They Said It Will Never Happen

It was my birthday and I knew just what I wanted. When I was a little kid, I had some birthday requests that were so out of line that even i understood they were just dreams. Like the time I wanted a horse (We were living in an apartment building.) Now as an adult about to turn 40, my birthday dream seemed just as unattainable. What was it?  : A gift of giving, It’s what Ezer Mizion calls a Personalized Donor Pool – a group of potential bone marrow registrants who stand ready to save the lives of cancer patients. My own group whose genetic testing I would be responsible for. Whenever one of them would be found to be a match for a cancer patient and donate his stem cells, I would receive a call with the electrifying words: You have saved a life. What a gift! Every month, I would read the list of names of those  whose pools had saved one, sometimes two, lives and I’d think, “Why not me?!”

Elkanah – a recent hero who saved a life!

And so I began working on my birthday gift. I drove everyone crazy.   There were hundreds of messages on my facebook page focusing only on this. My whole family was caught up. Even my kids were involved answering phones all night. It was a matter of raising a large sum of money and some of my friends teased me with comments like, ‘Dream on…’ but some of my friends responded more encouragingly and joined in to help me. And as the numbers climbed up, more and more changed their minds and decided to join what seemed to be a winning team. The final numbers (for this year- remember,I have another birthday coming up next year…):

728 people who donated a total of $40,000+ that sponsored 716 new registry members!

Recently our donor pool was launched. My husband and I came for a tour of Ezer Mizion’s cancer support facility in Petah Tikvah. We got home an hour ago and the tears don’t stop flowing. If I only could show all of you what this place looks like! It’s an entire world of chessed, What they do for the patients! To walk into the Registry and see a soldier who was found to be a match for a patient sitting there, waiting to donate, to give life to another human being. Many of them. All spending hours of their time just so someone they never met could have a future. 

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Because of You!

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Because of You!

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Because of You!

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Shine a Little Light and Win Big Prizes

Things can be bad. But they’re worse when you have to face them alone.

Take Avi, for example. He was in elementary school when his parents got the news: Cancer.

The lights went out. Their lives turned dark.

Uncertainty. Which treatment should we pursue? Is a bone marrow transplant the best option?

Concern. How would we juggle his treatment and still care for the rest of the family?

Fear. Would Avi make it?

His parents watched as the light went out — it dimmed from Avi’s eyes, it disappeared from their home. The darkness shadowed over their family, as it does for thousands of families across the world. Avi’s is far from the only one.

But whether dealing with cancer, mental health, or special needs — there’s a glow in the dark. There’s an organization that shines a little light and helps them navigate the darkness.

Ezer Mizion gets 650,000 calls a year. They answer each one. Yes, we will be there for you.

We will guide you through treatments.

We will drop off hot dinners.

We will find you a matching donor.

We will provide mental health support.

We will send volunteers to the hospital.

How do they do it? What does it take to change a family’s world for the better?

Not much — just a little bit of light chases away the darkness. Ezer Mizion is holding a historic auction — one of the largest ever — and with each ticket that you purchase, you have the ability to replace darkness with light.

The auction features dozens of brilliant prizes, and with tickets starting at just $18, you can win anything from your dream vacation to your own Sefer Torah (Torah Scroll) or from home renovations to jewelry. The two grand prizes give you the chance to win $100,000 cash or your own late-model car. By participating in Ezer Mizion’s auction, you can help the organization to keep glowing.

This year, because of COVID, not only did Ezer Mizion’s income lessen, but their call volume rose astronomically. More people than ever are relying on the organization and, more than ever, Ezer Mizion is relying on you.

Families in Israel and around the world are relying on Ezer Mizion. You’re the one with the power to turn on the light.

Purchase your tickets at emraffle.org today and be their glow in the dark.

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Because of You!

https://www.ezermizion.org/bone-marrow-and-jewish-genetics-2.html
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Torch of Chessed: Bone Marrow Transplant

“From today, you are a part of us. Osher, you are our “osher,” our joy”

With these moving words, Yossie Ben-Chamu (66) from Jerusalem addressed Osher Ankonina (40) from Teverya, the stem cell donor who saved his life.

Right in the middle of Chanukah, a thrilling encounter took place between the two at Oranit. After a difficult period of illness, Ben-Chamu was told that only a bone marrow transplant could save his life. After an auto-transplant was unsuccessful, Ezer Mizion’s Bone Marrow Donor Registry came into the picture, and a matching donor was found for him — Osher.

