Founder of Gift of Life passes

January 30, 2019 by Roz Tarszisz
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After battling illness for several years, founder of The Gift of Life in Australia Shula Endrey-Walder has passed away in Sydney.

Shula Endrey-Walder

She was well known and highly regarded for her work on behalf of others.  Shula was tireless in her efforts to get as many as possible to sign up to be tested as suitable donors to the Australian Bone Marrow Donor Registry.

In 1994, Endrey-Walder set up a clinic on Sunday mornings at the Wolper Jewish Hospital to take blood samples from people willing to join the Registry, raising awareness about the issue and facilitating the enrolment of over 5,000 Jewish donors.

Although the tests are conducted in Australia, those searching for suitable donors include Jews from around the globe.

The Gift of Life Australia’s mission is to raise awareness about the lifesaving potential of Stem Cell, Bone Marrow and Cord Blood transplants and to recruit potential donors, particularly those from ethnic minorities, to the Australian Bone Marrow Donor Registry.

She also worked as a volunteer with the Tay-Sachs Disease Community Genetics Screening Program. The program screens children and young adults’ carrier status for the Tay-Sachs Disease, a hereditary disorder of lipid metabolism which occurs most frequently in individuals of Eastern European Jewish ancestry and those with French-Canadian ancestry.

Always modest and upbeat, she told J-Wire that being awarded an OAM in 2010 was a “wonderful moment” and she felt deeply honoured.

The CEO of Gift of Life in Florida told J-Wire: “Shula was a woman of great valor. She came to my aid when I was searching for a bone marrow donor, and she continued her efforts with great passion through Gift of Life Australia. We at Gift of Life plan to perpetuate Shula’s memory through an internship in her name. More to come on that in a few weeks as we work to set it up.
Anyone who wishes to assist can reach me at info@giftoflife.org “

Wolper Jewish Hospital Community Partnership Officer Ruth Guth told J-Wire: “Wolper was extremely fortunate to enjoy a long ongoing relationship with Shula through her voluntary work with Gift of Life Australia, a life-saving organisation she founded.”

Shula Endrey-Walder worked closely from the beginning of the project with Rabbi Dr Dovid Slavin. He  told J-Wire: “Shula was kind, generous, loving and understanding. She had an incredibly wide circle of friends with each one feeling they were their her very best friend. She cared about people and their needs. She loved her family and her community and gave to them freely. She was never judgmental and when she criticised anything she did it is a beautiful way. She respected other people’s achievements.”

Comments

2 Responses to “Founder of Gift of Life passes”
  1. Joe H. Baldelomar says:

    Sad loss; she was an amazing human being! May her work continue to save lives and make a difference in our communities.

  2. Rabbi Yosef Feldman says:

    A really sad loss
    She was such a special person!
    Hashem should give the strength to her family and friends to endure, and cherish the great memories of her

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