Sydney Man gives Gift of Life

February 19, 2013 by J-Wire
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A Sydney man who donated a spoonful of blood to the Gift Of Life organisation six years ago has been matched to a patient dying from leukemia…and a transplant of his bone marrow will soon be on its way in an attempt to save the patient’s life.

Shula Endrey-Walder

Shula Endrey-Walder

The Gift of Life’s Shula Endrey-Walder told J-Wire: “This is wonderful heart-warming news. We know that this is happening but we do not know where the patient is located but we do know the donor is Jewish so it is 99.5% certain the recipient is too.”

Endrey-Walder explained that the World Wide Marrow Donor Association maintains strict guidelines which preclude naming either the donor or the recipient for 12 months.

An urgent testing session is being held in Melbourne on Tuesday 26 February in Caulfield to help save the lives of several Jewish Leukaemia patients aged 1, 6, 15 and 61 who may die unless an unrelated match is found for them. Sadly, a 5 year old Jewish boy in Melbourne has just passed away as a match was not found for him in time.

1 in 3 Leukaemia patients in need of a stem cell transfusion to save their lives will find a match within their own family. The other 70% need to search the unrelated worldwide stem cell and bone marrow donor registries.  However, the Jewish community is under represented on the worldwide registries including Australia and so the likelihood of finding a match is 1 in 10 000 ! What would you do if your relative was in need of a life saving transfusion ?

There are at the moment in the Jewish community about 15 000 folks between the ages of 18 and 45 who have not yet been tested and enrolled onto the Australian Stem Cell and Bone Marrow Donor Registry.

The Melbourne Jewish community is invited to a testing session on Tuesday 26 February at the Caulfield Blood Donor Centre on Hawthorn Road between 4-7.30pm by appointment [ Yehuda 0425 724 314  or shula@gifoflifeaustralia.org.au ]

A 2 teaspoon blood sample and completing the Red Cross medical questionnaire and ABMDR forms is all that is required to register as a potential donor who needs to be healthy, 18-45 years, 50+kg and neither pregnant nor breastfeeding.

Unless 30 donors offer to be tested at Caulfield on Tuesday, the session will have to cancelled and those 3 who already made their appointment will be asked to join the registry by making a blood donation instead of giving a small sample only for tissue typing.

The session on 26 February may not suit everyone, however, anyone can at any time join the ABMDR at the same time as donating blood at any convenient Red Cross Blood Services Centre call 13 14 95 or www.donateblood.com.au

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