Judy was an incredible organ donor hero from Riverdale who enjoyed spending time with her family, working out and laughing. She was a caring wife and daughter who always told her friends and family to save time each day to have fun. She was generous with her time and always took care of the people around her.
“Giving her organs was just one more manifestation of how extraordinary she was,” Judy’s mother Beverly says. “Judy was an inspiration.”
Judy became a heroic organ donor in 2020 after a lifelong battle with a rare genetic Jewish disorder. When she was born, doctors said Judy only hade a 50% chance of living past age five, but she was a fighter and lived to be 50 years old.
“She was so fragile with her illness, but she still wanted to help others when she died. It was just incredible,” Beverly says.
Unbeknownst to her family, Judy was a registered organ donor. When the organ procurement specialists spoke with Beverly about donating Judy’s organs, she was surprised to learn that her daughter had signed up to save lives.
“At first I thought it was not a Jewish thing,” Beverly says. “I was a little reluctant, but in learning a little bit about it I knew that it was OK.”
These days, Judy’s parents are deeply proud of their daughter for saving lives through organ donation. In fact, Beverly is in touch with the man who received Judy’s kidney. He is a father and grandfather who is able to spend more time with his family because Judy gave him a second chance at life.
“Judy didn’t have any children, so what will be her legacy? Inspiration, resiliency, kindness and life. It’s a mitzvah,” Beverly says. “One gives birth and brings life into this world and one can extend life.”
April is Donate Life Month. To learn more about how you can register as a lifesaving organ donor, visit LiveOnNY.org.