It was his birthday but he wasn’t there.  He would have turned 63 and his family and friends would have gathered together to show him how much they loved him. But instead, a different kind of celebration was held.  The Gil Marks Donor Pool was launched at a small ceremony in the presence of Gil's 89 year old active, perky mother, his brother-in-law, his devoted nephews and nieces and some greats from the fourth generation. For his mother, especially, his birthday was one of the hardest days but made much easier by the knowledge that, in spite of the fact that he never married, the bone marrow donor pool created in his memory will be an everlasting legacy. It will save the lives of so many others –many of them children who will mature and produce the offspring that Gil never had.


Several months ago, Gil A’H lost the battle to cancer. A bone marrow transplant, often the remedy for many types of cancer, was not an option in Gil’s case. However, in hope of creating merit that would bring about a cure, his family undertook the funding of genetic testing for a large number potential donors, enabling them to join Ezer Mizion’s International Jewish Bone Marrow Registry.  The growth of the Gil Marks Bone Marrow Registry was a source of encouragement for Gil, but, unfortunately, he did not live to see its completion. Instead, the moving ceremony took place on what would have been his 63rd birthday.


His niece expressed the feelings of the family in the following note: Dear  Ezer Mizion,


I truly appreciated your warm welcome you showed to all of our family and most especially the nachat ruach you gave my grandmother. She told me that Gil’s birthday was very hard for her and the Ezer Mizion experience gave her comfort because she felt that some good would come from it. So I wish you all yasher koach. Keep doing your amazing work at Ezer Mizion. May Hashem give you the strength to keep helping people who need help.


The family now looks forward to periodically receiving a letter from Ezer Mizion with the electrifying words: You have saved a life! each time a life-saving transplant is performed with cells of a donor whose costly DNA testing was funded by the Gil Marks Donor Pool. Their faces will light up with a bittersweet smile. And from his place above, grateful for the merit that his family’s thoughtfulness will have enabled him to achieve, Gil, A’H will smile, too.


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