Hyman Riebman promised himself that he would travel more after he received his kidney transplant. And he’s done just that by taking a trip to Los Angeles for the National Transplant Olympics, and a baseball trip with his son. “We traveled to New York, to Boston, Philadelphia, Cooperstown, and back to New York. It was the greatest trip of my life,” Hyman recalled. Years later, he took another extraordinary trip, “When I was 50 I went to the Cubs Fantasy baseball camp in Mesa, Arizona and I got myself a uniform and I played baseball for seven days, and I batted against the Hall of Fame pitcher Fergie Jenkins” Hyman boasted.
Hyman, one of our board members, has been able to live his life to the fullest due to two kidney transplants that he has received. In 1982 Hyman received a diagnosis that resulted in dialysis in November of 1991 and then receiving a kidney from his mother in 1992. “She’d remind me every time she’d see me without a coat on or a sweater, she’d remind me to protect that kidney,” Hyman recalls his mother joking with him.
Hyman’s life improved greatly with the new kidney. “All I can remember is how good I felt the moment it was over… I felt like a new person. Within 24 hours the nurses were going crazy with me because I stood up and I said I feel so good I think I could even do jumping jacks! And I began to do it and I thought one of the nurses was going to have a stroke! That’s how good I felt!” Hyman said. Hyman saw this as just the beginning of his life.
The kidney from his mother lasted for 14 years, until 2005, when it began to run out of gas, or the warranty was running out, Hyman likes to joke. Hyman went back on the transplant list and received a kidney from a stranger in July of 2006.
Hyman enjoys being a part of the Transplant Village Council. He has nothing but great things to say about Dan and the work he is doing. He has also been able to enjoy watching his children, one who is now a lawyer and one who is a surgical nurse grow.