To the End of the World

Ezer Mizion’s Linked to Life Alpinist Operation

The stem cells that could save the life of a six-month-old infant with leukemia were located in a young man vacationing in the Alps * In a complex operation, involving volunteers in Israel and Europe, the young man was located * Additional blood tests were taken from him and the test tubes were flown to Israel for confirmatory testing ahead of stem cell transplant.

Ezer Mizion recently ran a complex operation to bring bone marrow samples from an Israeli youth staying at a ski site in the French Alps, after he was found to be a match to donate stem cells to a six-month-old baby with leukemia and save her life.

The young man, Matan Gera (21), joined Ezer Mizion’s International Bone Marrow Donor Registry on the day of his induction into the IDF.

The day before his flight, Gera got a call from Ezer Mizion telling him that he was found to be a match to save a patient’s life. Gera did the advanced tests just a few hours before boarding the plane.

The results that came at the beginning of last week indicated that Gera was a suitable donor, but additional tests were needed to complete the compatibility procedure. Volunteers at Linked to Life, Ezer Mizion’s digital volunteer network, entered the picture.

With the cooperation of a Chabad shaliach in France and CEO of the Kahana Group Travel Agency, Gera was located and referred to a local clinic to give another blood sample.

In order to get the right test tubes to Gera, Ezer Mizion located an Israeli flying to the same vacation spot, who volunteered to deliver the test tubes to the clinic. A few hours after the blood was drawn, the test tubes were returned via a different tourist who was returning to Israel. An Ezer Mizion volunteer awaited him at the airport and whisked the test tubes off to the lab for final testing.

Yesterday, Gera said emotionally, “We’re talking about saving a baby’s life. The minute they tell me that I’m a definite match, I’m immediately going back to Israel to donate.”