Posts Tagged ‘bone marrow registry’

Thank You from Italy

May 16, 2018

map of ItalyDear Sirs,

My name is Annalisa T. I am writing from Italy to thank with all my heart the Israeli donor who will try to save the life of my husband Mr Luca B: he will receive a bone marrow transplant between the end of April and the beginning of May at the hospital of Santa Chiara in Pisa, Italy. He is fighting, since May 2017, against a LLA (Leukemia).

Could you help me, please, to get in touch with this beautiful person? We don’t know the name, but we only know that he/she is in Israel. I really would like to talk or hug him/her. Possibly inviting him/her to come and visit us in Italy.

If it is not possible, please, forward this email to him or her.

I would be very grateful to you in this desperate research.

Thank you with all my heart and all my love from Italy to you and Israel,

Annalisa T

Wife of Patient Luca B

BOLOGNA, Italy

people helping people around globe
Lives of cancer patients saved in Jewish communities around the globe

When Annalisa and Luca were told the shocking news, they were devastated. Leukemia! Their worst fears! Family members were tested to determine if one was a DNA match but, one after the other, the answer was no. No. No. No.  Their world turned black. A bone marrow transplant could cure him but if family members did not match genetically, then who would? And even if there is some stranger somewhere in the world who does, how can they find him? And why would he be interested in inconveniencing himself for the sake of a man whom he never met? The Jewish community in Italy is small. Other places like the US and Israel have much larger communities but Annalisa and Luca had no contacts in those countries. The chances of curing Luca seemed infinitesimal. Logically, they were correct. But logic has no place when it comes to saving a life.

A tiny flutter of hope. They were told of Ezer Mizion, a Bone Marrow Registry in Israel, the largest Jewish registry in the world, with close to a million people registered, people whose only purpose in registering is to save a life of another Jew, anywhere in the world.  They were told that Ezer Mizion had an extremely high per capita rate of registrants, much more than other countries.They were told of the many success stories, thousands of people whose lives had been saved. And then one day…they were told: Yes! We have a match!

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New registrants to be genetically tested to remain on stand-by to save a life

The donor was contacted by Ezer Mizion. It never occurred to him to refuse. True, he would have to put is personal schedule on hold for a short while. But to save a life?! What’s the question! Ezer Mizion did all it could to make things easier for the donor and soon it was ‘all systems ready to go’.

Yes, Luca and Annalisa were right. Logically his chances were small.   A matching donor was not easy to find.  He lived an ocean away. He didn’t know them personally. In the normal course of events, it would take a miracle to find him. But that’s what Ezer Mizion is all about. Miracles. A caring chessed organization.  Where statistics have no place.

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Vorkanash

May 2, 2018

memory-gameShe played matching games when she was a child. True, she wanted very much to win but losing wasn’t the end of the world. Now she is thirty. And losing this ‘matching game’ would be the end of her world… the end of her life.

She had been experiencing strong back pains for several months. When the pain intensified, she visited her doctor. Tests revealed that she had lymphocytic leukemia. Radiation and chemotherapy were not enough. Due to the aggressive character of the illness, she would have to have a stem cell transplant asap.  Within a few, short weeks! “We are in a race against time,” explained Dr. Itai Levy, head of the Hematology Department in Soroka Hospital.

Her name is Vorkanash.

pr bmr machine w bags 1489_ne_photo_stories2_e8667 She is a member of the Ethiopian community in Israel, a community that is underrepresented in Ezer Mizion’s Bone Marrow Registry in proportion to its representation in Israel’s general population. “It’s somebody’s life. We have to do everything possible to save her,” says Dr. Bracha Zisser, founder and director of the Registry. “No human being should have to undergo the anguish of waiting for that elusive DNA match.”  Ezer Mizion has undertaken a drive to increase the level of Ethiopian registration both for Vorkanash and others of this segment of Israel’s population. Measures are being taken to boost the chances of a match being found for Vorkanash…before it’s too late.  From almost 900,000 potential Ezer Mizion Registry donors, only 11,530 are of Ethiopian descent resulting in no match, so far, for Vorkanash.  But she is hopeful that soon one of the new registrants will be found to be her genetic counterpart.

