Spirit of giving

The advertising business may be heartless at times, but when Russell Berman, a photographer at EPS Communications, desperately needed a kidney, many of his coworkers—and even his employer Rick Jaffe—were prepared to serve as donors.

One year ago, Berman tore cartilage in his knee, and routine blood work revealed that his kidneys were not functioning properly. Several family members, including Berman’s grandfather and father, had died from kidney failure. Berman was told that a transplant was required—and fast.

“It seemed like everyone in the place [EPS] wanted to donate a kidney,” Berman said. “It was actually kind of funny.”

Jaffe, founder and president of EPS, a Boston-based marketing communications and advertising firm, and several others were rejected for various reasons, such as having the wrong blood type. Ultimately, Greg deZarn-O’Hare, director of EPS subsidiary Benchmark Publications, was selected as donor, and the transplant was successfully performed last month. “Russell is a great guy, he has a couple kids. I just said, ‘Yeah, sure,'” to donating one of his kidneys, deZarn-O’Hare said.

© Dan Wilby