Avi and Colleen Bamberger
Avi and Colleen Bamberger Credit: Hadassah hospital spokesperson

This Tu B'av, the holiday of love, Avi and Colleen Bamberger, South African olim to Israel, will celebrate the one-year anniversary of the ultimate gesture of love. A year ago, Avi saved Coleen's life by donating his kidney to her.

Coleen told Arutz Sheva about the circumstances that led to her kidney transplant. "Avi and I have been married for 33 years. About a year and a half ago, I collapsed and it became clear that I was suffering from kidney failure. We were told that I would need a kidney donation. We started talking about how to find a kidney. Avi and our [grown] children expressed their willingness to be tested - and they even fought among themselves who would donate."

"At the end, it turned out that Avi was the best match to donate his kidney. After ten months of dialysis, I received a kidney donation from Avi and underwent a transplant at Hadassah Hospital. I have no words to describe the feeling."

"When we tell our story, I can't believe how many married couples are surprised by it," Avi says. "For us it was self-evident. I didn't hesitate for a minute. I was also happy I could help and not be dependent on a third party."

Colleen continues the story: "The testing process is lengthy but was clear to Avi and I from the first moment that he would end up being the most appropriate match. The lab technician looked at us and said, 'It seems like you're optimistic that you'll have surgery in two weeks. That won't be the case exactly.'"

"We didn't know what the problem could be but ultimately, despite the fact that it doesn't happen often, the tests showed an exact match between us. When we received the news we were both very excited."

"When we got married, people commented that we were so different from each other, but over the years we realized how suited we are to each other," Collen added.

Avi and Colleen aren't planning a special celebration for Tu B'Av evening (Thursday night). "We celebrate Tu B'Av every day. When we both get up in the morning together, we see the sun and say Modeh Ani (a Jewish prayer of thankfulness said upon waking up in the morning).

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