It’s the end of the 2012 fiscal year. Accounting time. How did we do?
Questions every business asks and Ezer Mizion is no different. Except in the ‘what’ that is tabulated. It’s not stocks or dollars that is counted but lives. Jewish lives. Ezer Mizion’s International Bone Marrow Registry is the largest Jewish registry in the world. It is contacted by oncology clinics around the globe when a genetic match is needed for a Jewish patient whose sole chance of survival is a bone marrow transplant.
Even the largest registry is not large enough and each time a request is returned with the words: No Match Found, the collective heart of the organization bleeds, knowing that the response is virtually a death sentence. But when a match is found-when a life is about to be saved-its modern building, situated in the heart of Petach Tikva and filled with employees who really care, reverberates with euphoric joy.
So, how did we do? We facilitated 215 lifesaving transplants in 2012 alone. Two hundred fifteen! That’s over two hundred Jews who received the transplant that will mean a future. Grandparents will be there to grace the head table as their grandchildren marry. Grandma will dance with the bride imparting a hug filled with blessings. Grandpa will speak, passing on the message of generations to the young couple.
Many of those receiving a transplant were young parents. Some had written letters to their small children to be read when they grew up-letters of love, letters of the values they wished to convey but feared they would not be around to do so…letters that will now not be needed, as the parents themselves will lovingly raise their offspring.
And so many of these patients were children, tiny beings who hardly had a chance to live. Because all of you helped Ezer Mizion grow, these tiny tots will now have a future. They will grow. They’ll marry and produce their own families, who will in turn give rise to another generation-all because you cared.
Yes, 2012 was a good year. In December alone, 15 lives were saved. The genetic testing for eleven of these transplants was funded by Personalized Donor Pools. The contributors can take much pride in their generous gifts. They have saved a life. They have saved a world.
- 215 cancer patients saved by transplants facilitated
- A sharp increase was noted in the number of people joining the Registry: 67,830 people did a cheek swab to join, as compared to 39,689 and 57,398 in the previous two years. The rise is related to the ethnic targeted donor drives that were done in 2012 with the express purpose of raising the number of potential bone marrow donors from ethnic groups that underrepresented in the Registry.
- 1,079 complete donor-patient matches were made.
- A total of 660,000 donors are currently listed in the Registry.
- 1,207 bone marrow transplants have taken place, meaning that one out of every 550 people who joined the registry have been instrumental in saving a life.
- Ezer Mizion’s Bone Marrow Registry is the fourth largest in the world and serves Jews around the globe. Of the 1,207 stem cell transplants that took place since the Registry’s establishment, 639 were done in Israel and the rest abroad, most of them in the U.S. (138), Italy (96), Germany (84), and France (41).
- About a third of the potential donors in the Registry (228,000) are IDF soldiers, who joined the Registry as part of their induction process. In 2012, 570 donor-recipient matches were made between IDF soldiers and patients, and 112 soldiers donated stem cells for transplants. In comparison, 389 soldier-patient matches were made and patients and 92 transplants were facilitated from IDF soldiers in 2011.
Dr. Bracha Zisser, director of Ezer Mizion’s International Bone Marrow Donor Registry, says, “When we sum up the year and see the impressive numbers, there is no doubt that our Registry is a life saving enterprise. Almost every single day of the year the life of a patient in need of a stem cell transplant is being saved by the Israeli public as a whole, and the IDF soldiers in particular who are part of our Registry.”