By COLlive reporter
A young father of two who recently donated a kidney to a fellow Lubavitcher met with the grateful recipient Sunday at a Chanukah party celebration in Crown Heights, Brooklyn.
Rabbi Mendy Mathless was touched when he read about the plight of Yisrael Kasantini, a 54 year old Chossid from Netanya, Israel, who was in desperate need of a kidney transplant.
Mathless, originally from New Haven, recently moved on Shlichus to Albany, New York, with his wife Devora Leah (nee Rubin) and their baby daughter.
“This very special young man called and asked to be tested to see if he could help,” said Rabbi Avraham Leider, Director of the Ahavas Chesed organization, who was actively searching for a donor for Kasantini and warmly thanked COLlive for notifying about it to the community.
Just two weeks later the results came back as positive that they were a match, and the two underwent surgery at Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan.
Rabbi Leider was at the hospital when the successful surgery was performed. “The ahavas yisroel was amazing to see,” he said.
The donor and his recipient met this week at the Ahavas Chesed Center on Kingston Avenue, along with 200 well-wishers and community members who gathered to give thanks to G-d for the recovery of both, and to honor Mathless.
At the event, Kasantini, looking well despite his recent surgery, thanked Mathless in an emotional speech.
“I am so thankful to Mendy for giving me this gift of life, my own Chanukah miracle,” he said. “Now I can get back to my children, my family, my life.”
After lighting the Menorah, Mathless said that donating his kidney wasn’t as difficult as he assumed it would be. “It wasn’t a big deal at all,” he said. “G-d gave each of us two kidneys. That gives all of us the opportunity to a Mitzvah.”
Leider added: “We hope that Mendy’s brave act will inspire many others to do the same. A father of nine in the Crown Heights community is still in desperate need of a transplant.”
For more information on donating a kidney (blood type A or O) please call the Rabbi Leider at the Ahavas Chesed Center at 718-221-2424.