Information can be also be obtained from her kidney donor contact, Audrey Caplin, kidney donor coordinator at Cleveland Clinic, at 216-445-3150. Donors must be in good general health, have blood type A or O and be between the ages of 21 and 60.
If you are interested in learning more about being a live kidney donor, you can visit Renewal should you decide that you want to move forward using the organization, rather than contacting Michelle through her email or webpage. Michelle is listed with them.
An email blast from Anshe Chesed Fairmount Temple in Beachwood sent out to its congregants on November 19, 2014 urged them to help save the life of Michelle Tarczy at the time 37, and daughter of their congregants, Robin and Ray Elsoffer.
Robin Elsoffer was 39 when she found out she had PKD, polycystic kidney disease. Two years later, at age 16, Michelle learned she had inherited the genetically based disorder as well. There is no cure for the illness, in which cysts develop on the kidneys and kidney function declines, causing need for either a transplant or dialysis.
Michelle Tarczy, left, with her mother, Robin Elsoffer, in 2005
“Six-hundred thousand Americans have this disease, and nobody talks about it,” Robin said, “I never even heard about it.” Robin received a kidney from her sister-in-law, and then two years later, from her son. “I was not doing well at all,” said Robin. “He saved my life.” With the help of Fairmount Temple, her daughter Michelle now is looking for a donor.
After Michelle had her own daughter her kidneys started failing. Michelle said that since then “It’s been a gradual decline.” In March of 2014, she was told she needed to start looking for a donor. So her mother decided to turn to Fairmount Temple for assistance.
"We were in a position where Michelle didn’t have a donor, and I was trying to think of everything I could do,” she said. “I wanted her to receive a live donor because that’s the best thing to do. I didn’t know what to do. I was really searching.”
Robin Elsoffer spoke with Wendy Jacobson, the temple’s caring community coordinator, as well as Cantor Sarah Sager and Rabbi Robert Nosanchuk, to determine a plan of action. She provided them with information about Michelle and her medical situation, as well as a contact at Cleveland Clinic, which the temple then forwarded to its members via email and Facebook. “It’s so wonderful that the temple is willing to do something like this,” Robin said.
Some members of the congregation – including Robin – are still alive today due to someone’s decision to donate a kidney or another organ. The email the temple sent out urged those who did not meet the physical requirements to become a donor to spread the word by sharing its contents with friends and family.
“If this is something that you can do to help someone else, then why not?” Robin said. “Let’s help each other. If this was you, and nobody could help you from your family, wouldn’t you want someone to help?”