In 1996, Moshe Schayek, a young man desperate for a bone marrow transplant, turned to Ezer Mizion for assistance in finding a matching donor. Ezer Mizion’s Cancer Support Division helped his family coordinate a bone marrow drive, but no match was found among the 5,000 people who participated in the drive. Sadly, the young man died, but he left a legacy that has enabled dozens of other sick Jews to live. This led to the establishment of Ezer Mizion’s International Bone Marrow Donor Registry.
As of December 1, 2021, the Bone Marrow Registry has grown to include more than 1,104,870 potential donors! A large percentage of these are IDF recruits who joined the registry following a landmark agreement between Ezer Mizion in Israel and the Israel Defense Forces whereby new recruits routinely undergo testing as part of their induction process.
Since the establishment in 1998, Ezer Mizion’s Bone Marrow Donor Registry has handled thousands of search requests from dozens of transplant centers in 48 countries around the world. Ezer Mizion’s Bone Marrow Registry has facilitated 4,227 stem cell transplants, saving the lives of patients throughout the world and sparing thousands of people untold anguish.
In compliance with international standards, the Bone Marrow Registry accepts donor search requests and facilitates transplants for all patients. Today, Ezer Mizion’s Bone Marrow Registry is the largest Jewish registry in the world. Because donors and recipients need to be genetically compatible, patients of Jewish ethnicity will generally require stem cell donors of the same ethnic origin. The Bone Marrow Registry is thus a vital resource for thousands and serves as a safety net for Jewish patients everywhere.
Ezer Mizion’s bone marrow registry is affiliated with the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP, USA) and is an accredited member of World Marrow Donors Association (WMDA), the international association that sets global standards for registries worldwide.
Under the direction of Dr. Bracha Zisser, Director of Ezer Mizion’s cancer support services and Ofra Konikoff, Chief Transplant Coordinator, the bone marrow registry continues to grow, offering the gift of life and hope to growing numbers of patients.