The freezing weather that day in Manchester, England, couldn’t hide the warmth and excitement generated by the message Avrumy received: A bone marrow donor had been found for him!

One of our heroes saving a life

Avrumy was just eighteen when he started not feeling well. Medical tests revealed a rather rare form of leukemia and the doctors told him he would need a bone marrow donation, as soon as possible.

“We didn’t know what hit us, but this was what Hakadosh Baruch Hu (G-d) wanted,” he says. “Of course, we turned first to the immediate family. My big brother went to be checked, but they found that the match between us was only twenty-five percent, not enough for a transplant. My other siblings were too young for a bone marrow donation. And so, there was no choice but to seek a donor elsewhere.”

Ro’i, who lives in Israel, thousands of kilometers away from Avrumy, was twenty seven when he was asked, just by the way, to give a simple swab sample, and that’s how he entered the registry of potential donors. “I’d totally forgotten about it. About two years had elapsed since the sample was taken, and I hadn’t thought about it at all.”

Until that morning.

“They called me from Ezer Mizion,” relates Ro’i, “and the person on the phone informed me that I was found to be a match, so it seems, for a bone marrow donation.

One of our heroes saving a life

“What?… What’s bone marrow?… How do you donate…? What do you want from me?… Who is supposed to receive it?… What does it entail?…

:All this I didn’t say aloud, even though I didn’t have the slightest notion of what was expected of me. The secretary  asked me to come and meet with the medical staff at Ezer Mizion to receive guidance and information and answers to all of my questions. Inside, I felt that I’d been chosen for an important assignment, more like a mission (!) and I excitedly set an appointment for a meeting.

“At the meeting, the amazing medical staff explained to me all the details: What bone marrow is, how it can save the life of another person, and why I specifically was chosen this time. They gave me a general indication about the person who is awaiting my donation. They said it was someone not living in Israel and that he needed a donation as soon as possible to save his life. They explained to me the simple donation procedure and I immediately said that sure, I’m willing. It was a major privilege to save another Jew; it was the high point of my life.”

Meanwhile, in distant Manchester, Avrumy’s condition worsened from day to day.

One of our heroes saving a life

“I cannot explain what a young person of my age with leukemia feels — how difficult and painful the treatments are, and above all, the awful feeling that maybe they won’t find me a bone marrow donor, and what will happen then, chalila…”Avrumy shares. “The doctors told me that my condition is serious. And then they informed me that in Eretz Yisrael (Israel), they’d found someone who has basic compatibility and if it turns out that he’s really a good match, he will donate bone marrow to me.

In Manchester — Avrumy gets the initial news that a donor was found for him.

In Israel — Ro’i, who doesn’t know who Avrumy is at all, undergoes the first procedures on the way to a donation. To be continued.