One year ago today, on July 6th , 2014, I donated a kidney. A year before that I spotted an ad in the paper from Matnat Chaim and something inside of me clicked. My 50th birthday was approaching and instead of thinking “what can I get for the “big 5-0?” I thought- “What could I GIVE BACK to God, for all of the kindness that He showers upon me?”
My husband and I met with Rabbi Heber and his wife, two people who are completely dedicated to this amazing cause of finding a kidney for everyone who is in need. They patiently answered all of our questions and explained the procedure. After finding a match I started with the physical exams which lasted quite a while, but gave me plenty of time to think about what I was doing. Truth be told, there were times that I wanted to chicken out but I kept thinking of all of the people who need just one kidney, and here I am walking around with 2! The physical and mental evaluations were over and the day was approaching. I didn’t tell too many people- maybe 5 total. I needed all of my strength to go though with this and couldn’t have people putting doubts in my head. I also wanted to keep it quiet for two other reasons- my mother can never find out and I also wanted to do it “beseter” to do a mitzvah without proclaiming it to all – keeping it between me and the Boreh (the Creator).
Thank God, all went well with no surprises. Smooth recovery, thank God. The family of “V”, the recipient, was grateful beyond words. He is doing well, we are in touch, we’ve met a few times this past year and today, on our “anniversary” we went Beilinson Hospital together to visit other altruistic donors, recipients and their families, to wish them well and for them to see the progress after a year.
My life has changed for the better in so many ways. I thank God for the opportunity to help someone and thank Matnat Chaim for making it happen. May God bless Rabbi and Mrs. Heber with continued health and success in all they set out to do.