“They” glorify death, the more barbaric the better. But we cherish life and will endure inconvenience, even pain, to save the life of another. 

Like Ira. In recent years, transplants are of the more simple stem cell variety where blood is taken from one arm. The stem cells are removed and the blood is then returned to the donor via the other arm. The procedure is quick with no pain, virtually no recovery time and the donor can usually return to his routine the next day.

Occasionally, however, the patient requires bone marrow to be extracted from the patient’s back. This involves surgery, pain and recuperation time.  Ira had assumed when he registered that if he is ever called, he will be donating stem cells. But it didn’t work out that way. A nineteen year old young man was facing death. Only a transplant could save his life. Would a DNA match be found among the over one million Ezer Mizion registrants? And if he were to be found, would he agree to surgery?  The family held its collective breath. The computer beeped.  Ira was that match. But surgery? That was asking a lot from a complete stranger.

Ira’s phone pinged. “Ezer Mizion Bone Marrow Registry” appeared on the screen. He picked up and heard the news. It took a few moments for him to digest the information. Surgery. A big chunk of time off from work. Hospitalization. Anesthesia. Pain. The wheels turned in his brain. The wheels turned in his heart .It was a no brainer. Someone’s life was at stake and he could be the one to save him. “Of course, I’ll do it!” he shouted in gratitude for the opportunity. 

Drives are held regularly in various venues to enable people to register and enlarge the Bone Marrow Registry. So many lives have been saved by Ezer Mizion, the sixth largest registry worldwide. But an even larger registry will enable more to receive the long-awaited response: Yes! We have a match! Before it’s too late.

The drives involve hundreds, sometimes thousands. It is impossible to set the date based on everyone’s convenience. Some who may have otherwise registered will not be able to make it at the appointed date. An unavoidable situation. And so it happened that a drive was set in a yeshiva on the date of the wedding of one of the Yeshiva students. The organizers hoped that the wedding in the evening would not affect the turnout. Their worries were needless. The turnout was excellent and included, unbelievably, the chosson (groom) himself! With priorities firmly in place, his carefully worked out schedule had been adjusted. Why? Because we cherish life.