donation volunteers is limited, and we are investing tremendous efforts into creating a place in public awareness for the possibility of making a life-saving kidney donation.
One of the goals of Matnat Chaim is to make the considerable body of information about kidney transplants collected over the years from different sources available to the public at large. The first, and most important, step has focused on the research studies that discuss the minimal risk to the donor and the expected implications of a kidney transplant.
How a life-saving organization began
Several years ago, Rabbi Yeshayahu Heber (at that time a dialysis patient himself and not yet a kidney transplant recipient) met a young man called Pinchas, the son of parents who had lost their older son in the Lebanon War. Pinchas, the younger brother, urgently needed a kidney transplant, but no suitable donor could be found and there was no official authority or organization that could be approached for help. As a result, Pinchas’ transplant was delayed and his body could no longer cope. After a long period of physical and emotional suffering for him and his family, he passed away, leaving his parents bereaved of two sons.
This tragic story, the like of which has become all too common in recent years, illustrated the vital need for an organization to which patients could turn in such times of trouble, and that is how Matnat Chaim came into being.
A number of people with first-hand knowledge of the suffering of kidney patients in need of a kidney transplant joined the organization, with the aim of alleviating their suffering by finding living kidney donors. We work to encourage voluntary kidney donors and match them with suitable poten
Rabbi Yeshayahu Heber is the chairman and chief administrator of Matnat Chaim. In 2013, in a moving ceremony, Beilinson Hospital presented a certificate of appreciation to Rabbi Heber for his work in saving lives.