NEW YORK (FOX5NY)) - After more than a year on dialysis (four hours per day, three days a week), Berta Ilizarova, 62, is now ready for a new lease on life.
The native of Uzbekistan invited Fox 5 into her Forest Hills home, one day before undergoing a life-saving kidney transplant.
Berta thought her health was on a never-ending downward spiral until Brooklyn hero Chaya Lipschutz made a grand entrance into her life. Chaya calls herself the "kidney matchmaker." Her life's purpose is to connect eligible kidney donors with needy recipients.
"Since I donated a kidney I felt bad for all the others who were in desperate need of a kidney and I felt like I didn't do enough," Chaya said. "So I decided to start a project to help other people in need of a kidney."
So for Berta, Chaya found Orthodox Rabbi Avrohom Hoffman, 63. For him, donating a kidney was a no-brainer.
"We were given basically six times the capacity what we need as far as filtering is concerned," Rabbi Hoffman said. "And with one kidney, you have three times the capacity we need."
He leads a congregation in Washington Heights. He is a father of none and grandpa of 25.
Our camera was rolling as these perfect strangers, the donor and recipient, met for the first time.