More than 25 years ago, I spent my gap year in Israel on Young Judaea‘s Year Course program. One month of that year was spent living with a family in an agricultural community (a moshav), and while I can’t remember the names of anyone from the family I stayed with, I do remember the family below, which hosted a friend of mine (and was actually much nicer to me than my own host family). Arlene is also a former Young Judaean.
What follows is the text from an email that Arlene sent to a local mailing list that I moderate, and she quickly agreed to allow me to share it here. Please do what you can to help, and please share this note with your networks.
Note that (as mentioned below) Israeli hospitals conduct worldwide registry searches for suitable donors, so being registered in almost any country can potentially help someone in need, no matter where in the world they happen to be.
Our son, Guy Bar-Yosef, was diagnosed with an acute form of leukemia this past April. He has undergone aggressive chemotherapy, and now the doctors are saying that there is hope for recovery only if he receives a bone marrow (=stem cell) transplant from a matching donor.
We are turning to everyone and anyone who may be able to help. Healthy donors are accepted into international registries between the ages of 18-45. Blood type does not matter. Because of Guy’s genetic lineage, we are specifically looking for donors with mixed genetic backgrounds – Ami’s parents were of Moroccan and Lithuanian origin, and Arlene’s parents hailed from Latvia (Baronovich, Russia, and nearby).
In Israel, the organization which does tissue typing and matching is “Ezer Mizion”, and in the USA, it’s “Be The Match” or “Gift of Life”. People in the USA can ask for a kit to do the test at home and mail it in. All other developed countries have similar setups, and Israeli hospitals conduct worldwide searches.
The initial test is merely a saliva swab taken from inside the cheek. It is painless and quick. If the person is found to be a tissue match, he/she will be asked to donate blood on a given day, at the hospital in Tel Aviv. If the person is from abroad, the flight to Israel and all expenses will be paid. It is similar to donating blood at Magen David Adom – no surgical procedure is involved.
Many of Guy’s friends, colleagues and family members are coming forward to be tested, but they can’t all afford to pay for the tests themselves. So another way to assist is by a monetary donation, in any amount to “Ezer Mizion” in Israel. It costs 250 NIS ($65) to process each test, and as they don’t have the necessary budget, they seek donations to cover the costs.
Ezer Mizion: 40 Kaplan St., Petach Tikva, Israel. Tel: 03-9277772, via check, telephone, or online, (there’s a place to name the person in whose honor the donation is being made).
The website is: https://www.ezermizion.org/Donate (Donations are tax deductible and receipts will be issued).
Anyone making a monetary donation as well as those who go to Ezer Mizion to be tested should mention Guy Bar-Yosef’s name.
Time is of the essence. Anyone who has Facebook or other social network media, or who work or study in places where they can notify friends, colleagues, etc., is kindly asked to help spread the word. We sincerely appreciate every and all effort made on Guy’s behalf.
Thanks so very much.
Arlene and Ami Bar-Yosef
If people in South Africa are interested in finding out more about that country’s bone marrow registry (which would also be scanned for possible donors for Guy), please contact the South African Bone Marrow Registry:
South African Bone Marrow Registry (SABMR)
Match codes: South Africa [ZA]
Groote Schuur HospitalE52,
Old Main Building