I was raised in Brooklyn, New York as the eldest of three brothers. I grew up in a loving family that unfortunately encountered much hardship during my childhood. The early death of my father from kidney disease occurred when I was 10 years old; while my younger brother, with whom I was incredibly close, passed away from leukemia when I was 5 years old. My mother was very loving and selfless, taking care of my middle brother and I after the death of our father and sacrificing to support me in achieving my goal of becoming a clinical psychologist.
Beloved Father and Husband
Years later, I myself am the proud father of three children. Ten years ago, I married my wife and best friend Lisa. Together we have 7-year-old boy-girl twins, who are the center of our universe. My wife is an accomplished obstetrician-gynecologist, who delivers babies, performs surgery, and takes care of women's primary healthcare needs. Both Lisa and I play a very active role in the upbringing of our children.
Dedicated Psychologist and Engaged Community Member
I graduated from Brooklyn College and went on to pursue a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at the University of South Carolina. After an internship year in Atlanta, I began my career as a professor at Georgia State University. I have dedicated my life to helping individuals overcome tragedy, emotional trauma, and pain. When our twins were born, I significantly reduced my professional workload to become a stay-at-home Dad.
For the past 40 years, I have been involved in several community organizations. Shortly after moving to Atlanta, I was a faculty advisor to Hillel at Emory University and wrote a column entitled, "Have I Got an Answer for You!" for The Atlanta Jewish Times. Moreover, I have enjoyed many years as a singer and actor in Atlanta's performing arts scene. Alongside my eldest daughter, I performed in numerous musical theater productions and was also a member of the Atlanta Jewish Male Choir.
Hopes for the Future
My health has recently declined to the point where I only possess enough energy to spend a few hours a day upholding responsibilities that require my full-time commitment. I have been told that I will need to start the invasive and debilitating procedure of dialysis by the end of this month (April 2017). In addition to the physical and mental toll that dialysis takes, the physical contact I have with my two young children will significantly increase my risk of infection. My greatest desire is to play an active role in the day-to-day life of my intimate and loving family. What I need is a special donor who can help change my quality of life for the better. I so want to continue to be vibrant and active for my young children. Without a donor kidney, such a life will not be possible.
I pray that an altruistic donor will enable me to see my children reach their milestones in life. And G-d willing, I will be afforded the opportunity to see them grow up to be successful and happy contributors to society. Thank you for your consideration and taking the time to read my story.
Dr. Ira Tedoff - Kidney Patient
Update: As of August 2017, Ira has found a donor, and had a successful kidney transplant. His success story is a true testament of hope to so many still waiting for a donor. Ira is kidney strong!
I sincerely want to thank you for taking your time to engage with my Find A Kidney Donor Campaign.
I'm 46 - years old, mom of an absolutely incredible son and grandma to two positively excellent grandchildren whom I'd love to live long enough to come to know more intimately. That's in question because I am in the middle of a health crisis that will indeed take my life unless I get the help I need which is proving to be very difficult even though several members of my family have tried to help me by being tested to see if they are a compatible match for me. Each time one of them volunteers to test on my behalf, and it has been heartbreaking to discover they are not a match. It feels like a little more life has denied me. Maybe that's not true, but it feels that way.
I've lost my father recently. Shortly after my sister died, so death is close. I sense its presence and I'm uncomfortable being so vulnerable to its sting. That's why I have come here to speak directly to you, to share my story with you and to ask you for help. Mine is an unlikely story in that I developed Lupus that is no longer in my body, but it left residual damage to my kidney. Whereas I used to be such an outgoing person before this disease, I have become a hermit; barely leaving home unless it's necessary; missing moments with my family especially my grandchildren because I am on dialysis and it takes so long to administer. I cry when no body's watching. I need help. Will you please help me? Please!
Modern medicine has proved itself to be a tool of God. These days it is possible to be a living donor, save the life of someone like me and then proceed to live a long happy life yourself. The proof is evident and the knowledge widely known that humans only require one healthy kidney to live their life span. And by doctors now using the laparoscopic incision in the transplant procedure it leaves little scarring and requires few days recovery time. I believe they are saying the recovery time takes about two to three days. That's AMAZING! The process is carried out so efficiently and the donors health so closely protected it makes sense to be a donor if your heart compels you to so-- which of course I hope it will.
I hope with all my heart that you will help me. There is one thing I can promise you if you chose to be my donor and that is I will live my life helping others and the sum of our good works will be your legacy and mine. Please say that you will join the over 5000 living donors who last year alone saved thousands of lives. Please say YES to helping me. Please! My blood type is 0+ and I am listed at Baltimore MD and Temple University in Philadelphia, PA.
Trina - Kidney Patient
My father, JR Atkinson, announced to our family that his kidneys were failing. I immediately said: 'You can have one of mine.' I did not have to think it over. The man, who along with my Heavenly Father and my mother, gave me life. Of course, I would do anything to prolong and return his quality of life back to him. We went through all of the testing and we were great matches. Surgeries were scheduled and every thing went smoothly. This was in the spring of 2004. Here it is, years later and all is still well. The ECU Brody School Medicine Transplant team of doctors and nurses were fabulous. We were well informed and taken care of during the entire process. There, we discovered how many people were on transplant lists and it was unbelievable to me. Why would healthy individuals with two working kidneys not donate? I have never understood that, nor will I ever. Maybe people lack knowledge, or are afraid. I can tell you, there is nothing to fear. Blessings will be what you receive. Knowing that you made a family member, friend, or stranger's life here on earth better is truly one of the most selfless things that you can do. I encourage you to research, pray about it and choose to become a DONOR. You will never regret it.
Annie, Living Donor