In the summer of 5771, a sample was taken from E. to be included in Ezer Mizion’s International Bone Marrow Donor Registry. He didn’t give the matter any thought. All he could think of was the blessed opportunity to spend a few minutes in the air-conditioning on this unusually hot day.
Two years later, he was summoned urgently to the Registry, who informed him that he was found to be a good match for a bone marrow donation to a particular patient. Then too, he did not think much about it. Then too, it was August, and then too, the main thing that flitted through his mind was how he could stretch out the time in the air conditioning for a few more hours. After all, he was only nineteen. Life and its opposite was not on his radar screen. When the time came for the actual donation, he already began to understand. He would be saving a life.
In the spring of 5773, seven-year-old G. was diagnosed with leukemia. After two courses of treatments, the conclusion was that the only thing that could bring a cure to G.’s disease-ridden body, alongside the grueling treatments, was a bone marrow transplant. None of his relatives were found to be a good match. Hope for the child’s life was nearly lost. Only a donation from a suitable unrelated donor could save him.
There in Petach Tikvah, the tremendous lifesaving mechanism of Ezer Mizion began revving its high-power motor. About 16 years ago, Ezer Mizion established this Registry, a project with one purpose only: to save lives. Never in the entire course of history was there ever such a unique enterprise: on the one side, noble intentions and high technology, and on the other side – a boy or girl, man or woman, whose life is given to them as a gift. Never before in the annals of time was there a Jewish chessed enterprise of such dimensions: The success of the Bone Marrow Registry is founded on the fact that the pool of donors is Jewish. In order for a transplant to have the best chance for success, the donor and recipient must have a similar genetic phenotype. We find this in people of the same ethnic origin. This is the great gift given to members of the Jewish people – enabling them to express in the most active and tangible way that “All Jews are guarantors for one another.”
A click. Then another. And there it was. A genetic match. A young man. He lives in the south. And he agreed to donate. The phone wires danced as the news was conveyed to G.’s parents.
International law does not allow the identity of the donor and recipient to be made known to each other. For two years, E. controlled his curiosity. For two years, little G’s parents, controlled their tearful desire to express their thanks. And then, in the lobby of Oranit-Ezer Mizion in Petach Tikvah, armed with three balloons and a cake, E., no longer a self-involved youth whose main concern was getting out of the heat, met G., a healthy nine-year-old boy who received life. They came towards one another, and hugged and hugged and hugged.
And the parents cried and cried and cried.
Thank you to Ezer Mizion and to Electra Air Conditioning…
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