Urgent Appeal for a bone-marrow donor

I received this letter from Arlene and Ami Bar Yosef – on behalf of their son, Guy:

Shalom from Israel.

Our son, Guy Bar-Yosef, was diagnosed with an acute form of leukemia this past April 2012.  He  underwent aggressive chemotherapy for 8 months, 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.

Because of Guy’s genetic lineage, we are specifically looking for donors with mixed genetic backgrounds, and hence this letter to your synagogue membership.  My husband Ami’s parents were, respectively, of Moroccan and Lithuanian origin, and my parents hailed from Latvia (Baronovich, Russia, and nearby). (My father was a Conservative Rabbi – Morris Gordon from Washington, DC).  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”.  Healthy donors are accepted into these international registries between the ages of 18-45.  Blood type does not matter.  There are not enough people of Sephardic origin in the international bone marrow donor registries.  This is a chance to save a 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 the Israeli hospital is conducting a worldwide search on our behalf.   The initial test is merely a saliva swab taken from inside the cheek.  It is painless and quick.  If someone is found to be a tissue match, he/she will be asked to come and donate blood on a given day, at the hospital in Tel Aviv.  The procedure is similar to donating blood.  No surgical procedure is involved. If the person is from abroad, his/her flight to Israel and all expenses will be paid.

Another way to assist us at this time, is by a monetary donation, in any amount to “Ezer Mizion”.  They claim that it costs them 250 NIS ($65) to process each test, and as they don’t have the necessary budget, they seek donations to cover the costs.   The website is: https://www.ezermizion.org/Donate   (tax-deductible receipts will be issued).  There is a place to mention the name of the person in whose honor the donation is being made – in this case, Guy Bar-Yosef.  Tests take a few weeks to process.  Therefore, 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.

Guy is a licensed tour guide in Israel, and works in Jewish education.  He has led many Jewish high school groups and Birthright groups, as his way of interacting with youth is special, and highly valued by various sponsors of  Jewish tour groups.  He is married, and the father of 5 young children who need him.  He deserves any help, and we are seeking every possible avenue.

Thanks so very much.   Arlene and Ami Bar-Yosef, Moshav Sittrya, Israel

Questions can be addressed to me at: arleneby@yahoo.com


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