Dear Holocaust Community,

This is a plea from the child of a Survivor, asking for your help in saving the life of my husband Peter Rogers who has been diagnosed with end-stage kidney failure. Due to the Holocaust, I grew up with practically no family. Now I am facing the possibility of losing my husband, my soul mate.

Currently Pete still works as a full time teacher. Although he is eligible for disability, Pete desires to be productive and not make himself a burden on society.It is difficult for Pete to enjoy life because he is very tired and spends much of his time on dialysis.

He must be connected to his dialysis machine nine hours every night. Because he must be up at 5AM for work, he needs to be in bed by 8PM. This gives him no time for the evening activities he would otherwise enjoy.

Without this dialysis Pete will die. He must constantly visit doctors to have his blood levels of dangerous chemicals monitored and he receives weekly injections to make sure he can make red blood cells. While this treatment is keeping him alive, the average lifespan for people on dialysis is five years. Pete needs to have a kidney donor before his time runs out.

Pete is on the transplant list, but the wait will be many years for a suitable kidney from a deceased donor, or unless he can find a donor designating him as a recipient. Unfortunately, I have been eliminated as a possible donor at the present time.

Pete loves being in the classroom challenging young people to live useful and meaningful lives and Pete would like to have an active life, including his practice of yoga, spending time with his cocker spaniel Celia and cooking ethnic food. Most of all, Pete loves to travel. Now, most travel is difficult if not impossible.

Thankfully, over 50% of kidney donations in the U.S. now come from living donors – relatives, friends, co-workers, even strangers. A donor does not have to be a match or have the same blood type (B+ in Pete’s case) as there are organizations and hospitals that coordinate swaps among mismatched donors and recipients. Because of this system a donor may actually save two lives.

Living donation is the most effective from a medical standpoint. In the Boston area a potential kidney donor will be thoroughly evaluated by the world-renowned and Nobel-prize winning Brigham and Women’s Hospital (for the first kidney transplant) Department of Transplant Surgery to make sure it is entirely appropriate. The surgery itself is minimally invasive – laparoscopy by a small incision.

Kidney donation is a relatively safe operation. It’s the most expendable of organs. So giving up a kidney causes no disadvantage to your long-term health. In fact, studies have shown that kidney donors actually live longer than the general population – because donors come from a pool of people in good health”

– Dr. Michael Edye, Adjunct Associate Professor of Surgery, Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York

“Just think, people have no problem having only one kidney, so we have to ask, why did Hashem, (G-d), give us two kidneys? Perhaps it is so you would have an extra one to donate and save a life!”

– Dr. Stuart Greenstein, Kidney Transplant Surgeon, Professor of Surgery, Montefiore Medical Center, Bronx, NY

If you will consider donating a kidney or have further questions about how this works, you may call the transplant coordinator at Brigham, Patty Lebbossiere at 617-732-6866 (totally confidential) or go to Brigham’s transplant website

http:/www.brighamandwomens.org/transplantsurgery/Donation_Information.aspx

or The National Kidney Foundation website (www.kidney.org) also has lots of information. You may call (617) 947-0850 or e-mail us kidney4pete@gmail.com with any questions.

All costs are either covered by the kidney acquisition fund at Brigham or by insurance.

Please forward this e-mail to everyone you know, any lists that you have, Facebook, etc. Thank you for reading this and possibly taking the first step toward giving the gift of life.

Donating a kidney to a woman that I had never met was the greatest experience of my life! To give for the pure sake of giving, brings the biggest joy imaginable. I am profoundly grateful for the opportunity that changed my life in every way.”

– Lori Palatnik, donated a kidney to a stranger.

“I would just like to share with you my feelings of overwhelming gratitude for the gift of life I have been given. You will probably notice a bigger smile on my face. The future is so much brighter for me now. I can’t wait to go skiing again and travel, all the things I had to put on hold while on dialysis.” -kidney recipient

“He who saves one life, it’s as if he saved the entire world.”
-Talmud

With gratitude for taking the time to read this,

Patrice Flesch