On 30 August, an urgent blood testing was held at Beth Weizmann Community Centre to help find donors for 4 Jewish leukaemia patients including a baby in critical need of non-relative blood stem cell matches.
Run in partnership between Gift of Life Australia, the Australian Bone Marrow Donor Registry and Zionism Victoria, the session tested for new potential donors to join the international registry.
Unfortunately, among leukaemia patients from Jewish and other ethnic minority groups, only 1 in 3 patients can find a match within their family. The other 68% must search the worldwide registry for a non-relative but close match. Most likely, such matches can be found within one’s own ethnicity.
Rebecca Grinblat, the first donor who arrived at the session, said, “Becoming a donor is such an easy way to save another person’s life potentially. If you are healthy and aged 18-45, you should definitely consider it.”
Bernhard Krupp, a recipient of bone marrow transplant, said, “I never heard about Gift of Life before I needed the transfusion myself about three years ago. Every day I thank G-d, Gift of Life and the Alfred Hospital, and of course, the donors who are the unsung heroes of our community for giving me extra time to live.”
Craig Rosen, Gift of Life’s volunteer and donor, said, “We were very lucky to hold the testing session at Beth Weizmann. The Centre is spacious and conveniently located in the heart of our community. We are very thankful to Zionism Victoria for allowing us to use the facility, which demonstrated a true spirit of unity for such a significant cause.
Jane Rapke, Executive Director of Zionism Victoria, said, “We are happy to welcome Gift of Life and the Australian Bone Marrow Donor Registry to our premises and believe that this is exactly what Beth Weizmann Community Centre is here for — to unite our community at happy times and during times of need.”
For more information about Gift of Life, visit www.giftoflife.org.au
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