Special message: Please read and share

Please take a moment to read and share this special plea from PS 198’s own dedicated Occupational Therapist, Barbie Levin:  


Dear Family and Friends,

After dedicating almost 40 years to caring for and helping others as an occupational therapist, I find now that I am the one who must ask for help. Many of you know that I have chronic kidney disease; my doctors believe that I will need a kidney transplant in the near future. While I would prefer hauling a hippo up the Himalayas to having a transplant, I have been advised that my best option is to find a living donor.

A living donor who wants to volunteer must be between 21 and 70 years old, healthy and active, able to take time off for both a medical evaluation and for at least 2-3 weeks following surgery. The best match is someone with type O blood; however all blood types can donate through donor matching programs. The donor will have no medical expenses.

Living donors CANNOT have kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, viruses such as Hepatitis C or HIV, obesity (BMI over 35), or substance abuse. Unfortunately, my “nearest and dearest” have been rejected as donors for medical reasons.

If you are interested in learning more about becoming a donor, check out the videos at http://exploretransplant.org/videos/, they are full of great information and personal stories from both donors and recipients. If you or anyone you know may be willing to donate a kidney, please contact Renewal (a leading non-profit organization that matches kidney donors with recipients) at (718) 431-9831 (email  R1040@renewal.org) with your questions or for assistance starting the screening process (use my reference number, R1040). Your evaluation is confidential and won’t be shared with me or my medical team.

Choosing to become a donor is a courageous and extraordinary act; to even consider it is
exceptional. If choosing to be a donor is not the right choice for you, you can still help. Please forward this letter to your friends and family, and ask them to pass it on as well; it may reach someone else who can be a donor. You have my appreciation and gratitude. Thanks for your caring and support (and for reading all the way to the end!).

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Barbie Levin