Stan Zinberg

COULD YOU HELP SAVE A LIFE?

Background

Stan was diagnosed with kidney disease about ten years ago. He has done everything that he can to slow the progression of his illness, adhering to a strict diet and a regimen of medications in order to stave off dialysis for as long as possible. He has no other health issues aside from his kidney disease, is still working part-time, and takes great satisfaction in his career as a property manager. He is blessed with a daughter, son-in-law, son and daughter-in-law of whom he is very proud, and delights in his five grandchildren.

Now, however, his doctors have advised that dialysis is likely within a year. They have made clear to him that a kidney transplant would be the optimal treatment for him. They have also explained that his name would not be placed on a deceased donor list until such time as he were to begin dialysis, at which point they advise that he is looking at a wait of 7 years on average. Time is of the essence, as Stan is 72 years old and may not be healthy enough for a transplant should it take that long to find a match.

A live donor transplant is his best option, but the onus is on each individual and/or his or her family to find a suitable donor, or someone who would be willing to participate in the organ exchange program (even a donor who is not a direct match for Stan could help another patient who in turn has a donor who is a match for Stan.) Stan has gone through the appropriate testing at Toronto General Hospital and been approved as a viable candidate for a kidney transplant.

As his wife, I felt that since I am in good health, I could be his donor and we would have to look no further. But I have gone through testing and been deemed ineligible to donate.

So now, it is time to cease being reticent about sharing Stan’s personal story and reach out to the community. Please know that the donor program at Toronto General Hospital is very highly regarded, their testing is extremely detailed and rigorous, and is designed to ensure that there will be an optimal healthy outcome for both donor and recipient. A full team of health care professionals is available to guide donors through the process. The applications for assessment are processed in the strictest of confidence to ensure privacy, integrity and dignity. The team is happy to answer questions at any time without further obligation.

If the idea of undergoing a donation surgery in order to save a life is something you might consider, I have attached the link to the assessment form below. If you think a friend, colleague or someone in your family may be interested in this mitzvah, please pass along this information.

There is such a vital need for organ donation that even the simple act of filling in the organ donation form on your driver’s license can make a huge difference if enough of us are willing to do it.

I hope you will understand our decision to make our personal issues public at this time: Stan’s life and his future hang in the balance, and an organ donation would be the light at the end of the tunnel.

Thank you so much for considering this request, and for passing along this information to others who may be interested.

Marsha Zinberg

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON HOW YOU CAN HELP

  1. Link to assessment form from UHN/TGH: www.uhn.ca/Transplant/Living_Donor_Program/Pages/default.aspx#become
  2. Contact person, if you have any questions about the program:
    Julie Cissell RN BScN
    Living Donor Kidney Transplant Assessment Coordinator
    University Health Network
    585 University Avenue PMB-12-100
    Toronto, Ontario M5G 2N2

    Email: julie.cissell@uhn.ca
    Phone: 416.340.4577
    www.uhn.ca/MOT