A Lakewood father of six who donated life-saving bone marrow met the beneficiary of his deed at an event last Thursday. “I have to tell you,” said Robyn Malek, Gift of Life Marrow Registry Director of Development, in comments to The Jewish Press. “I have seen so many donor recipient meetings…this one was one of the most powerful.”
Donor Binyomin Gewirtz, 40, and recipient Scott Novorr, 48 of Overland Park, Kansas, embraced onstage at Gift of Life’s 5th Annual Celebrating Life New York City event at the Edison Hotel in Manhattan. “I don’t remember having such a feeling of happiness and satisfaction since my wedding day,” Gewirtz told The Jewish Press.
To date, over 363,000 people have joined Gift of Life’s Marrow Registry to donate blood stem cells or bone marrow, and the organization has facilitated over 17,000 matches.
Fifteen years ago, before Gewirtz was married, he and other yeshiva bachurim took a Q-tip cheek swab, used to register participants in the life saving program. Since then, he has been matched with two recipients and donated twice.
Gewirtz, who is a part-time student at Beth Medrash Govoha, said that when he was called the second time, his immediate reaction was, “Okay I’ve done it. I did it last time and I’m ready to do it again.”
Gewirtz said, “Every person has the ability to effect the world [and] each person is a world of their own.”
Gewirtz said he feels like a celebrity wherever he goes. “It’s not about me. It’s about the generosity of a life-saving act that people are cheering on,” he said, “People who have been called to donate reach out me all the time to inquire about my experience as a donor.”