At 78 years old, Army Vet and Merrick Long Island native Dr. Allan Krieger was always in perfect health, until nine months ago when he was diagnosed with stage five renal failure. Dr. Krieger, a retired dentist who dedicated much of his life to the Jewish community, serving as an active volunteer in his temple and helping Holocaust survivors, is now turning to the community for help.
The doctors recommended kidney transplant surgery before the new year to avoid dialysis that would put a tremendous burden on his body, which is in excellent health despite two failing kidneys. His loving wife, Marla, who is battling MS, relies on her husband’s help on a daily basis. Faced with this heartbreaking situation, Dr. Krieger’s daughter, Kira Krieger, a mother of two young children and unable to donate herself, turned to Facebook for help. Using her marketing background, she launched a nationwide Facebook campaign to generate awareness, hoping that through continued Facebook sharing someone will come forward as a match.
So far, the response has been overwhelming. The Facebook page A Kidney for Allan Krieger has reached an audience of over 44K in just three weeks and continues to gain momentum. Nine people have come forward; two are currently being tested at New York Presbyterian Weill Cornell hospital.
“The success of my efforts [is] a testament to the depth and outreach of Facebook,” said Ms. Krieger. “From an initial post on Facebook addressing my father’s illness I was introduced to my designer as well as four other families who have executed similar kidney searches. The key to a successful campaign is having passionate people in the community to help execute it. There are truly altruistic people who want to help, we just need to find them.”
Ms. Krieger has put her personal business aside and directed her focus and attention to the success of this campaign. The family has registered with Renewal; however, due to Dr. Krieger’s immediate needs they have not been able to help thus far. Everyone who has assisted with the campaign has done so on a pro-bono basis, volunteering their time and efforts including the digital team, designer and publicist. Ms. Krieger’s goal is to post something daily that is thought provoking, charming and emotionally charged, engaging the audience and getting them to share her messaging. An example of this is Mr. Beaner, the kidney superhero extraordinaire who is actively seeking the newest member of the “one beaner club.” Ms. Krieger believes that with unique creative, continued sharing and expanded visibility, more people will come forward.
Facebook has played an integral role in Ms. Krieger’s campaign from early on. Ms. Krieger conducted independent research on Facebook by polling living kidney donors. Sixty-two percent responded that they found their recipient through a Facebook post. This astounding statistic does not surprise Ms. Krieger who has made countless connections through her Facebook campaign. In fact, the admins of two other Facebook kidney campaigns pages have not only been sharing “A Kidney for Allan Krieger” posts but also advising and cheering on Ms. Krieger along the way. When asked why another campaign admin was so supportive of Ms. Krieger’s campaign, he reminded Ms. Krieger of the Talmudic phrase “whoever saves one life saves the world entire.” He explained to her that it is hard being public with such a tough need but it’s times like this when the community comes together.
Dr. Allan Krieger is seeking a donor with type A or O blood type. As Ms. Krieger suggests in her campaign copy, if you cannot share your spare, then at least share her posts and messaging.
By JLBWC Staff