There is a non-traditional way for people to find “their gift of life.” A nonprofit organization MatchingDonors.com locates and matches living organ donors with those who desperately need an organ transplant.
One such individual needing a match is Sergio Rozenblat, a giant in the Latin music industry.
The 70-year-old Argentinian native has had an extensive career in the music industry. From 1980 to 1987, he was the director of A&R and Marketing at CBS Records International, working with artists like Gloria Estefan, Julio Iglesias, Roberto Carlos, José Luis Rodríguez and Vicente Fernández.
Notably, he was also the vice president and general manager of WEA Latina, the executive director of the Latin Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences and the vice president of FM Programming Operations for the US Southeastern region at Univision Radio.
Now, he is in dire need of a new kidney.
Rozenblat had previously received a kidney transplant around 2005-06 but discovered nine months ago in a biopsy that his body is in the beginning stages of rejecting the organ. He does not know how long he has before the kidney fails him.
“It’s a running clock, more or less,” Rozenblat said. “I dread the idea of going into dialysis.”
While looking at options, Rozenblat was told about MatchingDonors.com through a third party. He talked to a patient who used the service and got a transplant after four months of searching. The patient told Rozenblat how “clean, clear, transparent and easy the process was,” which convinced Rozenblat to reach out to the nonprofit.
After going through the process and getting his profile set up, Rozenblat was entirely on board, even agreeing to share his story in press releases by the organization. He had been on a waiting list for his first transplant before getting lucky and finding a match. With MatchingDonors.com being more friendly, he hopes to let others know about his positive experience.
“Anything that I can do along the way to promote the organization, I shall because it’s a pretty amazing opportunity people might not know about,” Rozenblat said. “And what’s even more amazing are the members who sign up as donors. Those are angels.”
MatchingDonors.com was founded in 2004, becoming the first organization to facilitate an organ transplant over the internet. The nonprofit claims that most patients can receive their transplant within six months of signing up; the average wait time on the national waiting list is three to five years.
Data from the Health Resources and Services Administration report that there are currently more than 100,000 people on the national transplant waiting list. Seventeen die each day waiting for a transplant, and another person is added to the list every 10 minutes.
The nonprofit boasts of having more than 15,000 vetted registered living donors, with three to 26 new donors registering daily. They have helped more than 10,000 patients through their transplant journey.
“The job they’re doing, there’s no one else out there,” Rozenblat said.
Potential donors who sign up with MatchingDonors.com must be at least 21 years of age and must be currently living in the US, Canada or United Kingdom. It should also be noted that it’s illegal for donors to receive financial benefits for donating organs.
For more information, or to sign up as either a donor or a patient, go to https://www.matchingdonors.com/life/.