HE GAVE LIGHT

A stem cell transplant miracle speaks at his Bar Mitzvah

There he was, speaking with enthusiasm, with confidence in front of several hundred people. A newly minted adult Jew in his pristine Bar Mitzvah clothing, chosen with such care for this very special occasion. Flanked by his father and grandfather, he was too involved to notice the tears in their eyes as they remembered. Scenes from his babyhood flashed through their minds and   enhanced the significance of this momentous evening a thousand fold. His father thought of the day he was born when he first heard the shouts, “It’s a boy! It’s a boy!” His joy was boundless. Avichai’s grandfather recalled how he would stop by the house every day on his way to work just to see Avichai. “He’s my pal. He makes my day!” And they recalled the day their world fell apart.  When their precious Avichai was diagnosed with leukemia. The baby’s uncle was Dr. Jerry Stein, the director of the Bone Marrow Unit at Schneiders, a major hospital in Israel. His professional knowledge did not allow for any rosy dreams. He knew that 50% of these patients die. “My heart fell out of my chest when I heard the news!”

Will a stem cell transplant donor be found?

The only hope was Ezer Mizion’s International Bone Marrow Registry, the largest Jewish registry worldwide. A stem cell transplant was needed to save this young life. Genetic matching between donor and recipient is vital for success. A search was performed. The computer raced through hundreds of thousands of names. The staff held their collective breath. The family sat glued to the phone immersed in the timeless words of Tehillim (Psalms). Would the response be the ominous words: No Match Found, a virtual death sentence? Or would there miraculously be a genetic match? From the millions of Jews that inhabit the earth, would there exist a near perfect DNA match? Would he be among those registered in the Registry? A click, a bing. A sound barely heard in the busy office. The computer had stopped at a file. His name was Ziv. His parents had named him Ziv which means light, because he had brought light into their world. And now he was about to do the same for Avichai’s family.

Avichai after his Stem Cell Transplant with Ziv, the Donor

“Would you be willing to donate to save a little boy’s life?” he was asked. The question hardly made any sense to him. “What is the question? Of course, I would donate.”

A year later, the two families met. The little boy, now a healthy, mischievous two-year-old, handed Ziv a present, a Chanukah menorah, a candelabrum of light, and gave his new friend a hug. The atmosphere was electric with unspoken words. Avichai would live!

Avichai Thanks Ezer Mizion for Finding a Stem Cell Donor for him

His family rubbed their eyes. The audience of hundreds were listening intently. Many knew his story. Was this a dream? No, it is real. Avichai has become a man. A Bar Mitzvah bochur (young man). He would grow and mature. He would marry and raise a family who would, in turn, raise their own families… generations…eternity.  

Bar Mitzvah Celebration with Avichai Dancing with Ziv who Made Possible the Life-Saving Stem Cell Transplant
Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

Because of You!

Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

One Year. Two Lives.

One year. Two lives.  Two members of the same family each saved a life by donating stem cells. Now they are waiting for their younger sister to be called to complete the circle.

Yael (23) was the first to donate. She was told that a man with leukemia needs a stem cell transplant transplant. “It’s his only chance to survive and I am the only one in the world who can donate since I am a genetic match to him. Can you imagine how that made me feel?! What an opportunity! Most people can go through a lifetime without having such an opportunity. I was thrilled.

Donating stem cells

“Talya from Ezer Mizion walked me through the process and took care of every detail. Then came the day I was dreaming about – the day my cells would become part of a stranger whom I didn’t know but already felt close to. One day, completely unexpectedly – I was vacationing – Adi from Ezer Mizion sent me a letter from the recipient. There are no words to describe how I felt. It all became so much more real. ”

Continue reading One Year. Two Lives.Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

Because of You!

https://www.ezermizion.org/bone-marrow-and-jewish-genetics-2.html
Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

Because of You!

BONE MARROW DONOR REGISTRY ACTIVITY SUMMARY
In September 2020:
27
transplants, 23 of these from donor pools
3,724 total transplants
10,033 new members this month
1,045,002 total members in registry

Transplant Countries
Canada, France, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Slovenia, UK, USA

Donor Pool Countries
Brazil, Israel, Mexico, UK, USA

Continue reading Because of You!Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

Because of You!