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Unlike blood typing, DNA matching is quite complex with many more factors involved. Ethnicity plays a major role. Ezer Mizion, the largest Jewish registry in the world, has saved the lives of over 2700 in Israel, America and so many other countries around the globe that . In 2017 alone, 307 life-saving transplants were performed.

When a donor is found to be a match for a cancer patient, he is treated to increase his stem cells. When the ‘big day’ arrives, he will be treated like royalty as he lies in a hospital bed attached to a machine that will separate his stem cells. Blood is drawn from an IV in one arm. It passes through the machine where the stem cells are extracted and the blood is then returned to him via the other arm. This process continues until enough stem cells have accumulated. The little ‘bag of life’ is then brought to the patient accompanied by the donor’s prayers. After a year, the donor is legally permitted to meet with the patient and his family, a highly emotional gathering. One cannot begin to imagine the feelings that rise up as a young father embraces the man whose selflessness had saved his child’s life.

 

Younger Is Better

May 1, 2018

pr-bmr-Younger-is-Better-1 (002)Many people wonder why there is an age limit on registration with Ezer Mizion’s Bone Marrow Registry. In addition to the more obvious reason of the younger potential donor remaining on the database for decades – a big plus considering the high cost of each genetic testing – there is another factor to be considered. The success rate using cells from a younger donor is significantly higher than when using cells from an older person.

pr-bmr-Younger-is-Better-3 (002)YOUNGER IS BETTER Percentage of younger donors in Ezer Mizion as compared to other registries throughout the world.

The following statements are extracted from a report by CIBMTR (Center for International Blood & Marrow Transplant Research): Studies show that younger stem cell donors result in better patient survival rates. Overall survival decreases with increasing donor age, making age – after tissue type matching – the most important factor in choosing an unrelated stem cell donor.

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YOUNGER IS BETTER Percentage of transplants performed with younger donors facilitated by Ezer Mizion compared to those facilitated by registries throughout the world

Maintaining a young donor population is possible through continued, sustained membership growth through Ezer Mizion’s lifesaving partnership with the IDF, which draws in thousands of new, young registry members each year.

The Boeing Corporation Saves Lives

February 21, 2018

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David Ivry

Can one even begin to imagine the helplessness of being in a plane thousands of feet in the air when the plane is no longer responding to the control mechanisms? You  – a tiny speck in the vast sky –  and the hitherto dependable controls now no more than bits of disconnected metal and plastic… alone… exposed…powerless. David Ivry, former Israel Ambassador to the United States, the ninth commander of the Israel Air Force and the first director of the Israel’s National Security Council was a man used to being in control. Yet, he tells of his experience in the scenario described above. “It seemed to be all over. Then I remembered I had one chance: the ejection seat. I used it and I was saved.”

 

Mr. Ivry compares his terrifying experience with the situation of a patient diagnosed with cancer. All the usual forms of treatment have been tried and have failed. There is only one more chance. That is a bone marrow transplant. But it can only be performed if a DNA match can be found. It probably exists somewhere in the world but how does one go about searching among millions of Jews around the globe? And even if it can be done, will a match be found in time? Before the patient’s condition deteriorates and it can no longer be effective? Before it’s too late?

The Boeing Corporation is committed to community responsibility and has invested in many worthwhile charities. Moneys are given each year and, by the end of the year, used up. That is the way of the world. Money is used and no longer exists. “Giving to Ezer Mizion is different,” says David.  “When our financial outlay funds a life-saving transplant, the money isn’t used up. The investment continues to grow. A life is saved. A child will mature. He’ll marry, produce children of his own. Generations. Eternity.”

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The Boeing Donor Pool has saved 8 lives including that of little Ivan.

It was under Mr. Ivry’s leadership as President of Boeing-Israel and Vice-President of Boeing International that Boeing invested in a donor pool in Ezer Mizion’s Bone Marrow Registry. What is a donor pool? For a sum of $30,000, a pool of 600 potential donors is genetically tested. The information remains on the database for decades and is available when a search request comes in for a desperate cancer patient whose last chance to survive is a transplant. When a transplant takes place using a donor whose testing was funded by the pool, the contact is notified with the electrifying words: You have saved a life! The Boeing Donor Pool has already saved eight lives. When the news arrives, an email is sent out and the Boeing office is buzzing with employees running to one another, “Did you hear? Did you hear?”

 

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The donor’s genetic testing was funded by the Boeing Donor Pool and saved Ivan’s life.

