In the month of March, 2004

April 22, 2014 by Henry Benjamin
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In March 2004, Michael Striegold tested for the Gift of Life, an organisation he had never heard, at a community function in San Francisco. In the same month 12,000 kms across the Pacific, Michael Faust is Sydney learned that he had an aggressive form of leukaemia for which was their no cure. The only hope for survival was finding a matching stem cell donor. Streigold gave Faust the Gift of Life and is in Sydney to attend Faust’s wedding.


Shula Endrey-Walder, Fred Swaab, Michael Faust, Jackie Antico and Michael Striegold

Shula Endrey-Walder, Fred Swaab, Michael Faust, Jackie Antico and Michael Striegold         Photos: henry Benjamin

38-yr-old Striegold, who works in real estate in Houston, Texas, flew to Sydney to be present at 33-yr-old Michael Faust’s wedding to Jackie Antico this week.

J-Wire joined Gift of Life co-ordinator Shula Endrey-Walder and GOL recipient Fred Swaab as Michael Faust and Jackie welcomed Michael Streigold on his first visit to Sydney.

Michael Faust and Michael Striegold   Photo: Henry Benjamin

Michael Faust and Michael Striegold Photo: Henry Benjamin

The two have met in America on a regular basis.

Bone marrow and stem cell transplant donors are more than likely to be found within the same ethnic group, but matches are rare. The Gift of Life maintains a world-wide database and this is what saved Michael Faust’s life.

A superbly fit young man who had just qualified from Arizona State University as a tennis coach was stricken with a seemingly fatal disease on his return to Sydney.

J-Wire videoed the interview.

As you watch it, spare a thought for for a four-year old Jewish Australian child, a 40-year-old woman in Israel, a 23-yr-old woman and 60-yr-old man in the USA all facing certain death unless a donor can be found.

The Gift of Life’s Shula Endrey-Walder told J-Wire:  “Michael & Fred would not be alive if Jay Feinberg in the USA would have not inspired the  concept of the Gift of Life.  His transplant took place 15 years ago and he meets up with his stem cell donor Becky every year in NY. Jay was diagnosed with leukaemia 21 years ago and his parents paid for & helped enrol 69 500 potential donors.

Only 1 in 3 Leukaemia patients find a match within their own family so 75% need an unrelated match which can only be found within one’s ethnic group.That means that the 4 Jewish Leukaemia patients in need right now of a matching stem cell transplant can only find it within theJewish community worldwide.The likelihood of this is 1 in 10 000  ! “

On May 5, the Gift of Life will be taking samples from those wishing to join the register at the Yom Ha’azmaut function at the Alison Rd entrance to Randwick Racecourse between 4 and 7.

No matter where you live in Australia or New Zealand, click on to learn where you can give a sample…..and perhaps ultimately the Gift of Life.


This week, under a chupah on the banks of Sydney Harbour, Michael Faust will marry his Jackie watched by the man who gave him the Gift of Life.




One Response to “In the month of March, 2004”
  1. Lynne Newington says:

    Henry how lovely and what better way to promote The Gift of Life.
    I will forward your conribution to a site in New Zealand I subscribe too….to share.

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