There is no better gift you can give someone than the gift of life. This year in New Jersey 4,000 people need a life-saving transplant. We've been fortunate enough at New Jersey 101.5 to match 2 people up with kidneys, North Hudson Fire Captain Robbo Pisani, and my cousin Rich Trevelise. Since then, we do what we can to try to help people find the organs that they need.

Here's hoping this post helps Debra Kaufman, a Denville wife and mother who tells her story:

"My name is Debra Kaufman, and I am a 60-year-old wife and mother that resides in Denville, NJ," she told me in a written statement. "I am also a Type-1 diabetic. I have been married to the love of my life, Allan for 39 years. He is my best friend and caregiver. I do home hemodialysis. We were trained to do hemodialysis at home so I would not have to go to a center for treatment. We make our own schedule, but we must do the treatment four times a week, each session is four hours start to finish.

"My story began in 1985 when I was pregnant with our son Bryan. I developed pre-eclampsia (high blood pressure) and was hospitalized for five weeks prior to delivery. This condition led to end stage renal disease eight years later. I was retaining fluid and was extremely nauseous. The doctors determined that I had kidney failure. They told me that I would need a kidney transplant, or I would be on dialysis for the rest of my life. This was all foreign to me. I underwent surgery to have a fistula created to provide access for the dialysis treatments. I was on dialysis for almost six months.

"My sister unselfishly, was tested to see if she could donate a kidney. She turned out to be a perfect match. We had our surgeries on October 27, 1993. Everything worked perfectly for 24 years and my sister has had no ill effects. In 2017, I needed cardiac bypass surgery. In order to do the surgery, an angiogram was necessary. The dye from the angiogram is unfortunately toxic to the kidney. As a result, my heart condition was addressed, but my kidney failed.

"I have been on dialysis since September 2017.

"I worked full time as the office manager in my husband’s accounting firm. I am currently working at home because of my kidney disease and Covid-19. My abilities have been significantly reduced as I do not have the strength to do all that I used to do.

"My life has been turned upside down. I used to be active with friends and family. We loved to travel. This has become exceedingly difficult because our lives revolve around my dialysis treatments. Everything we do has to be planned around the treatments. Travel is virtually impossible. If we want to visit family, we must make sure to find a dialysis center near the location and then hope they have a seat available. Otherwise, we cannot go.

"I have posted that I am searching for a kidney donor on social media, I have hung posters in stores and spread my message by word of mouth. I am also working with Renewal, an organization that advocates for kidney donors. I have had about a dozen wonderful people volunteer to be tested, including friends and family. Both my husband and my son were not a match. I have no other siblings.

"My blood type is A+. I am working with New York-Presbyterian, Weill Cornell Hospital and Renewal to coordinate the transplant. The surgeons have indicated that my best chance for a successful transplant is a living donor. My case is more complicated than most since I have also had two pancreas transplants because of Type-1 diabetes. My life can return to normal if there is an angel out there that would be willing to provide this gift of life. I am a very compliant person, and your gift would be well protected. I take all necessary medications every day and always keep my doctor appointments.

"There is absolutely no cost to the donor, my insurance and Renewal work in concert to cover the expenses. Thank you for taking the time to read this and considering the gift."

"You can learn more about her story or donate by clicking here.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Steve Trevelise. Any opinions expressed are Steve's own. Steve Trevelise is on New Jersey 101.5 Monday-Thursday from 7pm-11pm. Follow him on Twitter @realstevetrev.

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