Former J. editor needs kidney transplant

Sign up for Weekday J and get the latest on what's happening in the Jewish Bay Area.

Marc Klein needs a kidney. Suffering from polycystic renal disease, the former editor of j. will have to undergo dialysis soon unless a kidney transplant becomes available. That’s why he is going public with an outreach effort launched through the S.F.-based Jewish Community Federation.

“I’m in stage 5 of renal failure,” Klein said from his Alameda home. “There is no stage 6, which means the next step is dialysis. I’ve exhausted my whole family. Nobody can donate, so I decided to reach out.”

The federation issued an email blast on March 8, detailing Klein’s medical circumstances and appealing to community members. Klein has Type O+ blood.

Klein is on the transplant list, but says people often wait up to eight years for a suitable match.

Marc Klein photo/cathleen maclearie

Last October, Klein stepped down as j.’s editor and publisher, a post he held for 28 years. He said his kidney disease has left him feeling exhausted much of the time.

So far he is not suffering other symptoms, though that may change as his kidneys continue to deteriorate.

“I’m at the point now where the kidneys have pretty much failed,” noted Klein, who is undergoing treatment while he waits. “After reading so much and finding out about the benefits of doing a transplant before dialysis, it made me want to contact as many people as I can.”

Klein got the idea for the outreach after reading a similar federation email sent out last month on behalf of Simon Meyer, 17, a Brandeis Hillel Day School graduate also in need of a kidney donation.

Though cadaver kidneys often are used in transplants, kidneys from live donors offer a better outcome. Klein says he understands that donating a kidney is a big decision, but he hopes someone will answer the call.

“I really appreciate the federation being so supportive,” he says. “This gives you the warm feeling that there’s a bigger Jewish community out there.” — dan pine

Dan Pine

Dan Pine is a contributing editor at J. He was a longtime staff writer at J. and retired as news editor in 2020.