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December 18, 2009     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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December 18, 2009

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HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, DECEMBER 18, 2009 PAGE 3A By Dori Gerber challenges on a daily basis. I HDS knew Reba for a year before I knew her husband was ill. A typical school week in the I am amazed and inspired by life of Hebrew Day School's how they continue their daily media specialist, Reba Gor- routines, working and rais- don, consists of meeting ing their daughter, Elizabeth, with classes for library time, while Mike is on the organ cataloging books, preparing transplant list." for the week's Shabbat story The students of HDS had a and running rehearsals for the special hand in helping this school play. book come to fruition. Ruben However, a typical week wrote the "Kidney Book" in in the home life of Gordon is April, and during the editing very different. It is spent mak- process, enlisted the students ing phone calls to the Florida in English teacher Jennifer Hospital Transplant Center to Boggs' seventh grade class to see if her husband, Mike, has do the job, which is likely a moved up on the list to receive life experience they will never a very needed new kidney. He forget. In addition, Ruben's has Polycystic Kidney Dis- third graders helped review ease, which affects 600,000 the different edited versions, Americans and 12.5 million and saw the real-life difference childrenandadultsworldwide, that editing and revising can It is a genetic disease, with a make in a book, as they wit- 50 percent chance of passing nessedeachstepofthewriting it on to one's children. Seeing process. as how the Gordons have a Ruben says that she hopes 9-year-olddaughter, Elizabeth her bookwillhelpbringaware- (an HDS student), finding a nesstoPKDandtouchjustone cure for this disease is of high person who may be a willing priority to them. donor for Gordon. It's through Enter fellow HDS teacher her nonprofit company, Pep- andself-publishedauthorPam, which is a 501 Ruben. She haswrittenabook 3(c) corporation, that she is called"Once Upon a Kidney... able to publish the book and Mike Gordon's Quest for the get it into circulation. "All PerfectMatch,"whichtellsthe funds made through selling story of the Gordon family's thisbook(andmyotherbooks) experience living with PKD go to the PKD Foundation and and organdonation/transplan- other worthy causes, or to pay tation process, for costs," explains Ruben. Ruben says, "I was moved One of Ruben's favorite by the Gordon family because excerpts from the book, "Once they are like any other family Upon a Kidney...Mike Gor- in your neighborhood, but doffs Quest for the Perfect they deal with serious medical Match" is the following: Mike Gordon and his daughter, Elizabeth, a third grader at HDS. "Mike's new kidney may come from a family member or even a friend (in this case Mike would not have to wait.). Though Reba and Mike make a terrific match in many ways, they do not share the same blood type, and (so his wife) is not a possible donor. So far Mike has not found a match within his family or circle of friends. Therefore Mike, like many others, will rely on those everyday heroes called organ donors who just want to help." According to Reba Gordon, there is no cure for PKD, only treatment of the symptoms, and, in many cases, trans- plantation. Mike is currently on the transplant list. He was "accepted" on April 2. Statis- tically speaking, he will have a two to three year wait for a "cadaver donor" due to his blood type of O. He only has 15 percent kidney function and spends the majority of his (awake) time feeling run down and exhausted. "I am grateful to Pam for writing this book in the hopes that it helps Mike or anyone else in this same or similar situation," says Reba Gordon. "This is not something that LAW OFFICE OF one can plan for or possibly Florida Hospital'slivingdonor know how living with a family coordinator Christina Fuentes member on the transplant list at 407-303-3626. All testing will make one feel. As there and procedures are covered by are approximately 80,000 Gordon's insurance. people currently waiting for Thisbook(andallofRuben's