Two Grandpas: Their Sole Chance of Survival Was a Bone Marrow Transplant

DNA
Would there be a genetic match for Betzalel?

At 61, Betzalel N. was just beginning grandfatherhood. He had three children and several tiny grandchildren. His drawer was filled with lollipops and his mind was filled with future plans: trips to the zoo with Grandpa, graduations, dancing at their weddings…until the day it all came crashing down. Leukemia. There would be no holding the hand of a grandchild as she gingerly feeds a baby goat at the zoo. Weddings would take place but there would be no glowing Zeidy (grandfather) to dance with the chassan (groom). It was over. He’d be gone. The doctors had tried everything and there was only one procedure left. A bone marrow transplant. If a genetically matching donor could be found somewhere in the world, he’d have a chance. If not, … Continue reading Two Grandpas: Their Sole Chance of Survival Was a Bone Marrow Transplant

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Watching the Grandchildren Grow Up…Together: A DNA Success Story

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How does one say ‘Thank You’ for saving a life?!

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

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Marriage Is A Beginning. Will It Also Be An End?

A few months after his marriage, young Arik was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Disease, a form of lymphoma, and his heart began to thrash with a confusion of feelings and thoughts.pr bmr Must 2014 bardugo565
Together with his new wife, Naomi Rivka, they had built their nest and fostered hopes and dreams for a shared Torah home, for a flourishing family life… Indeed, not long before, they had learned that soon, with G-d’s help, they would become parents. And now, suddenly – such a blow! Continue reading Marriage Is A Beginning. Will It Also Be An End?

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