Countless guests converged at the palatial home of President Rivlin and, the following day, upon the Hilton, Israel Ballroom to participate in the grand event celebrating the achievements of Ezer Mizion’s International Bone Marrow Registry which has saved 2200 Jewish lives. Requests arrive regularly from 47 countries worldwide. Come join us on an emotional roller coaster as one speaker after another demonstrates the organization’s accomplishments.
The MC takes the stage. “This evening is dedicated to our heroes. The first was Moshe Shayek who was battling cancer. The only way to save Moshe’s life was with a bone marrow transplant. His friends went from door to door collecting 5000 samples. But, sadly, the hoped-for DNA match wasn’t found, and Moshe died. In gratitude to Ezer Mizion for its assistance, his parents found the inner strength to rise above their personal pain and suggested using the many samples to found a donor registry. Thus was born Ezer Mizion’s International Jewish Bone Marrow Registry. Moshe’s parents have joined us here tonight, full of nachas at what was created in the merit of their son.
“Two-year-old Naamah was diagnosed with leukemia. Ezer Mizion rallied to the cause and launched a nationwide campaign. Fifty-five stations were deployed across the country. And it worked! 4384 samples were collected in one day. After an extensive search, the matching donor was found, a soldier. But when the donor’s family was contacted, we discovered the family sitting shiva. The son had just been killed in a terrorist attack. In one critical moment, Naamah’s only hope disappeared. After three years of suffering and hopes, dozens of hospitalizations and grueling treatments, Naamah Biton passed away at the tender age of five. But, from the pool of samples collected in the campaign, six transplants took place, saving the lives of six Jews.
Six year old Amit Kadosh needed a transplant to save her young life. The Jewish people rallied en masse. 63,045 samples were registered in one day, a world record that hasn’t been broken to this day. From among these samples, to date, 96 lifesaving transplants were carried out. Amit, who recently became Bas Mitzvah, is with us here tonight.
Allow me to introduce you to some other heroes.
Good evening. My name is Nitai Weiner. In 2013, when I was 15 and a half, I got leukemia. I went through a series of treatments, which helped for a while, but then the disease returned. In order to save my life, they had to do a bone marrow transplant. Last March, the transplant took place.. Today, I am healthy, thank G-d, and in another two months, I will turn 19.I hope to live a long, full life.
Good evening. My name is Yechiel Rebibo. We want to thank David Farajon for his gracious donation to Ezer Mizion which enabled hundreds of potential donors to be genetically tested. Genetic testing is costly and without his gift, these donors would not have been on the Ezer Mizion database. Thanks to this gift, my life and the lives of many others were saved. May you be divinely blessed, David. Of course, I want to thank the tzaddik, Ohr Biton, whose DNA testing was funded by the Farajun Family and found to be my DNA match. He donated his bone marrow and saved my life.
My name is David Farajun. I am deeply moved. My family has had the privilege to have 66 lifesaving transplants take place from our family donor pool to date. The next generation will carry on after us. This is my heritage to you, my children.
Good evening. My parents are Motty z”l and tibadel l’chaim, Dr. Bracha Zisser, founders of the Registry.
It is a great privilege for me to stand here tonight for my parents. I grew up in the shadow of the Registry. Still, until I saw the meetings of the donors and their recipients I didn’t understand quite how marvelous this chessed is. Two strangers fall on each other’s shoulders with tears of joy and embrace as dear friends.
My father who is no longer with us here today built malls, hotels and marinas… but his name is associated, more than anything, with the concept of chessed.
My father knew that we are not really disconnected individuals, but rather a single human tapestry. Perhaps because of this understanding, the mitzvah of establishing the Bone Marrow Registry came into my parents’ hands.
You never know whom your donation will affect. It might go to strangers whom you will never meet. But the donation might one day help you yourself or your best friend…
When my parents established the Registry, they never could have dreamed that years later, that same Registry they founded would grant my father three years of life. It may not sound like enough, but during these years, he merited dancing at a son’s wedding and got to know three grandchildren.
The bone marrow that he received, the “bag of chessed,” as he called it, waited there just for him, only thanks to the understanding that he attained years earlier – that as a society, we are actually one entity.
Thank you to everyone who took and takes part in this important enterprise. Thank you to everyone who came here this evening. We wish a complete recovery to all the patients and many more years of productive activity in good health.