In 2004, Eric lost his friend to breast cancer, and that loss spurred his need to do something to help others. So, he joined the Gift of Life Bone Marrow Registry. He attended a drive in Toronto in 2004 and signed up to become a volunteer donor.
When 21 year old Jared was encouraged by his parents to register as a bone marrow donor in July of 2011 while at Camp Young Judaea , he didn’t think he would be called so quickly. Just one short year after joining the registry, Jared found himself donating peripheral blood stem cells to a patient diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
Tara volunteered as a potential donor when she was helping a friend run a recruitment drive for Swab-a-Cheek Save-a-Life, an organization working under the umbrella of Gift of Life whose mission is to increase participation of people from ethnic and racial minorities such as African, Asian, and Native Americans as volunteer donors. These groups are currently underrepresented in the worldwide donor registry.
I signed up for the Gift of Life registry in June 2009 while in Tel Aviv on a Birthright Israel Trip. It was the final day of the trip and I happened to walk past a donor drive and signed up on the spot. I decided to volunteer as a potential donor in honor of a friend from college that passed away after his courageous battle against Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML.) I felt utterly helpless despite my desire to do something after his passing. But what could I do? When I saw the Gift of Life donor recruitment table, one option clearly presented itself.
At the age of 21, Ari decided to swab his cheek at a donor drive that was held at Yeshiva University in August 2001. Seven years later, while pursuing his medical degree from the University of Maryland, Ari received the call that only few people receive. Feelings of excitement and shock lined Ari’s face: “When I got the call, it was like winning the lottery. The odds are so small and to be given an opportunity to save someone’s life made me feel so fortunate.”
Towards the beginning of Julie’s freshman year at college, she came across a Gift of Life donor drive being held on campus and signed up immediately. She explained, “I come from a family where most everyone is an organ donor - I guess the decision was inherited.” While she hoped she would match a patient who needed a transplant, she didn’t think it was likely. Not only did she match, but it happened rather quickly. Julie got the call from Gift of Life just nine months later!
“Act as if everything depends on you, Pray as if everything depends on G-d.” This quote summarizes my belief in Judaism, a higher power, and self-efficacy. I grew up donating blood every 2 months with my Dad, so it was a natural fit for me to agree to a cheek swab at a Gift of Life Donor registry at Temple Kol Ami Emmanuel in Plantation, Florida in 2002.
Two years ago this November, Aalap was sitting at the Starbuck’s on Butler University’s campus doing homework. The pharmacy student decided to swab his cheek with other classmates and join Gift of Life Bone Marrow Foundation’s international registry. Like many who swab their cheeks, Aalap did not think that one day he would be called upon to save a life.
21 year old Alex knows how quickly life can change. In September 2011, his father’s life was tragically cut short at the age of 54. In a unique twist of fate, Alex found himself donating to save the life of a man almost the same age as his father, one week before the one year anniversary of his father’s death.
This is exactly how I felt every night while walking my old black lab in the stunning moonlight. I'd let a few tears escape, look up at the stars, and plead for some kind of answer to what I am here in this life to do. There had to be more! I knew I desperately wanted to help people, to do Tikkun Olam every chance I got, but how? Where to begin?
Over a decade ago, Marshal Davis, now 31, was a fencer and an aspiring lawyer attending the University of Florida. Two years ago he received a life-altering call from Gift of Life: he was a match for a 5 year old boy.
Monthly newsletter keeping our supporters in the know
Providing you with information and resources for news stories about marrow donation and Gift of Life’s activities.
Website Design by Blue Fountain Media