No. He Didn’t Do Anything Wrong

pr bmr Lieutenant TLieutenant T. just received his Pilot Wings and yes, he is quite proud. At the young age of 23, he has accomplished even much more. Lieutenant T. has saved a life.  During the course, he was called out by the Division Officer. “Did I do something wrong?” His mind was in a turmoil with all sorts of negative scenarios running through his head until the officer smiled at him saying, “Ezer Mizion would like to speak with you. It seems that you are a possible genetic match for a leukemia patient.”

“What an about face! Suddenly I was a potential hero!”

“It turned out I was a great match for a lady with cancer.  I checked it out with my parents. After all, it was a big step.  They were 100% on board and excited that I had been given this opportunity.  And so the light turned green and it was all systems go. I took off a few days to have the injections that they give you to increase the stem cells in your blood. And then came the big day. Perfectly comfortable with reading material and visitors,  to occupy me as blood was removed via one arm, stem cells separated and blood then returned to me via the other arm. It took several hours but was painless and I felt fine.  It is definitely a great privilege to take part in such a process.

Anyone who is contemplating donating should know that it’s simple. Nothing to worry about. Within a day or so, you’ll be back at work and soon will have forgotten all about it. But I can tell you from experience that on the other side, no one is forgetting anything. They’re ecstatic with joy as your stem cells seep into your patient’s bloodstream. And they never forget. Not days later, not weeks later, not even years later.

About a year after the transplant, when it was legal to do so, I received a letter from a lady in America. She introduced herself as the one who received my stem cells. She said she is in her fifties and has three kids. She had had leukemia and needed that transplant to stay alive. I couldn’t believe what I had accomplished! Just minimal discomfort on my side but for Nancy. I had given her back her life.

She invited me to come visit her in the US and I invited her to visit me in Israel. So far, neither has happened but we both hope someday… Meanwhile, we’re getting to know each other via email.   My message today is unequivocal: Give! Donate! There are so many still waiting in line. Subsidizing the cost of the genetic testing or getting tested yourself or both. It’s such an infinitesimal effort, compared to what you are granting them.

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But I Feel Fine

RH 19 interviews Eric Safire 3
Post transplant, thanks to Ezer Mizion

Utter shock. That’s what I felt sitting there in the doctor’s office. It was a busy time for me. I’m a lawyer and I was in the middle of trying a complex murder case. But it was time for my annual physical and, feeling virtuous and responsible, I took time off to have it done even though I had zero symptoms. Then the doctor asked me to sit down. Something in his serious tone of voice told me I would not be getting back to my murder case too quickly. Continue reading But I Feel Fine

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Letters to Brothers

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Our heroes as they donated their stem cells to save a life

A young man sits in a chair for hours. He is attached to a machine that is filtering stem cells from his blood.  It’s a comfortable chair and his every need is met. But there is a yearning within him that cannot be satisfied. Soon a little bag of his stem cells will be brought to a different floor where someone is waiting. He has never met that someone. He knows no more than the gender and age of the someone but he feels a deep connection. He knows the someone is feeling  tremendous tension at this moment and he longs to reassure him and tell him that it is going fine and he will soon be receiving that little bag of life.  He so much would want to be there at that moment when the bag arrives and life – his life – is transplanted into the someone. He wants to hold hands during the moments when they will be becoming blood brothers.

But he can’t. It’s not allowed. Something about international law. They will not be allowed to meet for at least a year. His yearning is strong. It must be satisfied at last partially. So he does the next best thing. He communicates. He writes a note.

 How are you?

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Stem cells being separated from blood to be transplanted in cancer patient

I’m A., from the bone marrow donation.

I thought that perhaps I’d tell you a little bit about myself, so we could begin to get acquainted with each other — only if you want to, of course.

I’m 24, married to R. and waiting, at this very time, for our first birth, G-d willing. I am studying at Yeshivat Ohr Etzion and my wife is a ninth grade homeroom teacher at the Ulpanah.

