Because of You!

Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

Completing the Circle

It was an idea.  A good idea. Would it end up by the wayside like so many other ideas?

It was the year 2005 and the Ezer Mizion Bone Marrow Registry was seven years old. The registry was growing and had saved many lives but, for too many, the response was No Genetic Match Found: a virtual death sentence. More registrants were needed.  Registrants of varied ethnicities. Young ones. Young cells have been proven to be much more successful and, in addition, the high cost of genetic testing would be offset by the potential donor remaining on the database for decades.

The IDF was the obvious choice but would they agree to offer each new recruit the option of signing up for the registry? There were many bureaucratic hurdles to overcome and the idea never would have seen the light of day without the help of MK Elazar Stern, then Director of Manpower in the IDF. His gargantuan efforts bore fruit and the momentous IDF-Ezer Mizion agreement was signed. Almost immediately the numbers began to skyrocket and, to date, 2,625 lives have been saved by those who registered upon recruitment. 

Can you imagine, then,   the grin of delight on the face of a registry staff member as she searched for a match for the latest request and came up with the name: Amichai Stern!

Amchai (26), son of Elezar Stern, lives in Belgium and the registry tried unsuccessfully to reach him. Timing is vital for a cancer patient and it was decided to call his father.

“I was in the Knesset when a call came in,” Elazar Stern recalls. “They asked if I was Amichai’s father. When I confirmed that I was, they gave me the basic information and asked if I wanted to contact him. Boy, did I! It was one of the most exciting calls of my life. Right then and there, I called my son and everyone in the office heard his excited ‘Wow!!! You mean I can save someone’s life?!!!!!!!!!’ He was thrilled and so am I, of course. It is a great privilege. It is a dream to be a match. A tremendous joy.”

Amichai is at the beginning of the process and, in his words, “I will do everything I can to ensure that this will work, even if it requires my returning to Israel. Life is a supreme value.” 

We pray that the transplant will go smoothly and the patient will receive the ultimate gift – the gift of a future. If they both agree, in a year’s time, they will meet. Amichai’s father will join the much anticipated event as will other family members of each side. Tears will flow. Hugs will be exchanged and the circle begun sixteen years ago will then be complete. 

Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

Because of You!

Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

Always There for Us

To the amazing people at Ezer Mizion and to all the generous friends from abroad who help support this wonderful organization!

Animal Therapy at Oranit Petting Zoo

We’ve known each other for quite a while. You met me for the first time two years ago, at the entrance to the Oncology Ward, just hours after I’d gotten the horrible results that brought the world crashing down on me, the moment that I went from being an active young Yeshiva man, involved in all the community affairs, to being an invalid, needing tons of help every day… The pains were intense, especially in my right leg, where the tumor had been found. But since I am a person who likes to be practical, I didn’t allow myself to cry even a minute. I immediately took my wife aside and told her: “We’re setting out on a battle for life, and we’re going to give it the best we can. This is our time to accept help, and we will accept help from anyone who’s willing to give it.” At that precise moment, you appeared in front of us and offered help in a variety of areas. We needed everything you offered: medical counsel, support, help with the children, hot meals, , hosting at your fantastic cancer patient hostel, the fun days and activities that you organized, and most of all empathy… For a long period, you were our closest family. Our children regarded you as “good uncles” and so did we. I cannot even imagine how we would have gotten through this time without you. Having you at our side gave us so much strength!!!

Pizza Day at Oranit

After a few series of chemo and radiation, the doctors came to the conclusion that the only option was a stem cell transplant. Again you were there at the front lines of the campaign to find a donor, and every time I was on the verge of despair, you came and gave me the strength to keep fighting. I am certain that it was your iron will and determination that stood before Hakadosh Baruch Hu (G-d) and pleaded that a stem cell donor should be found.

2 heroes donating stem cells to save a life

A year ago, I underwent the transplant. When I got the clean test results, I recited “Nishmas” (a prayer of gratitude toward our Creator) with tremendous emotion and promised Hashem that from this day on, my family and I are your partners, from the giving end.

When you asked me to come speak at some event you were making for donors, I willingly agreed. I came with my wife and told them everything I’d gone through as a patient and everything that you represent for me. I described how every shekel that comes into your hands turns into an act of chessed. Then the emcee asked me if I know the donor who gave me the stem cells. When I answered in the negative, he asked if I would be interested in meeting him. As I was still nodding my head, the tears filling my eyes, the emcee called my donor up to the podium. I cannot describe in mere words how I felt at that chilling moment. There are things you can understand only after you feel them. And I hope that you will never feel what I felt. From that second, the marvelous donor joined my family.

Words cannot express my gratitude for everything you’ve done for me

May Hashem repay you with health and nachas.

David K.

Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

Because of You!

Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

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. 

Continue reading They Said It Will Never HappenFacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

Because of You!

August 2019 BONE MARROW DONOR REGISTRY ACTIVITY SUMMARY
                                        Take pride! We’ve done it together!                  2000

This August, the Ezer Mizion Bone Marrow Registry reached an amazing milestone: 2,000 IDF soldiers have donated their stem cells to 2,000 patients around the world!               

That’s 2000 Jewish lives saved, 2000 families who have remained whole!

These incredible heroes not only protect the State of Israel, but have also answered the call to save the lives of people from around the world whose sole chance of survival had been a stem cell transplant!

It is you, our invaluable friends and supporters, who have enabled Ezer Mizion to reach this milestone. 

bmr 8 19
31 transplants, all from donor pools
3,294 total transplants
990,668 members in registry
33 transplants per month on average in 2019

2019 monthly averages:
     33 transplants per month,
     5,096 new members join each month

Transplants have taken place in the following countries
Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Sweden, UK, USA
Transplants  have been funded by donor pools of the following countries
Brazil, Israel, UK, USA

Continue reading Because of You!Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

In Memory of Meir

Image result for needle image
A genetic match will save a life!

Needles? Tubes? Oh, no! Not me! Yedidya has been frightened of anything sharper than a safety pin since childhood. But then he met Meir and began to realize that childish fears were just that – childish. They were overshadowed by more important things. Things like saving someone’s life.

pr bmr in Mem of Meir
Yedidya makes a difficult choice

Yedidya and Meir had met when they were children. His family spent three years in New York and their friendship flourished. So much so that, when Yedidya moved back to Israel, they remained in contact until they reached young adulthood. It was then that Yedidya received the news. Meir had leukemia and it didn’t look good. Within months, it was all over.   Yedidya was devastated. Can such a thing be? Such a young person no longer alive?? Continue reading In Memory of MeirFacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

Your Friend in the Sky

bmr Nissim Yakubov 3
Will a bone marrow donor be found for Nissan?

Nissan sat opposite his doctor, his fists clenched in tension. Read on as he tells his story.

“I don’t want to sugar coat it. You have leukemia and it doesn’t look good.”

“These were not the words I was hoping to hear. The hardest part was informing our entire family.

After two rounds of chemotherapy, I was told to contact my brothers and sisters immediately as I needed a bone marrow transplant. “I don’t have a brother or sister,” I whispered in a barely audible voice. “I’m an only child.” Continue reading Your Friend in the SkyFacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

Because of You!

website bmr update template

 

 

June 2018BONE MARROW DONOR REGISTRY ACTIVITY SUMMARY

bmr 6 18 b
Donating stem cells to save a life

36 transplants, 22 from donor pools
2,861 total transplants
912,984 members in registry

Transplant Countries
Germany, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, UK, USA

Donor Pool Countries
Brazil, Canada, Israel, Mexico, UK, USA
Continue reading Because of You!Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail