And Bring A Friend…

helping-hands w puzzle pieces
The perfect genetic match

“Please come into my office and…and bring a friend.” That was my doctor on the line with the results of the blood work. We had just had a baby and I, the father, felt so weak. With our first, I helped out a lot. With #2, I felt too weak to even hold the baby. Something seemed very wrong. And now I was about to find out what. “Bring a friend,” she had said. It sounded ominous.  And so there we sat, my friend and I, when, with tears in her eyes, my doctor said those words: You have leukemia.

How do I tell my wife? With a newborn at home. How do I tell my mother? My brother had recently battled a brain tumor…and lost. Now again?! Well, I was released from the hospital and went home, arriving very close to Shabbos. I felt that I couldn’t ruin my wife’s Shabbos so I kept quiet. After Shabbos, I told her. My wife and I cried together but we were determined.  We just had to find a way to move forward. We were not going to collapse. We were not going to give up. We’d fight. We’d do our part and Hashem would do His.

It wasn’t easy. That very Sunday was my sister’s wedding. I simply couldn’t ruin the wedding for my sister, for my mother who was finally seemed happy after my brother’s death. So I told everyone that I had hurt my back. The truth was that I simply had no energy, the leukemia coursing through my body, sapping me of all my strength. On the last day of sheva brachos (week of wedding celebrations), I told my mother the news. It was so hard for her to accept. But a lifetime of faith in G-d came to fore as she internalized and helped me to internalize, “We are all in the hands of G-d”.

At the hospital, I missed my family terribly. One day my daughter came to visit me. But when she started coughing, she had to leave for fear that I would catch her cold.

I have to tell you, my wife is truly amazing. She gave me the best gift – a poster with pictures of my children. I just burst into tears at the sight of that simple but powerful gift.

Meanwhile, the hospital began swabbing my siblings for the bone marrow transplant. Two of my sisters were good matches but one had just given birth and the other was expecting.

pr bmr cell bagThen Ezer Mizion came into my life with a perfect match!!! It was incredible how fast Ezer Mizion worked. I received the round of chemo to completely destroy my immune system in preparation for the transplant. Some people lose their minds from this mega-dose of chemo. I decided to keep my focus by learning Talmud .

The day of my transplant, I woke up to find my room decorated with signs wishing me a happy birthday. My wife! Sure, it was an extremely scary day for us all, but it was also a day of celebration – I was getting my life back, being born again, my family was getting our lives back. What a powerful moment.

The transplant was a success and a month later I was released from the hospital, having finished the section of the Talmud I had chosen just 2 days before.

When I met my donor, he shared with me that the same month he donated his bone marrow, that very same month, his wife conceived. He gave a life and he got a life.

I want to thank him and Ezer Mizion’s Bone Marrow Registry who facilitated my transplant for not only saving my life, but for saving my entire family.

 

 

 

 

 

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Because of You!

BMR 3 19March 2019

BONE MARROW DONOR REGISTRY ACTIVITY SUMMARY
38 transplants, 31 from donor pools
3,138 total transplants (of these, 1,885 from IDF soldiers)
968,490 members in registry (of these, 532,358 from IDF soldiers)

 

Transplant Countries
Austria, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Portugal, Spain, USA

Donor Pool Countries
Brazil, Canada, Israel, UK, USA

Continue reading Because of You!

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Do You Have the Time to Save a Life?

pr bmr Harry - Ofek
Another life saved by Ezer Mizion’s Bone Marrow Registry

H.  was a cheerful, healthy 62 year old. Life was great and he expected things to continue that way. If yesterday was good, shouldn’t tomorrow be so also? We human beings are wired that way. We take good things for granted and are shocked when the wheel turns. That’s what happened to H. His idyllic life was over when…

Although friends had been telling him for a while that he looked pale, H. didn’t take it seriously until he heard the same thing again and again and again. ”Finally, I listened. I was tested at the hospital and discovered that my hemoglobin was half the normal rate, much lower than it should have been. More tests. More waiting. More worry. And then the answer. Severe leukemia.” Continue reading Do You Have the Time to Save a Life?

