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Jennifer and Steven

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My name is Jennifer and I met my husband on your site in April of 2007. I had been single for about six years, although I dated on and off. My friends set me up on blind dates, and I was a member of your website. When I went back on JDate sometime in the beginning of 2007, I was in the right place in my life to meet someone. I went on a series of dates and talked to many people.  Although I cannot remember my husband’s screen name exactly, I do remember it stood out. I believe he had a phrase that went something like, “I’m an apple…” I guess that was enough to make me look into his profile.  He looked cute, and I liked what he had to say.  I contacted him, and we e-mailed back and forth right away.  He called me and asked to meet for coffee the next day, and I agreed to meet him. It was interesting that we were even paired up in the first place, because I had kept the same criteria and had never seen him before. I might have expanded the mileage criteria and perhaps that is why his profile appeared.

What I liked about Steven right away was his willingness to drive from Rockland County to Nassau County (where we met for coffee), and then drive into Manhattan to spend the day at work.  I thought to myself, ‘this man still believes in chivalry!’  Our date went fantastic, and he asked me out for another date before we even left Starbucks; I liked that.  Again, I realized that he was not a game player; he didn’t leave the date stating the proverbial, “I’ll call you.” Our second date was the next night.  I took a train into Manhattan, met him in Union Square and had yet another great date.  At the end of the night, he drove me back to Long Island and then turned around and drove himself home to Rockland County.  I knew he was a keeper!

We didn’t date for long before we started talking about getting married and the logistics it would present with five kids between the two of us.  Pleasing everyone was not going to happen, so we decided that we were entitled to be happy, too!  In January of 2008, we became engaged, and on August 31st, my son’s birthday, I moved my family to West Nyack in Rockland County. We married on the island of Nantucket on October 11, 2008.  It was a beautiful weekend, and we were surrounded by 40 of our closest friends and family. Our family was with us for the first couple of days, and our friends stayed for the next couple of days; it was everything we wanted! 

I have always intended to tell you our story, but never quite got around to it; life’s been busy. However, this past December in 2009, we got news that our lives were about to change.  Steven has had chronic kidney disease for the past 15 years.  While I did know this going into the marriage, we also both knew everything was being maintained in a state of remission thanks to prescription medication and we were optimistic.  This optimism ended quickly when Steven’s Nephrologist told us that we needed to look into a kidney transplant.  Ugh! We were in complete shock, but began the search right away.

We contacted New York Hospital-Columbia Presbyterian and had our first appointment on February 9, 2010. I agreed to have my blood tested to see if I was a match, and in the last week in February, we received the call that I was, indeed, a match! It turns out that Steve and I have the same blood type, and there was nothing to suggest that his body would reject my kidney. We were speechless. I was scared, but also, happy; I found myself in tears that night.  

In March, I started a series of screenings and tests to determine if my kidney and body was healthy enough to undergo surgery. Donating an organ is an elective surgery, and the hospital needed to make certain that I was healthy and not under any kind of pressure. I had a myriad of tests and even a scare that thankfully turned out to be nothing. Through the entire stressful time, Steve was with me every step of the way. He was always holding my hand, telling me that he wouldn’t hold it against me if I changed my mind, and thanking me for enduring all of it.  Before getting an MRI of my liver, I got a little anxious, and they let Steve come in with me. He stood next to the table and held my hand the whole time.

We had many discussions regarding this subject, and I cried many tears throughout the emotional process during these past few months. My friends and family were very supportive, but of course, we all wished the circumstances were different. I explained to them that I was donating my kidney because I love my husband, and I want him to be healthy. In addition, I did it because I chose life. I waited a long time to meet someone like Steve, and I wanted to live a long, healthy life together. I did not want our short marriage to end, and I did not want to drive my 47-year-old husband to dialysis three times a week. It is quite powerful to know that my decision enabled our relationship. We are lucky; we know this and do not, for one second, take it for granted. There are many people who suffer, many people who are on dialysis and many who are on waiting lists. We had this great opportunity to avoid all of that, and we did.

On June 8, 2010, we each underwent surgery. At some point we were both being operated on simultaneously, as the goal was for my kidney to be “out of body” for the least amount of time possible. We were not able to room together, but were only three rooms apart. It is quite a rare thing to see a husband and wife walking around a hospital, pushing identical IV poles, but that was us! We have been home now for four weeks and are taking the summer easy. I have recovered, and my husband gets stronger every day. 

