Local family seeks kidney donor

Local family seeks kidney donor

The 71-year-old Clifton resident, now on dialysis, believed until recently that he would receive a kidney transplant from his son. Unfortunately, said his wife, Arlene, “When they did a CAT scan on my son’s kidneys, they found a problem. So now there are two people I’m worried about.”

Arlene, who said her husband is a “young 71,” noted that while he has joined waiting lists at two hospitals, the shortest wait is approximately five years.

“We don’t want to wait that long,” she said, “so we’ve started reaching out to the community. The longer they do dialysis, the more it shortens your life.”

Seymour and Arlene Greenstein

Her husband – who doctors said probably developed his kidney condition from a virus – had seemingly gotten the problem under control, she said. But a bout with prostate cancer, now cured, took him out of remission.

“We’ve been looking for a kidney since August,” she said. “My sister and I were rejected. We’re looking for someone who’s willing to be tested, even if they’re not an exact match for him.”

She explained that if someone who is tested does not match her husband but matches someone on the registry of another hospital, that hospital will do a “cross match,” accepting that donor’s kidney and giving her husband one of the kidneys it has received.

“They prefer younger people as donors,” she said, “someone with two healthy kidneys who is in good health.” All medical expenses – testing, surgery, and any complications that may arise for a full year after the transplant – are covered under her husband’s Medicare.

Seymour is registered at the transplant center of St. Barnabas Hospital in Livingston. He is also on the waiting list at Einstein Hospital in Philadelphia, but has been told by that institution that he would only be eligible for a “high-risk” kidney.

Arlene pointed out that anyone who is able to help should call St. Barnabas and request the paperwork themselves.

“We can’t have anything to do with asking for papers or who they want to give the kidney to. Only the donor can do that,” she said.

To help, call the pre-transplant center at St. Barnabas Medical Center, (973) 322-5646.

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