Medical science has made great strides with illnesses that, not too long ago, afforded very little hope for the patient. In some cases, even the ‘man on the street’ has become part of the remedy. Bone marrow transplants are a case in point. Bone marrow transplants have become the cure for a wide variety of life-threatening diseases ranging from many types of cancer to immunodeficiency syndromes and anemias.
In recent years, a bone marrow transplant has been proven to be the cure for a myriad of diseases. Many forms of cancer including leukemia andlymphoma in addition to other diseases such assickle cell anemia andSCID are only some of the life-threatening illnesses that have bowed to its power. Like penicillin, a bone marrow transplant can save lives. But unlike penicillin, it cannot simply be purchased at the local pharmacy.
Everyone dreams about it. Very few ever have the opportunity. I was one of those very few. True, I didn’t jump into the ocean and save a child from drowning or dash into a burning building to save a baby but I did save a life. A forty-year-old cancer patient had only one chance to survive—a bone marrow transplant. A genetic match is vital for success and I was that genetic match. An Ezer Mizion staff member asked me if I would do it. Would I do it???! How could I not do it?! How could I live the rest of my life knowing that because of a little discomfort, a little inconvenience, a young woman was prevented from living the rest of hers? Continue reading Saving a Life: The See-Saw Remains on Up
I was trying. Friends and relatives were also helping. The situation was beyond hopeless and I was helpless to keep things together. I had three children in three separate hospitals, located in various parts of the country. One was in a mental hospital, two in medical hospitals. Can you imagine the anguish, the sights I witnessed daily? The despair when I had to leave one to visit another. The tiny bewildered faces at the window at home watching Mommy leave…again. The exhaustion- both physical and emotional. The frustration when twenty-four hours were far from enough in each day. The astronomical expenses incurred on top of less money coming in. Continue reading Hospital ‘Rounds’ via What’s App
In her early sixties, Chava was a young grandmother to seven grandchildren. She was looking forward to many milestones in the future until she discovered that her future was very uncertain indeed. Twelve years ago, she had been diagnosed with lymphoma. A self-transplant of stem cells resulted in a cure and the nightmare seemed to be over until several years later the disease returned. Would there be a cure this time? Only if a transplant can be performed using the stem cells of a genetically matching donor. The procedure was not difficult but finding this mysterious donor whose DNA corresponded to hers seemed to be nothing short of miraculous. He could be any place where Jews of her ethnic group have settled…South America, Canada, US, Australia, Europe. Anywhere. The first step was to contact Ezer Mizion, the largest Jewish registry in the world with its database of over 800,000 potential donors. And, lo and behold, there he was, right there in Israel. Continue reading Watching the Grandchildren Grow Up…Together: A DNA Success Story
Nurit was a striking little, three year -old girl, with green eyes, dimples and blonde curls. But, although she was physically developed – she sat and stood and walked on her own in an age-appropriate manner, the little girl’s beautiful eyes were expressionless, and her socialization and communications skills were severely undeveloped. Nurit suffers from autism/PDD (pervasive developmental disorders) – a neurological disorder that affects a child’s ability to communicate, understand language, play, and relate to others. Continue reading Battling Autism
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