It’s not about numbers. It’s all about people… people who are at the brink of despair, people who can’t plan for the future because there may not be a future. Jewish cancer patients, who are told that their only chance to survive is a bone marrow transplant, wait for the genetic match that would mean life. Many are saved but many can wait no longer.
On September 10th a dinner entitled Remember for Life was held at the luxurious Venetion in Garfield NJ to create awareness of the work done by Ezer Mizion’s International Jewish Bone Marrow Registry. People streamed in to learn and learn they did. Dr. Michael B. Harris of Hackensack Medical Center spoke from the viewpoint of an oncologist who, too often, has to tell parents that the cure exists but so far no matching donor is available. His prayers would join those of the parents as they watch the child’s condition deteriorate until it’s too late. Rabbi Shmuel Dovid Friedman, the evening’s M.C., discussed the more than 1000 Jews from around the globe whose lives have been saved by Ezer Mizion. The guests joined Rabbi Friedman in wishing a speedy recovery to Marcos Katz of Mexico, a long-time friend of Ezer Mizion who was prevented from appearing as scheduled Guest of Honor by illness. The illustrious Chazan Yitzchok Meir Helfgot greatly enhanced the evening with his stirring rendition of Zachreinu L’Chaim. It was an evening of togetherness, an evening of awareness of each one’s responsibility to help his neighbor.
The highlight of the evening was when Dr. Aaron Katz ascended the podium. Himself an oncologist, he introduced his teenage son, Alex. Alex is a cancer survivor. Alex is here today. Someday he will marry and raise a family and his children will grow and raise their own families-all because of Ezer Mizion. Dr. Katz trembles to think: What if there had been no Ezer Mizion? Alex and his parents had always wanted to meet the person who had donated the life-saving marrow. Unknown to them, the donor was eagerly waiting in the wings. Slowly he ascended the steps and strode toward the ‘brother’ he had never met. In an emotional embrace they demonstrated, as no mere words can, what the purpose of Ezer Mizion is: each Jew connected to another with one heart.
Much thanks goes to those who devoted hours and hours to making the evening a grand success. Ezer Mizion is grateful to the Dinner Committee: Mr. & Mrs. Binyomin Barber, Mr. & Mrs. Dovid Bodner, Mr. & Mrs. Cheskel Brach, Mrs. Chana Perl Freund, Mr. & Mrs. Shmuel Dovid Friedman, Mr. & Mrs. Moishe Geller, Mr. & Mrs. Yisroel Herskovits, Mr. & Mrs. Yochi Herzog, Mr. & Mrs. Shaya Ilowitz, Mrs. Judith Lewy, Mr. & Mrs. Yaakov Marmurstein, Mr. & Mrs. Zev Marmurstein, Mr. & Dr. Paul Maroof, Mr. & Mrs. Yaakov Merdinger, Mr. & Mrs. Peter Rebenwurzel, Mr. & Mrs. David Scharf, Mr. & Mrs. Chaim Stern, Rabbi and Mrs. Chaim Dovid Zwiebel.
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