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He Was Only Young Boy

DNA
Finding that matching DNA can save a life

It wasn’t easy. Acceptance never is. My children would grow up, marry. There would be grandchildren… And I wouldn’t be there. A small grandchild would have a part in the school Chanukah play. “Invite your grandmother, too,” her teacher would say.  My little granddaughter’s face would cloud up,” She’s in heaven.  She can’t come.”  Continue reading He Was Only Young Boy

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Your Friend in the Sky

bmr Nissim Yakubov 3
Will a bone marrow donor be found for Nissan?

Nissan sat opposite his doctor, his fists clenched in tension. Read on as he tells his story.

“I don’t want to sugar coat it. You have leukemia and it doesn’t look good.”

“These were not the words I was hoping to hear. The hardest part was informing our entire family.

After two rounds of chemotherapy, I was told to contact my brothers and sisters immediately as I needed a bone marrow transplant. “I don’t have a brother or sister,” I whispered in a barely audible voice. “I’m an only child.” Continue reading Your Friend in the Sky

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Because of You!

website bmr update templateBONE MARROW DONOR REGISTRY ACTIVITY SUMMARY

JANUARY 2019
28 transplants, 22 from donor pools
3,061 total transplants
962,242 members in registry

Transplant Countries
Canada, Germany, Israel, Italy, Spain, Turkey, UK, USA

Donor Pool Countries
Brazil, Canada, Israel, UK, USA Continue reading Because of You!

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You’ll Always Be My Hero

pr bmr Russian-American Mirrer avreich
It’s all about saving lives!

“Don’t be silly,” said his wife.” Just because your friend has leukemia, doesn’t mean you do.”

“You’re being absurd,” said his neighbor. “Soon you’ll think that every sneeze is leukemia.”

Alex had been feeling very weak and just made an appointment to see his doctor.

“What you need is a good vacation, not an exhausting two-hour wait in a doctor’s office,” said his daughter.

Alex hoped they were right.  He was only 53. But he had a feeling…Sometimes you just know… Continue reading You’ll Always Be My Hero

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45 Years of Tears: The Bone Marrow Transplant that Never Was

pr phone

“Where were you 45 years ago when my son needed a bone marrow transplant?”

 

At Ezer Mizion’s busy office, the phone does not stop ringing. At times, it is the ubiquitous telemarketing call. Other calls may be requesting information about the bone marrow registry. Some calls can be as brief as several sentences but leave the staff member stunned. Like this one received by Chani :

“Where were you 45 years ago? When my son needed a bone marrow transplant? I took my two daughters to be tested at UCLA but they were not a genetic match.” Then her voice faltered, “Before we could try more people, my son— my son—- my son died.” Her voice broke but she tried to continue speaking, “Where were you 45 years ago?! I want to give you a donation. Your organization is so important.  I only wish it had been in existence 45 years ago. Perhaps he could have received a bone marrow transplant. Perhaps he could have been saved.” She was overcome by tears and hung up the phone.   The pain of losing a child does not disappear, even after 45 yrs.

That’s why Ezer Mizion’s Bone Marrow Registry was founded. For people like this lady’s son. People with Jewish ethnicity who need a DNA match to save their lives. Ezer Mizion’s Bone Marrow Registry receives calls from oncology clinics around the world  and has saved over 2900 lives with genetically matching donors from its 900,000 registrants.

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Because of You!

website bmr update template

 

 

BONE MARROW DONOR REGISTRY ACTIVITY SUMMARY            OCT. 2018

bmr 10 18 c
Saving a life via stem cell transplant
bmr 10 18 b
Saving a life via stem cell transplant
bmr 10 18 a
Saving a life via stem cell transplant

33 transplants, 25 from donor pools
2,969 total transplants
945,052 members in registry

Transplant Countries
Austria, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, USA
Donor Pool Countries
Brazil, Canada, Israel, USA Continue reading Because of You!

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Because of You!

website bmr update template

 

 

BONE MARROW DONOR REGISTRY ACTIVITY SUMMARY            OCTOBER 2018

bmr 10 18 c
Saving a life via stem cell transplant
bmr 10 18 b
Saving a life via stem cell transplant
bmr 10 18 a
Saving a life via stem cell transplant

33 transplants, 25 from donor pools
2,969 total transplants
945,052 members in registry

Transplant Countries
Austria, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, USA
Donor Pool Countries
Brazil, Canada, Israel, USA Continue reading Because of You!

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