Adam Leventhal, Donor Mentor

Adam is a live donor living in Denver, Colorado. He altruistically gave the Gift of Life in 2013, and has been involved with ATF ever since.

Adam’s Transplant Story

In September 2012, during a period of personal introspection on the Jewish calendar known as “The Ten Days of Repentance”, I was online visiting one of my regular news websites. I stumbled across this headline, “Chabad Mother Donates Kidney”, about a woman named Zelda, from Crown Heights, Brooklyn, who donated her kidney to a woman named Tziporah, from Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The two women did not previously know each other, meeting for the first time before the transplant.

The story left me deeply inspired, and would go on to change my own life and that of an unknown soul hundreds of miles away. Prior to reading this article, I always assumed organ donation meant deceased donation. The world of living donation was new to me. My next reaction: Why not me?

That’s how my journey began, as I spent the next several months researching kidney donation, praying this would be right for me, that I would be a good candidate to proceed and a good match for a person in need. In early February of 2013, I underwent an extensive medical screening and testing for this purpose. A week later I received a phone call that I was indeed a good candidate for kidney donation, and that I was a rare match for a man who’d had a hard time finding one. I was elated. A date for the transplant was set for five weeks later.  Shortly before going under the knife, I met my recipient and his family the morning of the transplantation. There were lots of hugs! It was among the most beautiful, transcendent moments of my life.  Thank God the transplant was a success! I could not be more thankful for having been granted this once in a lifetime opportunity to be part of the modern day miracle that is living kidney donation.

What do you do to stay active?

Learning, journeying, being outside, hiking, tennis, waterskiing.

What are your passions?

My faith, being alive, trying to make a difference in the world and in my community.

Why did you choose to be a mentor? What about being a mentor appealed to you?

In the weeks leading up to my kidney donation, it was essential for me to seek out past donors to guide me in the process, enabling me to hear their experiences and ask questions. They were also compassionate listeners, who were sensitive to my concerns. I will always be grateful for the time, patience, and reassurance they provided. I am thrilled by the possibility to pay it forward by playing a similar role in someone else’s journey.

What is your involvement with ATF? How long have you been involved?

I have been involved with ATF since the Summer of 2013, when I had the honor to share my story with ATF’s Transplant Leadership Council at a private home.

Are you a donor mentor or transplant recipient mentor?

I am a donor mentor.

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