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. Continue reading A Shining Example
Last week, Racheli Klakner (39), a lawyer and arbitrator from Ganei Tikvah, received an unexpected envelope in the mail: An honorary medallion and letter of thanks from Ezer Mizion’s International Bone Marrow Donor Registry for her responding to the call to save a life with her bone marrow donation.
A few years ago, Racheli had gotten a phone call from Ezer Mizion’s registry informing her that she was found to be a good match for a bone marrow donation for a patient who needed her stem cells in order to survive and get better.
Klakner was thrilled by the phone call and felt that a huge privilege had fallen in her lap. Accompanied by her husband and son, she went to a meeting to hear about the options and the procedures. After reading articles and research studies, they decided to make the donation in the operating room under full anesthesia. Last week, she received an honorary medallion from Ezer Mizion for her efforts.
It is very important to Klakner to raise awareness about the importance of donating stem cells and saving lives. She wants to convey this message and tell her story, for the benefit of all the people who are afraid or are put off by the idea.
“If it will encourage others to donate, if they will come to understand the significance and the power of giving, if they will grasp what it is to save the life of another person, or if anyone who is uncertain about donating stem cells will be persuaded by my words to go ahead with it, then I will have succeeded in saving another life, and it is well worth it.”
Caesaria Golf Course in Israel changes its face every Thanksgiving weekend. A Peter Dye course, it poses an invigorating challenge to the best of players while remaining enjoyable to the average golfer. On each Thanksgiving weekend, however, the challenges consist of so much more than hills and handicaps. Each player enters the course with a sense of purpose. He is there to help save lives. Every stroke is a strike against cancer.
The event benefits Ezer Mizion’s International Jewish Bone Marrow Registry which has saved the lives of over 2000 Jews around the globe. These were cancer patients whose sole chance of survival had been a transplant. The life-saving transplant could only have taken place if a genetically matching donor was found. Ezer Mizion’s Registry, the largest Jewish registry in the world with over 670,000 potential donors, found those DNA matches, thus providing a future for young grandparents, Mommies and Daddies of young families and tiny children who would now be able to grow up.
‘Hole-in-One’ Donor Pool has been created whereby all proceeds of the annual golf event are earmarked for genetic testing for a specific block of potential donors. The committee heads are notified each time a transplant of stem cells by a donor, whose genetic testing was funded by the Pool, takes place. The notification begins with the electrifying words: You have saved a life. To date,16 lives have been saved by the Hole-in-One pool since its inception seven years ago. As if to encourage this year’s participants, three of those sixteen transplants took place in October of 2016.
What do the participants think? Let’s hop in a golf cart and ask them. Ran Saher, CEO of Maccabi Healthcare excitedly informs all around him, “Today wasn’t only about winning. It was about saving lives! Says Sheldon Shein, Executve Chairman of Hennig Diamonds: Playing in the Ezer Mizion tournament makes you think. You realize that there’s a lot bigger things in life than getting the ball in the hole. By joining the tournament, we can accomplish a ‘hole’ lot. Jackie Mukmelm, CEO and President of MAN Properties, “Just imagine a person who has given up hope and thinks that he will soon be leaving his family forever. Then one day, he receives a phone call that he never thought he would get. It’s Ezer Mizion and they found a DNA match. He’s going to live! Wow! And to think that we, with our playing here today, accomplished that!
Thanks to all of you- those residing in Israel and those who visited Israel from across the ocean- for participating. We look forward to your joining us next year on November 20th, 2017.
Congratulations to our 2016 winners.
First Place: Stephane Benguigui, David Dadi, David Fitoussi, Jonathon Ohayon
Second Place: Mark Joffee, Saul Katzman, Neil Rubinstein, David Turner
Third Place: Elizur Agus, Eytan Bar-Chama, Jack Garih, Zev Weissberg
Most Honest Team: Ari Gruenspecht, Aaron Miller, Daniel Rubel, Simmy Zimbalist
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. Continue reading Bags of Chessed
Four years ago, Ezer Mizion’s International Bone Marrow Registry had reached the pinnacle by meeting the very stringent criteria of WMDA (World Marrow Donor Association). Of the one hundred members of the international entity, BMDW, only 20 had been accredited by WMDA. It was Ezer Mizion’s high level of standards had catapulted the organization to membership in the prestigious World Marrow Donor Association.
A project of WMDA is WMDD ( World Marrow Donor Day) honoring stem cell donors around the world. Now, only four years later, Ezer Mizion is one of the three nominees for WMDA’s World Marrow Donor Day Award. The winner is to be announced in the spring.
The WMDD event is geared to raise awareness among the world population of the need to take responsibility for a bone marrow registry in order to save lives. Ezer Mizion, together with its compassionate, giving Jewish population, exemplifies the concept of this responsibility.
Drives are held frequently in Israel to increase specific ethnic groups in its database so that when a member of that group will be in need of a transplant to save his life, the DNA match will be readily available for him, avoiding needless loss of life.
Another facet of Ezer Mizion’s pursuit of its goals is the agreement with the IDF in 2005. The IDF created an additional station to its recruiting centers enabling soldiers to join the registry as part of their induction. These young, healthy potential donors of varied ethnicity have greatly added to the Registry. Fifty thousand new recruits joined in this past year alone. Search requests received from 36 countries worldwide now have a much higher rate of positive response.
The IDF’s contribution to the Registry was celebrated in October in the home of President Rivlin who eloquently spoke of the mutual responsibility to the global Jewish community felt by the Jewish population which has allowed the Registry to rise to its present level.
The incredible growth of the Registry has only been able to take place because of the generosity of Jews throughout the world who have sponsored the astronomical cost of DNA testing. Their gifts have funded the costly genetic testing of each new, potential donor, thus enabling the Registry to grow to a total of over 800,000 on its database.
Through the media, the greater Jewish public has become aware of grateful cancer patients worldwide whose lives have been saved by Ezer Mizion. A young father of two tiny girls who had been terrified of leaving his daughters to grow up as orphans, a teen who is now studying to be a doctor so that he can help others, a social worker who suddenly found herself on the other side of the desk, a chubby five-year-old who is adorable even when he is throwing a tantrum… these are some of the many who will now have a future because of generous donors who have rallied to the cause, realizing that Ezer Mizion’s Registry acts as an insurance policy for Jews everywhere.
The recent nomination for WMDD’s upcoming World Marrow Donor Day Award is gratifying and shows the acknowledgement of Ezer Mizion’s inordinate accomplishments by this worldwide respected entity.