A woman in Portland, Ore., marked her 50th birthday last week by donating a kidney to a fellow Jewish mother.
Elissa Wald, a former resident of New York, was inspired to give her kidney to someone in need after hearing a speech from a rabbi.
She told The New York Post, “My dream was always to give a kidney to a young mother with a young child,” adding that she sometimes “lived in fear” of leaving her two children too early without a mom. She said, “My idea was to take someone out of that situation.”
Wald, who celebrated a birthday on Sept. 23, joked that when people asked what she was doing for her birthday, she responded: “I’m hoping to donate a kidney.”
She apparently tried to help at least five people in need of an organ by going through tests and paperwork, but in each case, they were either not a match or ended up finding a kidney elsewhere, according to The New York Post.
She was then connected to Ewa Moscowitz, 40, a New York resident who was diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease and put on the transplant list two years ago, a year after having her daughter. The two women matched and met right before undergoing a successful transplant operation on Oct. 3.
Moscowitz expressed gratitude to her kidney donor, saying, “I feel extremely blessed to be able to go through this. She’s just the most amazing person in the whole world.”