The transplant brought to an end a long and grueling period of treatments. To the exciting meeting between the two, Ben Chamu brought a gift — a Chanukah menorah designed according to the Djerba tradition. Ankonina immediately identified the traditional menorah, since his family is from the same ethnic background. “I am standing here, opposite you, an open miracle, all thanks to you, baruch Hashem. You gave me hope and life,” said Ben Chamu tearfully.

“The meetings between donor and recipient carry great importance for the patient, too, but primarily for the donor,” says Dr. Bracha Zisser, director of Ezer Mizion’s International Bone Marrow Donor Registry and Oranit.

“For the patient, the meeting is a chance to say “thank you” for the gift of life that was given to him. But for the donor, it has even greater significance: He gets to see the one whom he saved and understand the meaning of his donation. Many times, people say regarding a stem cell transplant, “Whoever saves one Jewish life, it is as if he saved an entire world.” But the transplant does not only save one Jewish life; it saves the lives of all the patient’s relatives — his children, parents, friends — entire worlds whose lives were saved, thanks to the donation.”

Ezer Mizion’s Bone Marrow Donor Registry is the fifth largest in the world, numbering 1,052,113 potential donors. So far, 3,801 lifesaving transplants have taken place, among them, 43 transplants that were done just this past month.

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The Best Birthday Present

What’s the best birthday present you ever received? I’ll tell you what mine was, says Noy Arielli. It was an opportunity. An opportunity to give to someone I didn’t even know. An opportunity to save the life of another Jew. My Rabbi had said that a birthday is a time to celebrate being alive and to use the day to give to others. So you can imagine how grateful I felt when the opportunity to do just that fell into my lap. A bit before I had received a call from Ezer Mizion Bone Marrow Registry. I had completely forgotten about my having registered with them about 8 years ago. But they didn’t forget. They keep people on the database for decades in the hope that someday they will be found to be a genetic match for a cancer patient whose sole chance of survival is a bone marrow transplant.  When an oncology clinic calls – it may be from any part of the world – it’s important that a match be found soon. You see, a cancer patient can’t wait. Ezer Mizion is the largest Jewish registry in the world and has over a million potential donors. Well, the computers began their search. I can imagine the tension in the room as the little circle went round and round. And then click! My name lit up. From all those million files, it was my DNA that matched. They were still nervous, they told me later. Maybe the donor is too involved in a new job or is on vacation or is expecting a baby or maybe she’ll just plain back out.

The ring on my phone was like that of any other call. I didn’t know it was my birthday present on the line.   When they asked me, I nearly shouted, “Yes! Of course I’ll do it.” The questions came afterwards. I needed information but there was no doubt in my mind that i would do it.  I already felt a connection to the recipient. Him? Her? A child? A grandmother? It didn’t matter. When my birthday came, I sat there  for  several hours, just smiling with happiness.  I was really saving a life!

Of course, my role was only part off the story, a third of what Ezer Mizion calls the Triangle of Life. Before that, funds had to be raised to pay for the genetic testing of new registrants. That came from all of you out there who donate so generously, sometimes in highly unusual ways. Like the employees of the Israeli high-tech company, Syna Media. They got together and voted on each one donating a day of his vacation to Ezer Mizion. This donation culminated in an astounding sum of 200,000 Shekels to Ezer Mizion’s bone marrow registry. This amount will be used towards swabbing 555 potential stem cell donors who will be added to the constantly expanding registry. Some of those will one day be the lucky ones and receive the same call I did.. all because the Syna Media people gave up one day of their vacations. Pretty special, wouldn’t you say?

https://www.ezermizion.org/donate-to-ezer-mizion.html#tabs-2
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Because of You!

https://www.ezermizion.org/bone-marrow-and-jewish-genetics-2.html
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Because of You!

Create your own donor pool and soon you may receive that electrifying call saying, “You have saved a life!”

Donor Pool NameOctober 2020 TransplantsTotal Transplants
Blood Brothers213
Brazil Community3204
Elliott & Lynn Dolin17
El-Ad Modiin Community12
Englewood Community13
David & Sara Farajun1144
Hershel Fink
12
Florida118
Gabor Vardi16
Guardians of Life12
Yaakov David ben Simcha Mordechai15
Hope4Adam112
Hall Family13
Hole In One276
Leora Kuhillow115
Lechu Neranena Raanana Community27
Rubin & Mollie Lazarus13
Liat, Noam & Eden Neubert11
Ronald O. Perelman141
George & Pamela Rohr180
Ira & Ingeborg Rennert1172
Danielle Sonnenfeld13
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