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.”

The doctors were pessimistic and said that finding a matching bone marrow donor is rare and time was not on my side. They also said that coming from a stranger there was no way there would be a 100% match. The range could be 50% to 90%. I felt totally helpless.  There was no way I could ignore G-d’s intimate care of every detail of my life now.

bmr Nissim Yakubov 2
Only a genetically matching bone marrow donor can save Nissan’s life

I felt the love I have for my entire family, a love that feels infinite, endless. And then it hit me: all that love doesn’t come close to the love G-d has for me. At that moment, lying in the hospital bed, I told G-d, “I am going to love you until my last breath, nothing you decree will ever change that,” and I fell into a deep, restful sleep.

A few days later, Ezer Mizion informed us that they had found a donor that was a 100% DNA match. The doctors could not believe it.

I thought, is this really happening? Is G-d really going to grant such a wonderful thing? Maybe it was too early to be excited.

It was December 2017, during the holiday of Chanukah, a time for miracles, when the medical team told me that they usually collect 5 to 6 million stem cells, but they somehow managed to collect 9.5 million. “And there is more good news. Their quality is superb! On a scale of 1-10, these stem cells are a 10+! Do you realize how lucky you are?!”

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G-d answered my prayers with the best possible bone marrow donor. My son will have a father!

“No, it’s not luck,” I said. “This is a gift from G-d, don’t you see it?”

One of the nurses said, “Yes, I do see it!” Her words brought tears to my eyes.

As an outpatient, my first bone marrow test was with Dr. Noga ShemTov. She told me she doesn’t know how much of the bone marrow my body will accept and how, in some cases, it may be rejected even if it’s a 100% match. “If there is even 1% trace of leukemia in my bone marrow, we’ll have to start the whole process over again.”

She also warned me that the new bone marrow may attack my organs and that there may be damage to the heart and kidneys from all the chemotherapy. She finally concluded, “Your hemoglobin will never be higher than 10 because it’s not your own bone marrow.”

Thank G-d, the results of the first bone marrow test indicated my body accepted 100% of the new bone marrow. I was in complete remission; there was no trace of any leukemia and my hemoglobin was 11.25.

I cannot stop thanking Ezer Mizion for being G-d’s messenger in saving my life, without Ezer Mizion, the bone marrow donor could have been living right next door, and I would have never known.

I am presently still in complete remission and my hemoglobin averages 15. From my first to my last bone marrow tests, each test revealed a 100% acceptance by my body, a true gift from G-d.  There were no complications, no organ damage, and no infections. Dr. ShemTov told me a lot of this had to do with, “Your friend in the sky.”

“He’s not just my Friend, he’s our Father” I said.

 

 

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