At 9 a.m. this past week, R’ Aaron Pomp was wheeled into the operating room at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center in New York City. He was about to perform the ultimate act of chesed — donating a kidney to Mordechai Aryeh ben Chana Freida, a person he has never met. And while Aaron’s selfless decision is truly altruistic, it also represents his own personal expression of hakoras hatov. Only three months ago, another total stranger had donated a kidney to Aaron’s wife and given her a new lease on life. Overwhelmed with gratitude, Aaron decided that the most appropriate way to express his joy and appreciation is to donate his own kidney to someone else.
Molly Pomp was a young mother when she began suffering from kidney failure. At twenty seven years old, she was way too young to be worrying about a condition that was threatening her life. But when her husband Aaron was tested and found not to be a suitable match for Molly, it seemed to this young couple that their choices were pretty grim. Molly had to decide between two devastating alternatives — she could place herself on waiting list for a kidney that may become available to her five to seven years in the future. Or she could continue to undergo grueling dialysis treatments several times a week.
Fortunately, Molly contacted Renewal, an organization dedicated to facilitating kidney transplants in the Jewish community. The organization found a donor, R’Fishel Carmel, who was a suitable match for her. The transplant was successfully performed in February. Both donor and recipient are doing well.
Aaron was overwhelmed with gratitude to Hashem, and filled with appreciation to the donor and to the organization that helped make it all happen. His wife had received a new lease on life and he responded in the only way he could. “I also want to save a life!” he told the members of Renewal. Thus did he place his name on their list of potential kidney donors.
Renewal contacted Aaron shortly afterwards with the good news. He turned out to be a suitable match for another patient, a middle aged Brooklyn man who was desperately in need of a new kidney. The arrangements were made and the transplant was successfully completed this morning. For Aaron it represented the most satisfying and uplifting accomplishment of his life. For Renewal it represented yet another triumph in their mission to provide as many patients as possible with transplants they so desperately need.
Renewal is a nonprofit organization dedicated to assisting people suffering from various forms of kidney disease. Their goal is to save lives through live kidney donation. Renewal is there for every patient and their family at every stage of the challenging journey towards health, providing many services to both donor and recipient.
According to Mendy Reiner, Founder of Renewal, “Medical experts have found that live kidney transplants are the preferred method. When family members are not a suitable match, Renewal aggressively searches for live healthy kidney donors who are willing and able to do this wonderful chesed. The success rate of the surgery, meaning that the donor’s kidney is accepted by the recipient, is 95%. The donor is rewarded with an incomparable mitzvah, and the recipient receives a new lease on life.” As Aaron and Molly Pomp will tell you, there’s no better feeling in the world.