Ari Sytner is one of the men who beat the odds.

Ari Sytner has been called many things: serial optimist, therapist, author, inspirational speaker, rabbi, blogger, but the one he likes best is “proud kidney donor”. His goal in life is to spread positive messages of kindness and optimism.

The World Kidney Day team is very excited to announce that we will host a series of Ari’s inspirational talks on our Facebook page. Ari will be live on February 8, February 22 and March 8 at 10 AM EST.

It is a known fact that women donate organs more often than men and are less likely to receive one when in need.  However, even if women are often more altruistic and susceptible to emotional pressures, it doesn’t mean that men should not step up and contribute to saving lives. Ari is the living proof of that.

In 2012, Ari donated his kidney to Ronit Havivi,  a 40-something-year-old single mother of three children from Israel. Originally, he got his inspiration to donate from teaching a series of lectures on Jewish medical ethics and discovering that, not only is living kidney donation allowed in Jewish law, but it is also a good deed. By teaching this to his students, he realized that he was only paying lip service and, in order to truly mean what he was preaching, Ari began his personal donation journey.

Traditional donation scheme would suggest that donor and recipient are family members, given the higher likelihood of sharing the same blood type. However, nowadays, more and more people donate their “spare” kidney to a complete stranger. Such altruistic decisions deserve recognition and encouragement.

At the beginning, Ari was unsure about his decision to donate to a complete stranger and sought advice from his wife.

His wife Chana suggested he go through with the tests to see if he was a match, and that that would help him find the answer: if positive, it would mean it was right thing to do, and would comfort him in his altruistic instinct; if negative, the reasons for not going through with it would be medical, and the act simply not meant to be.

Make sure to follow Ari’s live videos to learn his story and find inspiration.

The video on February 22 will include Q&A, so feel free to leave your questions in the comment section of the video or send them to WKD Facebook page directly.