Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.
Fair Lawn, New Jersey’s Ezra Fineman is looking for his perfect match. He is smart, has brown hair, and a great smile. Ezra is also two years old and is looking for a bone marrow donor. After contracting a severe case of pneumonia at five months old, Ezra was diagnosed with Hyper IgM syndrome, a rare primary immune deficiency. Affecting only one in every one-two million people, the syndrome keeps his body from producing antibodies, leaving him with a heightened susceptibility to infection. While Ezra still runs and plays like other toddlers, he must get IV Immunoglobulin treatments every few weeks, take prophylactic antibiotics, and use extra caution against germs in public places. Despite these treatments and precautions, serious complications still arise. The only cure for Ezra is a stem cell or bone marrow transplant.
Robin and Evan Fineman, Ezra’s parents, have been working with the bone marrow registry, Gift of Life, since October 2010 in their quest to find Ezra’s bone marrow donor. Gift of Life, headquartered in Boca Raton, Florida, is headed by founder Jay Feinberg, who recently celebrated the 16th anniversary of his own bone marrow transplant. Gift of Life focuses on patients in the Jewish community, as it would be more likely for them to find a match within the Jewish population. The search for Ezra’s match has gone global, with donor drives being held across the United States from Phoenix to New York, as well as Bialystok and Warsaw in Poland. The cost to process each potential donor’s sample, taken by a simple swab of the cheek, is $54. While each potential donor is encouraged to fund their own test, many people can’t afford to, and over 13,000 samples are still waiting to be tested due to lack of funding. While financial donations to Gift of Life are encouraged, the Finemans – who have raised over $100,000 for testing – are also trying to target their drives as much as possible to increase the chance of finding Ezra’s match.
Feinberg has personally been analyzing test results to see if they are on the right track. “Ezra’s DNA has an anomaly, a rare genetic crossover, that is making his search especially challenging,” says Feinberg. His antigens or markers are matching most closely with people of Eastern European descent, particularly those of Polish and Hungarian ancestry. “Robin has been working with a genealogist to discover Ezra’s ancestors’ cities of origin. The Holocaust has a huge impact until this very day on patients like Ezra. We are missing all of the bloodlines of people that would have been here today to donate,” explains Feinberg.
“It was amazing that over 200 people showed up for the drive in Bialystok,” Robin said. “With the language barrier, we weren’t even sure it was going to happen.” The Finemans, while still waiting for Ezra’s donor, are thrilled that nine potential donors for other patients have been found, and that one transplant has been performed so far through efforts on Ezra’s behalf.
Joining the bone marrow registry and donating is actually easier today than when Jay Feinberg was looking for his perfect match. For more information about having a drive in your area, contact Robin Fineman at Help4Ezra@gmail.com, or go to www.giftoflife.org/help4ezra, to order or sponsor a test kit. You can also visit Help4Ezra on Facebook. The actual donation procedure is much less invasive than it used to be.
Feinberg stresses the importance of all eligible participants joining the registry. “People ask, ‘what are the chances that I’ll be a match?’ but that can’t be further from the truth. They can be the one.” Feinberg should know, as 50,000 people were tested during his search for a donor. His perfect match was the 50,000th person to register at the very last drive to be held on his behalf.
About the Author:
If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.
Comments are closed.
This past summer was a powerful one for the Jewish people. I will always remember where I was on June 12th when I found out that Gilad, Eyal and Naftali were kidnapped. I will always remember the look on my sister’s face on June 30th when she told me that they were found. I will […]
Avromi often put other people’s interests before his own: he would not defend people whom he believed were guilty (even if they were willing to pay him a lot of money).
How can I help my wife learn to say “no,” and understand that her first priority must be her husband and family?
My eyes skimmed an article on page 1A. I was flabbergasted. I read the title again. Could it be? It had good news for the Miami Jewish community.
Students in early childhood, elementary, and middle school were treated to an array of hands-on projects to create sukkah decorations such as wind chimes, velvet posters, sand art, paper chains, and more.
Each student received a brachah and a handshake.
It is important for a therapist to focus on a person’s strengths as a way of overcoming his or her difficulties.
Sadly, there are mothers who, due to severe depression are unable or unwilling to prepare nourishing food for their children.
Michal had never been away from home. And now, she was going so far away, for so long – an entire year!
More often in recent years, people are gluten-intolerant or are choosing to eat a gluten-free diet. This may feel like a challenge to a hostess, but if you know in advance there are some simple ways to accommodate your guests’ special needs.
A Jewish educator anywhere in the world can now seek the accumulated knowledge available at the The Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration. With the introduction this spring of a degree that can be completed online, geography is no longer a bar to attendance in an Azrieli Master’s program.
Having twins used to be a novelty. Now, if you think that you are seeing double everywhere you go, it is not your imagination. The National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), under the auspices of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), published a study last month noting the sharp increase in twin births over the past three decades.
Deliberating over terminating a pregnancy is a struggle Rachel* never thought would face her. Life in Northern Israel with her husband and daughter was great until a business they invested in brought a huge financial loss and left them in debt.
Fair Lawn, New Jersey’s Ezra Fineman is looking for his perfect match. He is smart, has brown hair, and a great smile. Ezra is also two years old and is looking for a bone marrow donor. After contracting a severe case of pneumonia at five months old, Ezra was diagnosed with Hyper IgM syndrome, a rare primary immune deficiency. Affecting only one in every one-two million people, the syndrome keeps his body from producing antibodies, leaving him with a heightened susceptibility to infection.
Ohel is well known in the New York area for the foster care programming it has been providing for over 40 years, along with its mental health services to individuals and families, and its services to the developmentally disabled through its Bais Ezra programs. Ohel also provides substantial training to professionals, and workshops and seminars to the community at large.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/magazine/potpourri/looking-for-the-perfect-match/2011/08/17/
Scan this QR code to visit this page online: