SAN JOSE: Toby Adelman, a loyal reader of the Jewish magazine ‘J Weekly’ donated one of her kidneys to the editor of the magazine, Marc Klien, who had to step down last fall after a 28-year run. The two met only two weeks before the surgery, but Adelman has already felt a deep, spiritual bond with Klien. “It blew me away, just blew me away,” he says of Adelman’s gift.
Klein’s kidneys were failing, and he had started feeling the more acute symptoms of end-stage renal disease, including loss of strength, balance and appetite. The next step would be life on dialysis — succinctly described by one nephrologist as “a fragile, vulnerable existence” — something Klein, 63, desperately wanted to avoid. But he was told his wait for a deceased-donor kidney could be up to eight years.
Instead, on June 13, just a few short months after putting out the word about his situation through an article in j., an email blast from the S.F.-based Jewish Community Federation and a Facebook appeal, Klein was a man with a healthy new kidney. And Adelman had put her own life on the line to help him reclaim his.
Why did she do it? For Adelman, a nurse educator at San Jose State University and a single parent raising a 16-year-old daughter — who describes her mother as “ridiculously kind” — the path was clear from the start. “Why do things for others? Why be giving?” she asks. “It’s my absolute favorite thing to do. Connecting with people is my greatest joy.”