One such notification to Boeing told of a small boy – only three years old.  A little boy who, like little boys around the world, has plans, perhaps of becoming a fireman or a policeman when he grows up. But this little boy was afflicted with a life threatening autoimmune disease and was being treated in Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem.  It never crossed his tiny mind that he may not grow up at all. But his parents knew.  Each time he spoke of the future – when I’m big can I cross the street by myself? – his parents smiled on the outside but cried rivers of tears inside.

 

David Ivry’s face glows as he tells of this child. The Boeing Donor Pool funded the genetic testing for Oded Zand, a young man in Israel, and it was he that was found to be the perfect genetic match for little Ivan Woloktyok. Because of the generosity of the Boeing team, Ivan will cross the street by himself one day, he’ll learn to ride a two-wheeler and he’ll grow up and become an adult like all little boys should.

 

Ivan is five now. He’s a healthy, mischievous ball of fire.  He recently was the star of a meeting between his parents, Oded and 2 key Boeing staff members. While the adults embraced with tears of mutual gratitude, Ivan zoomed around the room, not understanding what all the excitement is about. He’s secure, our little Ivan. Secure in the certainty of the future that awaits him. And that’s exactly the way it should be.

 

Today, Ezer Mizion’s Bone Marrow Registry numbers 889,956 potential donors, thanks to whom 2,711 lifesaving transplants have taken place to date. One of the Registry administrators’ most substantial challenges is raising funds to finance tissue typing of the collected samples, a procedure that demands major resources.

 

Dr. Bracha Zisser, Director of the Registry: “On the one hand, the Bone Marrow Registry enables everyone to be a partner in saving lives, and, on the other hand, it acts as insurance policy, increasing the chances for anyone we know to obtain a transplant, should the need arise. Mutual responsibility is the essence and guiding principle of Ezer Mizion. Thank you to the Boeing Corporation, to all the personalized donor pools at Ezer Mizion’s registry and to all our individual contributors for their noble partnership in our efforts to save lives.”

Father and Son: A Special Moment

February 9, 2018

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Every father knows the feeling of sharing a special moment with his son. With some, it may be a hole in one at the golf course. With others, the first time drive in the new family Lexus.  For the Katz family, their special moment was very special indeed. They each saved a life.

Itamar is 21 and had registered several years ago with Ezer Mizion’s Bone Marrow Registry. He never expected to actually be called but the call did come and Itamar rose to the occasion. Yes, he was nervous about the procedure but when he thought of what would happen if he refused, it was a no-brainer. “It wasn’t as bad as I envisioned. Somewhat draining but nothing in comparison to what I achieved. I actually saved the life of another Jew!” He was still riding high on the waves of his achievement when another call came on the family phone. “I’m calling from Ezer Mizion. Is Professor Gideon Katz available?” The professor was abroad at the time but things moved fast and contact was made. Back home again, he and his son would glance at each other. No words were necessary. Father and son would be sharing an experience that defies description.

 

Professor Katz is   head of the State of Israel Studies department at Ben Gurion University in Beersheva.  Gideon had registered with Ezer Mizion ten years ago during a recruitment drive at the university. His name was placed on the database and there he assumed it would remain… just one of the close to a million registrants that make up Ezer Mizion’s Bone Marrow Registry. A Jewish cancer patient had been told that her only chance to live is a transplant. If a genetic match could be found, she would be cured. If not, … That’s when the Registry database of 885,264 potential donors was searched.  Like a lottery machine, the computer stopped at the file of Professor Katz. Gideon was that DNA match. If he would agree, he could save her life. Not for one moment did he hesitate and so, for the first time in the history of Ezer Mizion’s Bone Marrow Registry, father and son each merited to save a Jewish life.

Bone marrow transplants are used as therapy for about 100 different illnesses, including leukemia, Hodgkin’s disease, diseases of the blood, and enzyme deficiencies. These diseases destroy bone marrow, which contains the stem cells responsible for manufacturing blood cells. For people with diseased or damaged bone marrow, a transplant from a genetically compatible donor is often the only hope for recovery.

Transplant recipients must be nearly identical matches with their donors for tissue-type markers known as HLA proteins. Although close family members offer the best chance of an HLA match, only 30% of patients find matches within their families. Because the number of possible HLA combinations is incredibly vast, the likelihood of two unrelated individuals matching each other is very low. Bone marrow transplant from unrelated yet HLA-matched donors is possible due to the existence of large computerized international registries of potential bone marrow donors.

