Monday, July 15, 2013

Flashback: I meet my Donor in 2009

This page, recently sent to me by a CLL friend  who lives across the country, is from the 2009 Annual Report of Ezer Mizion, a not for profit charity that among other good works, helped me find my bone marrow donor and a new friend in Israel. Ezer Mizion has a huge international bone marrow donor registry. All recruits  of the Israeli Defense Force are screened. in 2009 they found 642 matches and 138 transplants were done around the world.

We raised a lot of money that day in Manhattan. Yaakov and I have stayed in touch. We visited in Israel and my son, Will just met with Yaakov in Jerusalem last month.

I later spoke to the rabbi in Leeds, England that had lead the campaign to raise the money that ended up screening Yaakov and hundreds of others. They failed to find a donor for their congregant in need, but they found my donor. We never know the results of any kind act. We never know whom we might touch when we reach out our hand to give. Or to take.

And even though I never engrafted and it was not the cure that I hoped for, it did buy me enough time to make it to my present life changing clinical trial.

The months before my transplant was like crossing a minefield blindfolded, the months after, like tramping through a quagmire with no sleep, but all that is in the past, and today and the future are bright.

I am grateful for the friends that I have met along the way and especially to the selfless contribution of my blood brother, Yaakov.

As to my comments below, I am happy to report that I have not only met my first two grandchildren, I now plan to live long enough to meet their children.

By the way I got back the rest of my lab and even my IGG level after 6 weeks with no refilling of the tank, was still in the normal range, albeit barely. Looks like the 6 weeks between infusions is about as far as I dare stretch. 

Vitamin D3 level was high normal, just where I want it. I need to take 10,000 a day to get it there. Zinc level wasn't done. Lab error. Not worried.

Here's the article.

YAAKOV MEETS BRIAN

Cancer survivor, Dr. Brian Koffman (56) of California, spoke eloquently at an Ezer Mizion event of his bout with cancer. "It's great to be here," he began. "In fact for me it is great to be anywhere.
“I had been diagnosed with a particularly virulent form of cancer with a short leash and a tight grip. All my knowledge as a medical doctor offered no protection or control over the disease. It was like being on a roller coaster ride without the safety bar. My daughter recently got married. Would I be around to see my grandkids?
"Because of Ezer Mizion's efforts, I am alive. One thing I learned at the school that no one wants to attend: You need the right team. I was stretching out my arm as far as I could and Ezer Mizion reached across the ocean and gripped my fingertips and pulled me to safety."
Unknown to Dr. Koffman, waiting in the audience was Yaakov Fabian (24), the donor whose bone marrow donation had saved his life. An emotional meeting ensued between the two ‘blood brothers' and their spouses, who remained at each other's side for the rest of the evening.
This lifesaving transplant was made possible thanks to the generous sponsorship of the Leeds Jewry Donor Pool at Ezer Mizion’s Registry.


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2 Comments:

Anonymous Jcleri said...

Great Post and great news and your blood work. May today bring you many blessigns!

Judy

July 16, 2013 at 7:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

An informative and touching post.

July 18, 2013 at 4:31 AM  

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