a kidney, I can also hope that other titles, many of which Mike's story, and Pam's book, have Jewish themes) can be encourageotherpeopletocon- purchased by visiting www. siderlivingdonations--which or by call- haveahighersuccessrate--or ing 407-227-2452. For more at least to become an organ informationaboutPKDorhow donor. Please, please, please to help Mike Gordon, visit the donateakidneyto myhusband National Kidney Foundation and Elizabeth's daddy. Please, at or check please, please." out Mike Gordon's Web site at Gordon's plea for help can be metinaveryeasyway.Shesays The Hebrew Day School that anyone with an O blood still has limited spaces avail- type can be a donor (positive able for the 2009-2010 school or negative does not matter), year. For more information or The completely confidential to arrange a private tour, call process begins with a call to 407-647-0713. • Auto Accidents • Wrongful Death • • Nursing Home Negligence • • Defective Products • • Slip & Fall • Dental Malpractice • • Dog Bites • Insurance Claims • "Prepared to fight for you!" Central Florida Hillel has added a new college campus affiliation, the Rosen College of University of Central Florida. The Rosen College of Hospitality Management, about40 minutes from the UCF main campus, is in the heart of the tourism and hospitality industry. Rosen Col- lege students are provided with the education and tools needed to become leaders in the tourism and hospitality field. Central Florida Hillel has been an inkgral part of the UCFcampusforalmost 10years and has created meaningful Jewish experiences for more than 10,000 students. The Rosen Campus has recently become home for mal,.' Jewish students, and CFH felt the need to reach out and bring 3ewish life to the south side of town. "I think it's a great idea, there are a lot of Jewish students attending classes and living at Rosen that enjoy participating in Hillel events," says freshman Pe~ Y! - , s of the Jewish Pavmop - ’ m foraspecialtreat Wednesday, Jan. 13 at 11 a.m. Donors of $500+ will enjoy a free meal prepared by Chef Ben Walanka at the waterfront home of LisaJasmundon Inter- lachen Avenue. The house was formerly owned by Rollins Col- lege President Hamilton Holt. Walanka, nephew of Jewish Pavilion President Sheryl Mei- The Rosen College of Hospitality Management Arielle Ladin, anevent manage- the Rosen campus," says Sam ment major. "By having Hillel Kauffman, assistant executive closer, we are able to meet other director of Central FloridaHillei. Jewishstudentsthatwemaynot "We want students to network have been able to before." This with Jewish professionals in the semester CFH has participated Orlandoarea, have the ability to in university sponsored events, participate in Jewish holidays organized social events at a and Shabbat, and most impor- local pizza shop and supplied tantly to be an outlet for them materials needed to celebrate to meet other Jewish students Jewish holidays, on their campus." After two semesters of pro- For more information about gramming, CFH looks to the CentralFloridaHillelandevents future.'~Ve are looking forward at the Rosen Campus, visit the to bringing more programs to website tin, wasafinalistontelevision's The Pearls of the Pavilion "Hell's Kitchen." He grew up Luncheon is being chaired in Chicago and lived with the by Myrna Newman, who has Meitinsduringsomeofhisteen- been active on the Friends of ~ge years. He entertained in theJewishPavilionboardfor Orlandowhilehewasattending several years. The auxiliary, KendallCollegeinChicagoand chaired by Elise Schilowitz, oncemadeafabulousdinnerfor is responsible for coordinat- some of Sheryl and Julian Mei- ing fundraising events for tins' best friends. Says Sheryl, the Jewish Pavilion. The "They loved it. Ben is a very talentedandengagingperson." Pearls on page 23A rvi ng mmunity Call on Central Florida's Exclusively Jewish Funeral Home for Details Regarding: • Traditional Jewish Funerals • Non-Traditional Services • Interstate Shipping • Pre-Arranged Funerals (Shalom Assurance Plan) • Headstone, Grave Markers (Cardinal Memorials) 640 Lee Rd. Orlando, Florida W.E. "Manny" Adams, LFD Louis B. Wilson, LFD, Manager James R. Cardinal, Executive Director Samuel P. (Sammy) Goldstein, Assoc. Exec. Director Michael Meyer, Family Pre-need Counselor