I served in the army in the paratroopers’ unit. It was in the army that what brought us together took place — the donation.

Let me tell you a bit of how it was on my part.

One Sunday, I got a call from Ezer Mizion, asking me to get back to them. Already then, I started getting excited: Maybe I was lucky enough to have been found to be a match for a donation?

Indeed, they informed me on the phone that an initial match was found between us for a donation. I felt as if I’d won the lottery, and even more; it was such a great privilege.

Of course, I did the entire process, which you probably are more familiar with than I am, and the whole thing is going smoothly and easily.

Wishing you robust health and much happiness!

There are many donations taking place in Ezer Mizion’s new state of the art Harvesting Center. Next door another note is being written.

Dear patient,

I am sure that you have gone through tough things. First of all, I want you to know that you are a real hero! To fight this cursed illness and not to give up is not something that is self-understood.

I hope that the stem cell transplant will help you carry on an easy, free, and normal life. I hope that you recover as fast as possible and that you will be able to return to your family, children, and grandchildren (if you have any).

May you know only happiness, good health, joy, success, and, most important, optimism. Enjoy life and utilize it well, because who knows better than you do that we only have one life to live.

I hope that, one day, I’ll be able to meet you and get to know you.

With great love to you whom I have never met but already feel to be a brother ,

 

Your donor

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When Dropping the Ball Saves Lives

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First Prize Ball Drop Winner Receives 30% of Pot

Hundreds of eyes were turned toward the sky. Waiting…for the ball to drop. Ezer Mizion’s Golf Tournament added a new feature to its annual event. The day had been glorious. golf 19 10The weather perfect.  Now all players gathered to watch as a bucket truck-cherry picker lifted its bucket 200 feet above the green and dropped 701 golf balls that had been purchased by those participating in Ezer Mizion’s life saving mission. golf 19 11“Where would my ball drop? Would this be my chance to get a Hole in One?” “That was one of the coolest things I have ever seen at a golf tournament!” was heard from so many. Continue reading When Dropping the Ball Saves Lives

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So You Got A Call To Be A Stem Cell Donor?

Ryan Hyman - Photo
Ezer Mizion’s Director of Development: an ‘almost match’

“Good morning. Is this Mr. Hyman? I’m calling from the bone marrow registry. You have been found to be a match for a cancer patient!”

I was sitting in my office when I received that call. I had been tested sometime around 1998 and had not thought about that day in years. Then, quite literally, out of the blue, I was asked if I would be willing to go through further testing to confirm that I was a match for “the patient.”

My response was simple: tell me what to do!! The caller from the registry went through some basic info and made sure to tell me that while the procedure for me as a potential stem cell donor, was safe, it was still my choice and “are you sure you want to go through this process?” Continue reading So You Got A Call To Be A Stem Cell Donor?

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Because of You!

website bmr update templateJune 2019

 

 

BONE MARROW DONOR REGISTRY ACTIVITY SUMMARY

bmr 6 1934 transplants, 28 from donor pools
3,230 total transplants (of these 1,965 from the IDF)
985,186 members in registry (of these 544,281 from the IDF)

Transplant Countries
Argentina, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, UK, USA

Donor Pool Countries
Brazil, Canada, Israel, USA

Continue reading Because of You!

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What Was It Like?

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DNA matching is essential to a successful stem cell transplant

She’s back. Our data processer is back in her usual seat, glued to her computer as usual. Entering the data of recent donations to Ezer Mizion’s Bone Marrow Registry. Doing her part to help save lives around the globe.  As if everything were normal. As if she had not just now come back from Israel. As if she herself had not just donated her stem cells to save the life of a middle-aged woman with AML.

But there’s a difference. There’s a glow on her face. While her co-workers continue their varied tasks to benefit the Registry, she, a young girl, had experienced something that most people can only dream of. She had saved a life.

We’ll let her tell you her story. Continue reading What Was It Like?

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In Memory of Meir

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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.

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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 Meir

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