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Family of Ailing Immigrant Pleads for Kidney Donor

Family of Ailing Immigrant Pleads for Kidney Donor
From L: Enoch, Daniel, Lin Pan, Jackey, Robert, and Derek Zheng (Courtesy of the Zheng family)

By    |   Thursday, 21 June 2018 01:42 PM

A 40-year-old Chinese immigrant and loving father of four is in desperate need of a kidney transplant and his family and friends in the New York City suburb of Long Island have issued a heartfelt plea for help.

Derek Zheng, 40, was a healthy and vibrant man until he inexplicably developed systemic kidney failure — the cause of which has puzzled doctors. He now must undergo some 70 hours of grueling kidney dialysis each week to stay alive.

“No one knows why his kidneys have failed. He’s slim, very healthy, and doesn’t smoke or drink,” attorney Bob Unger, a friend of the family, told Newsmax.

Zheng and his wife Lin Pan — who moved to the U.S. in 2000; live in Great Neck with their sons Robert, 16; Jackey, 13; Enoch, 12; and Daniel, 6; and operate a real estate business — are now in search of a kind donor who can give the gift of life.

Lin said her husband first learned that his kidneys were failing when he applied for a life insurance policy last year and went in for a physical. His condition has steadily grown more critical.

"He's doing OK, but he needs a transplant as soon as possible,” Lin told Newsmax.

But the process is easier said than done. Zheng is one of more than 100,000 people currently awaiting a transplant in the U.S., and the National Kidney Foundation says only 17,000 people a year receive one because of a shortage of donations, a tragic reality that results in 12 deaths per day.

“His spirits are up and he has a joy of life. We are hoping we can help him,” said Rabbi Boruch Wolf, who is spearheading the efforts to find a donor for Zheng.

Wolf is co-director, along with his wife Mushkie, of Chabad at The Medical Centers in New Hyde Park, New York, and has a personal connection to the drive, having already donated one of his own kidneys to a stranger who needed one.

“Kidney failure at the age of 40 is quite uncommon as it usually happens to people in their 60s and on, so we hope to reverse his fortunes with a living donor,” Wolf said.

Wolf’s efforts have paid off before. Two years ago, a Long Island man suffering renal failure received a new kidney and lease on life after Wolf sent a Newsmax story about the donor drive to a New York area rabbi, inspiring him to donate.

Anyone who is interested in the possibility of donating a kidney to help Zheng can contact Rabbi Wolf at (516) 360-0299.

To donate a kidney, you must be in good physical and mental health and have normal kidney function. According to the Kidney Foundation, virtually all religious denominations approve of organ and tissue donation as representing the highest humanitarian ideals and the ultimate charitable act.

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A 40-year-old Chinese immigrant and loving father of four is in desperate need of a kidney transplant and his family and friends in the New York City suburb of Long Island have issued a heartfelt plea for help.
kidney, donor, ailing, family
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2018-42-21
Thursday, 21 June 2018 01:42 PM
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