I promised myself and everyone else that once we came through the surgery successfully I would write to you and tell you our story. My son likes to tell everyone that “JDate sure knows what it is doing!” I like to say that you have brought new meaning to the word compatibility!

Thank you,

Jennifer & Steven
New City, New York

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19 Comments »

  • Joan says:

    Jennifer and Steven, what a beautiful story!! Just like a fairy tale. I hope and pray that both of you are doing well and that you both are on the mend. Congratulations to both of you. You both appear to be wonderful people from the letter. May God bless and keep both of you!!
    Joan

  • David Marshall says:

    This letter is to Jennifer and Steven which I hope will be forwarded to them. I particularly want to say how moved I was by Jennifer’s story and her love for Steven. What a brave, strong and loving woman you are to give the gift of life. Steven you are the luckiest man to have Jennifer in your life and as your wife. May God bless both of you!

    David

  • Robin Sharan says:

    Dear Precious Jennifer and Steven,

    Dr. John McDougall in his book ‘A Challenging Second Opinion’ states that eating an alkaline, plant based cuisine wil only help both of you to be healthier, it will also help your kidneys to function better.

    Kidneys are especially sensitive to acidic food. Acidic food is animal based.

    You are both so dear that I decided to send this information your way and I pray you explore this option to your benefit.

    Warm regards,
    Robin Sharan

  • sheila says:

    Jennifer, you are truly an amazing and courageous woman to give of yourself so willingly, and out of love. What a beautiful story and what a beautiful couple. You are both lucky to have found each other. Enjoy many healthy years together. Jennifer, you are an inspiration to us all.

  • Ellen Orzy says:

    i cried and cried and cried..What a beautiful couple and a very amazing ordeal..love is beautiful when two very special people mean so much to eachother.. Tonite I say a prayer for both of you and bless your lives with lots of good health and happiness. LChaim to health and happiness

  • helena sasportas says:

    wow this story mad me cry such a courage to do what you did achem will always be with you .

  • ARNIOLD DRUCKER says:

    THIS STORY DESCRIBES THE WORD ………LOVE IN FULL

  • Shelly N says:

    Dear Jennifer and Steven:

    Feeling a little down today, i decided to click on success stories…I am so glad I did. Your story is so inspiring, so real and so touching. Finding someone that you love with all of your heart and body is what this life is all about. Sticking by one another and being there for eachother is the meaning of love. I wish you both the healthiest, most fruitful life together. Thank you for sharing.

  • Gillian says:

    I have never written my comments on a website.. But there has to be a first time for everything !!! However, not sure that I can add anything to what others have written, except thank you Jennifer and Steven for sharing your story with us in such an intimate way… Long, full and healthy life to you and your five children.

    gillian

  • Shelly says:

    t’so nice to read about someone finding true love. I am inspired! Enjoy your life together you are so fortunate!

  • Leonard says:

    I am a true believer in fate and it is obvious that God chose to bless two really wonderful, giving people. Your experience illustrates not only a loving couple, but a Jewish couple endowed with all the rich Jewish values. I wish you both a magnificient recoery and a most wonderful life.

    Leonard

  • Ilene says:

    A true “success” story in every sense of the word!! The best of only good wishes for you to share only the good things in life!!

  • Sandy Oppenheimer says:

    Thank you for posting your story.
    May you live a long and fulfilling life together!

  • Joy says:

    I never respond to postings, but this one I would not pass up! I could not hold back the tears when I read your touching story!

    Jennifer you are as beautiful on the INSIDE as you are on the OUTSIDE! What a wonderful unselfish human being you are! I hope Steven appreciates that he has a GEM for a wife!

    May you both have a full, and healthy life together, and share the joys, and happiness of wedding bliss which you both deserve!

    Shana Tova

  • Carole says:

    Beautiful story. Stay well.

  • Lena says:

    Very touched story. Put me in tears. I remember when I asked my ex fiance whether he gives away his life for me, he responded that he also has a son (from his first marriage)and mother…

  • Barbara says:

    Wow, what an incredible, inspiring story! Thank you for sharing your story of unconditional love…Wishing long life and great health to you both!

  • Amanda Weiss says:

    Such a touching story! :-)

  • Carole Felberbaum says:

    What a story. It is definitely worthy of Oprah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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