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Sewer tech inspires men to donate kidneys to strangers

Sewer tech inspires men to donate kidneys to strangers


What is your motivation for donating a kidney to save a stranger’s life?

In Israel, which has one of the highest rates of altruistic kidney donors in the world, many people do not make that choice after hearing stories of dialysis patients seeking a match or after experiencing a life-changing event. I will

For Ronnie Ziggler, his decision was inspired by water filters.

Zigler, 60, is CEO of Kolhei Golan, the company that manages all sewage treatment plants for the Golan Heights Regional Council.

One of these plants was treating the sewage produced by 6,000 humans and 6,000 cows, where the manure production of one cow equals the manure output of 150 humans, making treatment was not working well given the difficulty of

A year ago Kolhei Golan unveiled a new efficient processing plant based on Caesarea’s NUFiltration technology.

Zigler learned that the NUFiltrations water filters weren’t built from scratch. They are sterilized, recycled filters from Israeli kidney dialysis units.

These upcycled filters save lives twice.

Over the past six years, NUFiltration has sourced 100,000 used dialysis filters annually.

However, this represents only 10% of the available supply, NUFiltration CEO Mino Negrin told ISRAEL21c.

About 1 million filters are used annually in kidney dialysis in Israeli hospitals, he says.

meet big needs

This astounding number motivated Zigler to enroll with the nonprofit Matnat Chaim (Gift of Life). Matnat Chaim is an altruistic Israeli donor since 2009, he has facilitated 1,331 living kidney transplants from people unrelated to the recipient.

After initial medical tests, Matnat Chaim told Zigler that he could be a match for a Haifa area resident with the same blood type.

Zigler agreed to do several more months of testing to ensure compatibility, and said donating the kidney would not compromise his own health.

At first, my wife thought I was crazy, Zigler told ISRAEL21c.

The surgery was performed at the Rambam Healthcare Campus in Haifa in December 2021 and both the donor and recipient are doing well.

The recipient, who does not wish to be identified, is in regular contact with the man who saved his life.

encourage others to donate

Zigler says more than a dozen other residents of his hometown of Hispin, a religious Zionist community on the Golan Heights, donated kidneys through Matnat Chaim.

And his selfless act inspired others to follow suit.

My brother-in-law donated a kidney six months ago after seeing how well I was doing. [adult] Children want donations, too, says Zigler.

Ronnie Ziggler donated a kidney to a stranger, inspired by water filters. Photo courtesy of Shai Ofek

Judy Singer, assistant director of Matnat Chaim (who is also an altruistic kidney donor), told ISRAEL21c that many potential donors are friends and relatives of past donors, and that social media and other publicity campaigns Some say they are being recruited by organizations through .

Matnat Chaim has a waiting list of recipients grouped by blood type and prioritized according to a system determined by the organization’s ethics committee.

Ronnie’s story is a bit weird, Singer says, but people find out about kidney donation in many different ways. I decided to donate my kidney. And then there was her young son who committed suicide and there was a man who was determined to save his life in his son’s place.

Commenting on NUFiltrations’ role in this inspiring story, Negrin said: [because of their experience with our product]and very nice.

NUFiltration uses sterile upcycled dialysis filters in their water purification systems. Photo credit: NUFiltration

The company operates in many countries, often conducting emergency humanitarian projects in remote areas where clean water is in short supply.

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