Chances for a match increase significantly if the patient and potential donor share the same ethnic background. Because Jews in the past lived in isolated communities, they are today more genetically related to each other than to non-Jews. There are over 10 million potential donors registered in the International Bone Marrow Registry (BMDW) based in Holland, but only a very small percentage are of Jewish descent.

Ezer Mizion established its registry in 1998 to increase the pool of Jewish potential donors. Israel, home to an entire spectrum of Jewish communities and ethnic backgrounds, is the natural location for a Jewish bone marrow registry.

Today, the Ezer Mizion Bone Marrow Donor Registry is the largest Jewish registry in the world. Because Jewish patients generally require Jewish bone marrow donors, the registry is a vital resource for thousands of sick Jews and serves an insurance policy for worldwide Jewry.

 

Strangers or perhaps…

December 27, 2017

people helping people around globeImagine having an airplane view of the entire world. Not only the world but of generations. What would you see? You’d immediately notice the hubbub in America as Ezer Mizion launches a nationwide campaign to raise funds to sponsor genetic testing for thousands of new potential donors to register at its Bone Marrow Registry. The money pours in. You all give so generously.  The funds are transferred to Israel to pay for the cost of the testing. The genetic data of these young men and women is entered to remain on the database for decades.

Now your eyes flit to the right and you see sadness. Such sadness. Jonathan, a young father in South Africa has just been diagnosed. His children are not even grown yet. There are weddings to dance at. Grandchildren to read stories to. Up until now all this has been taken for granted. But no longer. They will happen but he might not be there. The doctors have tried many treatments. There only remains a bone marrow transplant which cannot take place until a DNA match is found. Right now the procedure can be successful. Later may be too late. His siblings are not a match. Will a match be found among strangers?

There’s a loud buzz. You glance to the left. In Israel, a search is being conducted at Ezer Mizion’s Jewish Bone Marrow Registry.  Emergency. A genetic match is needed for a young father in South Africa. Tension. All eyes are focused on the computer. Then smiles. Excitement. Joy.   Liron, one of the new registrants, is a perfect match.

The news is quickly relayed. The joy spreads across the ocean. Jonathan and his family dance. Once again, happiness reigns in this young home.

And they question.  His siblings were not a genetic match but a perfect stranger is? Is she perhaps not a stranger after all?

From your view above the skies, your eyes travel back…back…back. You see Jonathan’s grandparents living in Latvia, in Lithuania. They have large families. Their children marry and raise their own families.

You spot a young woman in France dissolved in tears. She is Liron’s grandmother. The child she has carried for nine months has died. Or so they tell her. She strongly suspects that the hospital staff is lying. But she is helpless. Was the child alive? Did he grow up and marry a girl whose family originated from Eastern Europe? So many questions. The answers lie hidden in the mysteries of time…

And so Liron, a perfect stranger in Israel – or maybe not such a perfect stranger after all – saved the life of Jonathan in South Africa. It’s twenty months later. His blood counts are perfect and have been since the transplant. He’s planning a vacation in Israel together with his family this Pesach. The highlight will be meeting Liron. The two will talk. They’ll share family history. Perhaps more light will be shed on the mystery then. If so, we will certainly share it with you, dear reader.

But most important, Jonathan’s life has been saved. Liron couldn’t be happier. It is her blood that is flowing through his veins. Perhaps they were strangers before but now they are strangers no longer.

 

45 Years of Tears

December 6, 2017

pr-phoneAt Ezer Mizion’s busy office, the phone does not stop ringing. At times, it is the ubiquitous telemarketing call. Other calls are requesting information. Some calls can be as brief as several sentences but leave the staff member stunned. Like this one received by Chani :

“Where were you 45 years ago? When my son needed a bone marrow transplant? I took my two daughters to be tested at UCLA but they were not a genetic match.” Then her voice faltered, “Before we could try more people, my son— my son—- my son died.” Her voice broke but she tried to continue speaking, “I want to give you a donation. Your organization is so important.  I only wish it had been in existence 45 years ago. Perhaps he could have been saved.” She was overcome by tears and hung up the phone.   The pain of losing a child does not disappear, even after 45 yrs.

