LI TRIO Member and Friend Receives Surprise Visit From Kidney Donor

Published on December 16, 2016

LI TRIO member Avram Gabay received a surprise visit on Friday from a woman who gave him the gift of life. Avram’s son Brian was a special guest speaker at our 2016 LI TRIO Donor Rose Garden Re-dedication Ceremony where he told the story of how he won a house on a reality television show in order to somehow show his appreciation to Jennifer Wolfe the woman who saved his father’s life by donating one of her kidneys to Avram.

See and hear Avram sing here.

Watch the CBS News Report here.

With his family by his side, 67-year-old Avram Gabay shared his struggle to find a kidney donor with the same blood type, the extremely rare O.

“Four years ago, I really didn’t think I was going to make it,” said Gabay. “She saved my life, you know. I would never, never forget that. She’s like my daughter. I love her like my daughter.”

With his family by his side, 67-year-old Avram Gabay shared his struggle to find a kidney donor with the same blood type, the extremely rare O.

The two connected thanks to Gabay’s son Brian, who wrote a letter describing his father’s situation on the website Matchingdonors.com. Wolfe, who is also blood type O, saw the post and wanted to help.

The Gabays repaid the act of kindness when Brian competed on a reality show where he won a house for Wolfe. Wolfe will spend part of the holidays with the Gabays.

Watch News 12 video here if you are authorized to watch News 12. December 16, 2016

As CBS2’s Scott Rapoport reported, the donor and the recipient have found an unexpected bond. They came face to face Friday on  Long Island.

Friday was not the first time Avram Gabay, 67, of Merrick had exchanged embraces with Jennifer Wolfe of Atlanta, Georgia. But the surprise and the celebration of life never get old.

“She saved my life actually,” Gabay said. “She saved my life.”
Four years ago, Gabay was desperately in need of a life-saving kidney transplant. He got together once again Friday with Wolfe, who donated her kidney to him.

But he had thought he was being brought to Northwell Health North Shore University Hospital to Skype with Wolfe from Atlanta – until she unexpectedly walked through the door.

Once strangers, they are now literally a part of each other. Gabay sang an old Cole Porter song popularized by Frank Sinatra to Wolfe.
“I’ve got you under my skin. I’ve got you, deep in the heart of me,” he sang.

Back in 2012, Avram Gabay’s son, Brian, was desperately afraid of losing his father. So he went on MatchingDonors.com and pleaded for a doctor to help save his dad.

Hundreds of miles away in Atlanta, Wolfe – a devout Christian and a woman who believes in random acts of kindness – saw the email from the Gabay family and discovered that her blood type was a match. Selflessly, she heroically decided she would donate her kidney to Gabay – a total stranger.

“I automatically knew that he was the one I wanted to do this for,” Wolfe said.

The transplant was performed in June 2015 and was a success, and since then the two have struck up a lovely friendship. It culminated in the emotional surprise meeting Friday, which was arranged by the hospital.

The hospital flew Wolfe in for the holiday visit.

“I get to see them maybe once a year,” Wolfe said. “I wish I could see them more.”

But that is not the end of the story – not even close. To repay the kindness, Brian Gabay went on a reality show that builds homes for heroes. He won, and asked that a house be built for Wolfe – his hero. Wolfe moved into her home back in September.

Regarding her kidney donation, Wolfe stated that she lost something and stated that she felt that she also gained something – a new family.

 

Sources:

http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2016/12/16/kidney-donor-recipient-reunion/

http://longisland.news12.com/news/merrick-man-gets-surprise-visit-from-kidney-donor-1.12769477