Drafted For Life

In a festive ceremony marking five years of lifesaving collaboration between the IDF and Ezer Mizion, Brigadier General Avi Zamir, Head of IDF Human Resources Department, congratulated Rabbi Chananya Chollak, founder of Ezer Mizion, on a job well done. Ezer Mizion’s International Jewish Bone Marrow Registry has saved the lives of cancer patients the world over, whose only chance of survival had been a bone marrow transplant. To ensure success, both transplant donor and recipient must match genetically. Ezer Mizion’s Registry, the largest Jewish registry in the world, has over 547,000 potential donors. Its five-year partnership with the IDF, encouraging new recruits to join, has enriched the registry with young, healthy donors who will remain for a maximum length of time and whose genetic makeup stems from a diverse range of Jewish ethnicity. The large influx of IDF recruit registration, therefore, allows for a much greater chance of successful genetic matching than that of the general population. “We’ve done it together,” replied Rabbi Chollak with a handshake of sincere, shared joy.

The project, which started with the August 2005 induction cycle, has experienced great success. So far, 145,892 new soldiers have joined the Registry. From among these, 771 matches have already been found and 149 life-saving transplants were carried out. Ezer Mizion is responsible for taking the samples and financing their genetic scanning through fund-raising efforts. This collaborative effort with the IDF reflects a sincere and important acknowledgment by the IDF of Ezer Mizion’s broad and proven coordinative capabilities.

Mr. Motti Zisser, CEO of the Elbit Imaging Company (the company that sponsored the Ezer Mizion collection station at the Induction Base), spoke of the significance of blood as symbolic of a strong, close bond between one human being and another, and of the sanctity of life which comes into full, moving expression in this project linking new IDF draftees to the Bone Marrow Registry.

Dr. Bracha Zisser, director of the Registry says: “Ezer Mizion salutes each and every soldier who has selflessly joined the Registry to save the lives of people whom he has never met.

At the conclusion of the ceremony, a prestigious wall plague was unveiled with the names of those soldiers who have been privileged to donate their marrow to save a life. Soldiers and bone marrow recipients, together with their thankful families, gathered to view the plaque in a moment of overwhelming gratitude towards those whose efforts have borne the fruit of life itself.

For further info: http://www.ezermizion.org


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