That’s why Ezer Mizion’s Bone Marrow Registry was founded. For people like this lady’s son. Jewish people who need a DNA match to save their lives. Ezer Mizion receives calls from oncology clinics around the world   and has saved over 2600 lives with genetically matching donors from its 850,000 registrants.

Matan was only ten years old when he was diagnosed with leukemia. A diagnosis of MDS soon followed. By age twelve, his bone marrow was deteriorating and it was soon obvious that without a transplant, he would not turn 13. Would a DNA match be found? In time?

Matan was one of the fortunate ones.   Yifat was a newly married young girl.  Years ago, she had registered with Ezer Mizion’s Bone Marrow Registry, never expecting to actually be called. But the call did come.  It was she who could save the life of Matan, a young boy who would later mature and marry, producing his own children. “I went insane with joy,” she describes the day she received the call. “Of course I said yes.”

Yifat, now expecting her first child, met Matan for the first time recently. “I’m feeling great!” Matan fairly shouted when he was asked. “Of course, I plan to go to the simcha when Matan’s baby is born. We’re sister and brother now. Her blood is in me.”

It is no longer 45 years ago when patient after patient died while waiting for a DNA match to be found.  Matan had a lovely Bar Mitzvah celebration. It was tears of joy that were shed by his parents as they thought to themselves, “What if there had been no Ezer Mizion?”

For further info: 718 853 8400     5225 New Utrecht Ave Bk NY 11219         http://www.ezermizion.org

 

Hole In One

November 23, 2017

2017 Golf Closest to the Pin AK7X9484 (1)

Winner of Closest to Pin

Eight times! For eight years, Ezer Mizion has held its annual Thanksgiving Day golf tournament at Caesaria Golf Club in Israel. Golf aficionados gather for a day under the azure skies, each stroke being a strike against cancer. Many travel to Israel from abroad to join in the camaraderie of the event.

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Winners of First Place Gold

The committee works for months to ensure the success of the event, knowing that Jewish lives depend on raising sufficient funds. All proceeds benefit Ezer Mizion’s International Jewish Bone Marrow Registry, creating a pool of potential donors whose DNA testing has been funded by the Hole in One Donor Pool. From this group of potential donors, twenty seven transplants have taken place! That’s twenty-seven lives of cancer patients around the globe. Twenty-seven families whose anguish was overturned to joy when a DNA match was found!

2017 Golf Gold 2nd AK7X9497

Winners of 2nd Place Gold

One hundred and seventy revved up for the 2017 event. A heartfelt Thank You Committee Members:

Committee Heads: Simeon Chiger, Mark Hasleton, Ran Sahar, Stephen Weil, Herman Weiss

2017 Golf Gold 3rd AK7X9496

Winners of 3rd Place Gold

Committee: Eitan Arusy, Iris Barak, Jonathan Binke, Sandra Brown, Ami Elkus, Alan Feinblum, Jaques Garih, Daniel Goldman, Mark Hasleton, Jonathan Klahr, Jeremy Lustman, Yehoshua Shpunder, Adam Snukal, Laurie Spieler, Josh Wolf

Congratulations to the winners:

 

GOLD Division, 1st Place Didi Golan Limor Sidi Kent Paisley
GOLD Division, 2nd Place Alex Wayman Andrey Stotsky Simon Berkeley Yossi Miller
GOLD Division, 3rd Place Gary Bell Bradley Ellerine Alan Feinblum
SILVER Division, 1st Place Mark Tobin Scott Tobin Stu Schrader Seth Cogan
SILVER Division, 2ndPlace Eliezer Shkedi Tzvika Baron Roi Ben Yami Meir Shamir
SILVER Division, 3rd Place Nachum Goldstein Neil Rubinstein Barry Korzen
Longest Drive, Women Limor Sidi
Longest Drive, Men Stu Schrader
Straightest Drive Avi Alter
Closest to the Pin Simmie Chigger
Par 3, 1st Place Gadi Dolinsky Liav Salomon Nir Shain Nimrod Avraham
Par 3, 2nd Place Jeremy Lustman Bini Maryles Mark Rosenbaum Jacob Katz
Par 3, Putting Champion Paul Freud
Par 3, Longest Drive Jacob Katz

 

 

 

The Other End of the World?

July 12, 2017

people helping people around globe“But he’s at the other end of the world!”

