New potential donors…including popular rabbi

May 9, 2017 by J-Wire
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25 people celebrating Yom Ha’atzmaut at Sydney’s Moriah campus become potential blood stem cell donors to save the lives of Jews diagnosed with blood cancer.

Rabbi Yossi Friedman donates a blood sample watched by his son and Shula Endrey-Walder

Among the donors was Maroubra Synagogue’s Rabbi Yossi Friedman.

Modern medicine today allows hope and a cure for life threatening disorders such as leukaemia, lymphoma and myelofibrosis by exchanging the sick cancer cell with healthy genetically matching ones.

Only 1 in 3 blood cancer patients find a match in their own family and the other 70% must find a match within their own community who are tested on the unrelated worldwide stem cell and bone marrow donor registries.Gift of Life Australia co-founded by Shula Endrey-Walder 25 years ago tests folks from ethnic minority groups and enroll them on to the Australian Registry, part of the Worldwide Donor Registry.

Right now there are eight Jewish blood cancer patients including 2 babies in need of an unrelated blood stem cell donor, however the Jewish community is underrepresented on the world-wide Registries. All it takes for healthy 18-45 year olds to be tested is to complete the Red Cross medical questionnaire and give a two teaspoon blood sample, or whilst donating blood asking to join the Registry. Mums-to-be can donate their umbilical cord blood which is ordinarily thrown out, as it could save a life

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