A Peek Inside Ezer Mizion
A Typical Day at Ezer Mizion
A patient lies helpless in a hospital bed. His family surrounds him. The room is filled with tension. He has one chance to live. A bone marrow transplant can save his life but a genetic match is needed. Ezer Mizion’s International Jewish Bone Marrow Registry searches. They search further…further… Success! Initial testing done at time of registration indicates a very good match. The contact number is dialed. It rings but the potential donor is not at home. When will he arrive? Not for several weeks. He is at camp. Somewhere out in California. Miles away from civilization. Miles away from a phlebotomist who can draw the blood for further testing. Miles away from life for the patient whose condition may deteriorate over the interim. Ezer Mizion’s NY office is contacted. Mapquest joins Ezer Mizion’s NY office in its search for the nearest city. No accommodating lab in that city on Ezer Mizion’s list. Google and Whitepages.com rush to assist, providing a list of doctors, clinics, phlebotomists, labs--- any entity which may be able to draw the blood and ship it to one of Ezer Mizion’s labs to be further tested asap. Calls are made. Five o’clock comes and goes. Out to lunch…on vacation…please leave a message and we will get back to you as soon as possible…sorry, we do not draw blood…sorry, we cannot be of service…keep dialing…next one on the list…yes, we’ll be happy to help. Relieved sigh. Paperwork emailed. Close office. Home. Another life saved.
It all began with the number one. A Jewish patient whose life hung on a thread. Only a bone marrow transplant would enable him to survive and the world registry had no genetic match for him. A pool of Jewish genes was clearly needed. Thus the birth of Ezer Mizion’s International Jewish Bone Marrow Registry. No match was found for Moshe Schayek, the impetus for the original drive, and, sadly, he passed away. But his need led to so many others receiving the life-saving transplant---many of them small children.
Ezer Mizion has since grown to become the largest Jewish registry and the 4th largest registry in the world. Ezer Mizion recently facilitated its 1000th life-saving transplant. Tiny toddlers, young mothers, doting grandfathers have expressed their heartfelt gratitude for the ultimate gift-the gift of life!
For many cancer patients, the sole chance of survival is a bone marrow transplant. To achieve success, both donor and patient must share the same genetic makeup. As genetic makeup is associated with ethnicity, Jews tend to match other Jews. Without a Jewish registry, the chances of finding a match in the world registry is miniscule at best. And to compound the problem, a cancer patient does not have much time. If a match is not immediately available on the registry’s database, a drive may take place. However, even if the drive is successful, it may be too late. The patient’s condition may have deteriorated to the point that a transplant will no longer be effective.
Therefore, even the largest Jewish registry is not large enough. It is essential that Ezer Mizion be enlarged from its current over 600,000 potential donors to One Million, a number that statistically will enable Ezer Mizion to answer ‘Yes’ to over 90% of its requests. And so we look forward to that day when no cancer patient will be left tormented, in desperate search of that elusive match to save his life. L’chaim! To life!
For further info: www.ezermizion.org 718 853 8400