“No problem,” said the experienced Ezer Mizion staff member. “Just watch.”

Here’s the story. A woman with cancer was in need of a bone marrow transplant to save her life. She needed it asap. Now! Not in a few months. Eldad had been identified by the Ezer Mizion Bone Marrow Registry as a genetic match but further testing was needed. Simple. A few tubes of blood and the test will be done. But what if the potential donor is happily vacationing in Cancun, Mexico? Do we wait till he returns? And take a chance on the patient’s condition changing for the worse? Do we take a chance on another person’s life?!

The Registry staff member contacted another Ezer Mizion division, Linked to Life which operates a What’s App program around the globe. Lights flashed. Cell phones buzzed. A Linked to Life member responded that he is in Cancun and planning to travel for New York that day. The blood was drawn by a local lab and transported to NY by the L2L member. Now, Ronit , office manager for the CEO of El Al in New York and another Linked to Life volunteer, came on the scene. Ronit contacted Yoram, director of El Al representatives in the U.S. Yoram got the head of the station at Kennedy Airport, and security officer Tal involved in the operation. On Thursday, after receiving the test tubes from Mexico via the first L2L volunteer, El Al representatives in N.Y. traveled to Israel and handed over the precious test tubes to Ezer Mizion.

The other side of the world? No problem when good-hearted Jews around the globe are linked together.

Based in Israel, L2L receives hundreds of calls daily. Come join us at the dispatch center. A call just came in. A grandmother, accompanied by her daughter, needs ride to the clinic.  The volunteer that responded later contacted the Ezer Mizion office to say thank you “These are real mentschen. They didn’t stop apologizing for taking my time. They were so grateful. .The grandmother is past the age of 90. At the time of the Holocaust, she was 17 years old. She had been through Auschwitz, work camps and Bergen-Belsen. She told me about her mother and little sister who were murdered in Auschwitz. ‘When I close my eyes, I don’t ‘just remember’ things; I literally see them happening.’ This tiny lady didn’t give up. She went on to establish a family which now consists of children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren and continues to give and give. “I broke my arm recently and for a period, I couldn’t bake cakes for my grandchildren’s families. It made me sad but I’m back ‘in business’ now. As they opened the car door at the clinic amid a flurry of humble thank-you’s to me, I thanked Hashem for the zchus of having such a diamond in my car.

 

Another buzz at 1:30 AM. This one an emergency. A woman was unable to breathe and required immediate assistance. An ambulance had arrived and determined that hospital treatment was needed. But getting her there was impossible due to her wide girth. A large stretcher was needed. Ezer Mizion was contacted.  Does anyone in your Linked to Life Group have one? In moments I was wide awake and dressed. Together with the paramedics, we lifted the patient onto my stretcher and transported her to the hospital in time to receive the treatment she needed.

Alone? Never! No Jew is ever alone when his fellow Jews are Linked to Life.

Like to join? SMS: 011 972 52 580 8936

For further info: www.ezermizionusa.org       5225 New Utrecht Ave Bk NY 11219                               718 853 8400

Many of You Have Asked…

May 4, 2017

Does Ezer Mizion provide transplants to Israel residents only?

 

people helping people around globeEzer Mizion receives Search requests form oncology clinics around the globe. DNA matching is based on ethnics. As the largest Jewish Registry in the world, Ezer Mizion is the natural address for an oncology clinic working with a Jewish patient in Europe, Russia, South Africa, South America, Australia, Canada and the US.

 

In April 2017, 14 of 31 transplants were done for Israeli residents and 17 for countries around the world including 6 in US and Canada.

 

Did the partnership with the IDF create any significant change in the success of finding DNA matches?

 

idf-celebration-2016-aDue to IDF recruits being young and healthy, they remain on the database for decades, thus greatly increasing the chances of eventually being found to be a match for a patient. In addition, they come from highly varied backgrounds resulting in much increased representation among minority ethnic groups.

 

In April 2017, 18 of the 21 transplants funded by donor pools are IDF recruits, some having been inducted and joined the registry just a; few months ago.

 

How long, on the average, does it take for a new Bone Marrow Donor Pool to receive the at long awaited letter: You have saved a life!

 

There can, of course, be no guarantees. In April of 2017, 4 of the 21 transplants funded by donor pools were opened within the last half year.