Award Winning Articles!
Category. The Jewish Healthcare Foundation Award for Excellence in Writing about Health...Second Place
The Jewish Standard, Teaneck, NJ
"Local Rabbi Donates Kidney to a Stranger" by Dr. Miryam Wahrman
Our Original Post:
Journalism can be many things. Often stories report on entertaining, but trivial, political spats or celebrity scandals.
Sometimes a report has the potential to save lives.
That's frequently the case in the writing of jstandard's science correspondent, professor Miryam Wahrman, professor at William Patterson University (and your blogger's sister).
This week's cover story in particular will save lives because it encourages people to donate organs to those who need them.
And it is so perfectly written that the story will surely make generous people consider that altruistic act.
The need, the process, and legislation
My children should see what it means to be a JewThere are 80,729 people in the United States on waiting lists for a kidney (2,723 in New Jersey). Although the number of living donors has increased in recent years, the rate of donation does not keep up with demand and many people die while waiting for a kidney. There are approximately 6,000 live kidney donations per year in the United States, representing about 45 percent of all kidneys donated (the rest are from deceased donors). In New Jersey, living donors have actually eclipsed deceased donors; in the last 10 years there were 1,472 living kidney donors, compared with 1,297 deceased donors.
Need a babysitter, a ride to Manhattan, or a kosher used barbecue grill? TeaneckShuls, a moderated listserv connecting people in the northern New Jersey area, can help you find what you need. Need a kidney? TeaneckShuls can help as well. Ruthie Levi, a moderator for the listserv, reports that “as a result of an e-mail posting on this list for someone seeking a kidney donation, Rabbi Ephraim Simon of Chabad Teaneck has … successfully donated his own kidney.”
“It’s not like I woke up one morning and wanted to donate a kidney,” said Simon, who serves as the Chabad rabbi in Teaneck. “My own children, ages 2 to 14, are my first priority.” He recounted how a woman named Chaya Lipshutz had been posting for years on TeaneckShuls about people who needed kidney donors. “I would read them, and sigh, and go on with my day. I have nine little children and it was not something I would envision doing.” However, one such posting touched him deeply. “In August 2008, [Lipshutz] had a post of a 12-year-old girl — how could I let a 12-year-old girl die? I have a daughter who is 12.”