For more than twenty years, Lieutenant Colonel Yossie Cohen has been involved in extensive military operational activity as, until recently, head of the General Staff’s Operations Brigade for the Southern Front. He was engaged in many a battle for his country and it was he who coined the names of operations “Protective Edge” and “Pillar of Defense.” Involved in life and death decisions, the few moments he had spent as a young man ten years before at the Ezer Mizion Registration Station, filling out a one-page form was certainly not in the forefront of his mind. Not even a blip on his own radar screen, those few moments would later make a major difference to a fellow Jew, a man his own age. What sort of a difference? The difference between being alive for his next birthday or….not. As crucial as his work in the army was, Yossie understands that this recent battle was just as vital. His DNA counterpart had tried the standard treatments of chemo and/or radiation to no avail. His physicians held out only one ray of hope. A bone marrow transplant. If somewhere, someplace in the world a person could be found who genetically matched him and was willing to donate his stem cells, his life could be saved. The cure existed. His physicians knew how to implement it. But, without that genetic match, nothing could be done. And so the cancer patient waited. He prayed. He hoped. He leaped each time the phone rang. He knew the facts. Unless a donor would be found soon, his condition would deteriorate and it would be…too late. “Think positive,” his family told him. And so he tried. But there, in the dark of the night, bad thoughts would come to fore and it was hard to even hope. And then came the phone call. It was an ordinary ring but the voice on the other end was anything but ordinary. It was jubilant. It was triumphant. A match was found! And the donor had agreed to the procedure. Another Ezer Mizion miracle! Lieutenant Colonel Yossie Cohen was that match.
The procedure was explained to Yossie who did not hesitate a moment. The former Lieutenant Colonel became a private in the battle to save a life, obeying each request made by the Registry to perfection. The preparation. The formalities. And finally the Big Day when his life-giving cells were transferred to the body of another Jew. And then it was over. He had done it. The man would live. Yossie was on a high. He wanted to shout from the rooftops. Instead he settled for a proclamation: “I want everyone to understand that donating bone marrow is a simple procedure. I call upon all members of the Jewish people residing in Israel to join Ezer Mizion’s Registry.”