Dr. Palekar, Bob, the recipient, and Bill, the donor.
Newark, NJ—While many brothers-in-law have been known to share a golf game or the love of a good cigar, two brothers-in-law from New Jersey have shared something much more profound, a kidney. Bill Linder, of Dumont, donated a kidney to brother-in-law, Bob Kochur, of River Vale, on November 10 at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center (NBIMC), kicking off a holiday season that gave new meaning to the word “gift.”
“When I tell some people about the donation, some say, ‘I won’t even give my brother-in-law the time of day,’” says Mr. Linder with a laugh. “But Bob is my family and I thought it was the right thing to do.”
The donation was performed as part of The Living Donor Institute at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, part of the Barnabas Health Renal and Pancreas Transplant Division. Stuart Geffner, MD, Director of Kidney and Pancreas Transplant Surgery for Barnabas Health, performed Mr. Linder’s kidney donation surgery, and Harry Sun, MD, Transplant Surgeon, performed the recipient surgery for Mr. Kochur.
“Every kidney donation is an act of profound giving and unparalleled compassion, and we are all moved by such a gift,” says Sadanand Palekar, M.D. Program Director of the Renal and Pancreas Transplant Program Newark Beth Israel Medical Center. “For these men to share the love of two sisters, and now to also share the donation of an organ, is a story that speaks to everyone’s heart.”
All in the Family
Even though Mr. Linder and his wife, Mary, are younger than Mr. Kocher and his wife, Joan, the families, plus another sister and brother-in-law, are very close.
Mr. Linder, who has two brothers, says that after his mother died at age 48, the family moved apart, and, “Mary’s family became my family.” As the only healthy brother in law, he stepped forward to help a man with whom he shares a sense of humor.
“I have always been a Type A personality, and Bob says he is Type D, more laid back,” relates Mr. Linder. “When I visited him after the surgery he told me that my new kidney had moved him up to a Type C.”
After finding out that his blood is especially good for newborns, Mr. Linder began donating his blood for “baby bags” every sixteen weeks for the past 35 years. That spirit of giving was revisited as he saw Mr. Kochur, a diabetic, begin dialysis this year, weakening and losing spirit in the process.
Mr. Kochur, who has no siblings, has also found a family with his wife’s relatives.
“The family has always been very close and we all live locally and spend many holidays together,” he said.
Mr. Kochur says that Mr. Linder has always been a good brother-in-law. During Hurricane Irene this year, a huge tree branch fell in the backyard and damaged his fence, and he could not remove it since he was too weak and was due at dialysis. Mr. Linder came over, cut the tree apart, repaired the fence and even brought a coffee cake.
“He’s just a good guy,” says Mr. Kochur. “He helps everybody.”
Now much stronger, Mr. Kocher is looking forward to being able to stay in Atlantic City for several nights with his wife, instead of having to return for dialysis.
He speaks in glowing terms about the team at the Barnabas Health Renal and Pancreas Transplant Division at Newark Beth, and they way they keep in constant touch, offering support. He even made his own “mock” hospital badge that imitates the ones worn by staff. His says, “Transplant Recipient” in the job description, and he added the line, “Ask me if I washed my hands,” just like the real badges.
“But my photo has a false nose and mustache,” he says with a laugh, happy to be able to enjoy life again.
The Living Donor Institute promotes living donation as the best treatment option for patients with chronic kidney disease and has served patients for more than 40 years in the field of renal transplantation. To learn more please, visit www.transplantkidney.org or contact Newark Beth Israel Medical Center at 1-877-878-7555.
Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, (NBIMC), a 673-bed regional care teaching hospital, provides comprehensive health care to its local communities and well beyond. NBIMC has more than 800 physicians, 3,200 employees and 150 volunteers with over 300,000 outpatient visits and 25,000 admissions annually. NBIMC is fifth in the nation in the number of heart transplants with better than expected outcomes, has the only lung transplant program in New Jersey, and combined with Saint Barnabas Medical Center, both Saint Barnabas Health Care System affiliates, is third in the nation for kidney transplants, by volume. To learn more, visit us on line at www.newarkbeth.com
Children's Hospital of New Jersey, located at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center and part of the Barnabas Health, is the state's premier hospital caring for children, with specialized services to treat ill and injured children from newborn to adolescent years and has the most comprehensive pediatric cardiac care program in the region as well as preventive programs that promote wellness in the community. For a referral to a pediatrician or pediatric specialist, please call 1-888-724-7123.
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Date: January 16, 2012
Public Relations and Marketing
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