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?!”
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.
In the same building is the Cancer Support Division. A Wildlife Pavilion for the kids, Maor the Lego man, the dining room with service that vies that of a 5-Star hotel, lovely apartments for patients and their families just so they won’t have to travel for treatments, an art center and a music room, a cafeteria, a hall for parties, and more and more and more — and all of it, pure chessed.
I dedicated and continue to dedicate this project for the complete and speedy recovery of Tohar bat Noah and Avraham ben Baila Tzipporah and in memory of Yehudit bat Nahid Chava.
Remember this post well… Next year, I’m continuing. Because…because… You really have to be here to understand what Ezer Mizion is all about.
Thank you, dear people, for donating. Thank you to everyone. Thank you, thank you for making this birthday gift a reality.
It may have been Elkana that the Zimmermans saw that day they visited. Elkana has been part of the Ezer Mizion for a long time with his aunt a senior member of the Medical Referral team and his cousin a prime programmer in our IT department. Now Elkana has earned his own place in the Ezer Mizion family. He was found to be a match and couldn’t wait to become one of the heroes he had heard so much about. He and his extended family could not be happier or prouder today for the privilege to save a patient’s life!