Turnaround

“You probably don’t remember the thirteen year old boy with cancer that Ezer Mizion’s Bone Marrow Registry collected blood samples for… I remember him well.

I was 32 years old then. I registered with Ezer Mizion’s Bone Marrow Donor Registry as a potential donor for him or any cancer patient that I would match genetically. It really happened. I got the call that I was a match for someone. I was thrilled.pr bmr samples I scheduled the pre-donation blood tests. ‘It’ll just take a short while. I’ll be back at work soon,’ I told my co-workers. It was a simple blood test done at a lab. You know the type. You close your eyes and pretend that someone is not jabbing a needle into your arm. You pretend that you’re not scared and try to be mature about it. It’s over in a moment and you go back to normal life. But I didn’t go back to normal life. As my mind was shifting back to work responsibilities, I was told, ‘Instead of donating your stem cells, you’d better see a doctor.’

I went to a doctor, who sent me straight to the hospital where I stayed for three days until the results came: ‘Yael, you have leukemia!’ In one moment, I turned from a potential donor about to save the life of another into a recipient whose precious life-please G-d please- will hopefully be saved by an unknown donor.

The race was on. Would a donor be found soon? On time? Before…? Interrupting my tear-filled prayers, the phone rang. “Yes!” said the jubilant voice on the other end. “We have a donor!pr bmr cell bag

I remember how my husband, my mother and I sat in the hospital room and laughed at the little bag of blood. There we were, waiting for a dramatic, life-saving “something”, and all of a sudden, the doctor walks in with this little bag of blood and says: ‘Here’s the donation’… At that moment, you can’t even absorb and understand what is really happening, certainly not to appreciate the meaning of that little bag.

We, my family and I, wanted very much to meet the donor and thank him, but it took time. Legally the donor and recipient cannot meet for at least a year. The meeting finally took place in a conference room at Ezer Mizion’s Guest Home for Cancer Patients. I think there were a lot of people in the room. I myself was floating… Words cannot describe this moment! It was too moving and powerful to convert into mere syllables.pr bmr turnaround

The fact that they allowed me to meet the donor proved that the transplant was well received. It worked! ‘If I am allowed to meet my donor, it means that everything is all right… I’m healthy! I’ve recovered. I am really healthy!’

G-d, thank you! Thank you, thank you, and again — thank you! Thank you that the transplant worked, thank you for restoring me to life…! Thank you for sending me your agents to save me!

Thank you for Ezer Mizion that set up and runs this amazing registry. Thank you for planting compassion in the heart of my donor so that he would want to join the registry. Thank you for all the caring people who make this possible by financially supporting this great work.

About two and a half years ago, I had a baby boy. As soon as he was born, I knew what we would call him. We named him Uri – the name of the donor.

That’s it. That’s my story. For me — it changed my life.

If my moment can give you a new appreciation of the so-called “routine” moments in your everyday life, and move you to thank the Creator again and again for moments that you used to take for granted, then that one moment of thanks on your part for the blessed routine of your life makes the whole story of ‘my moment’ worthwhile.

Yael Katzir

To share the story of another family undergoing the same nightmare:

 

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