— by Chani Miller
A little over one month ago, Ezer Mizion coordinated a massive bone marrow donor drive throughout Israel.
For many cancer patients, the sole chance of survival is a bone marrow transplant. To be successful, both donor and patient must match genetically. It is essential to have a match readily available at the time of need as the patient’s condition can deteriorate quickly.
More after the jump.
The goal of the recent drive was to enlarge the Registry and increase the presence of underrepresented ethnicities. Different ethnic groups were represented at the drive by patients from various communities. Yosef Karchili, of Georgian descent, was one of the ethnic poster patients.
Unfortunately, Yosef passed away the morning of the drive. The 54-year-old blood cancer patient could not wait any more for the stem cell donor he needed that could have saved his life but was not found in time…
As the lab testing results return and are processed in the Registry, the urgency of having a matching donor ready for patients at their time of need was even further accented.
From among the twenty thousand people who joined the registry at the single day donor recruitment drive, there was one who is a perfect match for Karchili. If only the funding for this drive had been available earlier… if only this registrant had been on the database when the request for a transplant for Yosef had come in… If only the transplant would have been done in time, Karchili could have been alive today.
Ironically, the match is someone who works in the same building where Karchili was employed!
It is essential that Ezer Mizion’s Registry, the largest Jewish registry in the world, be enlarged from its current 600,000 to 1,000,000 registrants to ensure that there will be a matching donor there for almost every cancer patient when he needs it. A cancer patient cannot wait!