July 20 DP-BMDR Update

 

June 2020 – BONE MARROW DONOR REGISTRY ACTIVITY SUMMARY

38 transplants, 31 of these from donor pools
3,634 total transplants
573 new members this month
1,035,584 total members in registry

Transplant Countries
Argentina, Canada, Chile, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Israel,
Italy, Netherlands, Spain, USA

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

Medicine and Jewish Law

pr gen R' Chollak IMG_9149Hundreds of  rabbis from across the country participated in a “Medicine and Halachah (Jewish Law) ” conference at the Convention Center in Haifa, organized by Maccabi Health Services. Maccabi is committed to provide uncompromising professional and efficient medical service, while adapting its advanced services and making them accessible to the religious public. This is accomplished through an open line of communication, sensitivity to the special needs, and constant consultation with the community’s rabbinic leaders. Maccabi proves, in practice, that ‘medicine according to halachah’ is possible and desirable.   This conference created a positive connection between the religious communities and Maccabi. Continue reading Medicine and Jewish LawFacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

52 Years Later

kosel
Imagine Eliyahu’s pride at having helped to create the plaza of the Western Wall!

It was a day that no Jewish heart can forget. From the time of the Romans to the Ottomans to the British—strictures had been placed on what Jews could and could not do at the Western Wall. Benches and tables were mostly banned; at times it was the blowing of the shofar (ram’s horn) or the mechitza that divides men and women at prayer services. For two decades, the Western Wall had been in Jordanian hands and completely inaccessible to Jews. And then came the Six Day War and suddenly, the Western Wall was in Jewish hands. Every Jewish soul responded – from the Hasidic Jew to those with no Jewish identity at all  . Some understood. Others did not but their souls did. In a scene that was repeated many times over, the inner soul cried out:

“I want to say a prayer. What should I say?”

“Say Shma!” (universal Jewish prayer)

“But I don’t know how!”

“I’ll help you. Shma…”

“Shma!”

“Yisroel”

Yisroel!”

All eyes were filled with tears. These hardened soldiers were unable to speak. They had one desire only to grab hold of the Wall and hold on tight. And there it was, in all its splendor. They were overcome and bowed their heads. Many of those heads had never been graced with a yarmulka (skullcap) but somehow knew that this…this was real.

pr golden 1 Wish - tractor
Eliyahu is given a VIP tour by Ezer Mizion as he so richly deserves!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The alley in front of the Western Wall was barely 15 feet wide.  Even before the war was over, a group began clearing the area in front of it for a plaza. They began immediately after the Sabbath on June 10, and finished bulldozing the Mughrabi Quarter at 3 a.m., thus creating the Kotel plaza as we know it today which accommodates 60,000 people.

pr golden - 1 wish -- tractor
Ezer Mizion’s many divisions enabled Eliyahu’s dream to come true!

Eliyahu, a holocaust survivor, was one of those men. He was young and vibrant, sitting on top of his tractor doing his part as a loyal son.  Today, 52 years later, he is no longer young, no longer vibrant.  But that glorious day in history is as clear in his mind as the day it happened. And he yearned to visit the kotel once more, to witness the thousands that congregate on the area that he helped clear. His voice was wistful as he expressed his desire to the Ezer Mizion volunteer who had been visiting him regularly. On his own, it was impossible but with the help of the varied Ezer Mizion divisions, it all fell into place. An appropriate companion was found, all logistical hurdles were overcome. And there he is waving to us as his wish is about to come true.

 Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

One Million!

pr bmr Omer Babi - 1 millionth potential donor in registryThe President of the World Marrow Donor Association, Professor Jeff Szer, flew in from Australia to join Ezer Mizion’s Bone Marrow Registry in celebrating its historic milestone of One Million registrants. . The celebration was attended by Israel’s Minister of Health and Minister of Defense, dignitaries and leaders from the medical and community sectors, together with financial sponsors, stem cell donors and recipients. Continue reading One Million!Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

Giving at the Workplace for Federal Employees via CFC

Since 2007 Ezer Mizion has been chosen as a participant in the U.S. government program’s Combined Federal Campaign that offers federal employees the opportunity of making contributions to non-profit organizations by payroll deductions. Continue reading Giving at the Workplace for Federal Employees via CFC

Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail