Congregation Ansche Chesed
A long-time AC member (who wishes to remain anonymous) has been living with rapidly advancing leukemia. Now, doctors urgently recommend a stem cell transplant.
We need your help! We are challenging every Ansche Chesed member to recruit at least one potential donor for the Gift of Life Marrow Registry. We pray our efforts might save the life of our dear friend right now, and if not, they are likely to save someone, somewhere, sometime.
For our friend, only one possible stem cell donor has been identified among those already in the registry. That is a result far below what would be expected and provides no margin for error. Let’s work to ensure that our member has additional options should the one potential match, upon further testing, not prove suitable.
What can we do? Ansche Chesed members are particularly well placed to enlist potential marrow donors who fit the “ideal donor” profile: a person between 18 and 35 years old, of Eastern European ancestry. Click here to learn why age matters and click here to learn why ethnic characteristics are relevant. (Note, some evidence suggests that male donors lead to better outcomes, but the evidence is not definitive.) We all know lots of people who match that profile: think of your children and grandchildren, nieces and nephews, cousins, friends, neighbors, students and more.
We challenge you to enlist at least one of them in the donor registry at www.giftoflife.org/dc/anschechesed.
For the potential donor, begin by clicking on the blue "Get Swabbed" button at the top of the page.
Clicking through on this link triggers a Swab Kit being sent to the potential donor. The donor swabs his cheek by following the simple instructions provided, and then mails the kit back to the Registry in the self-addressed paid envelope. The sample cells provided are then analyzed and typed according to ten factors. If all ten are a match with the Member’s, further testing is done to “type” another fifteen factors. If the match is deemed sufficiently close, the actual donation of stem cells is done simply by providing blood. No surgery is involved and there are no medical risks.
Saving a life by being a donor is a tremendously rewarding experience. AC member Asaf Kastner did just that 25 years ago. He writes:
In 1996, there was a bone marrow registry drive for someone who was in desperate need in my community. Registering was easy, fast, and non-invasive. A quick swab. It was not even a question in my mind -- someone needed help and it would only take a few minutes to register.
It turned out, I was a match for someone else, not the person in the community. But that didn't matter to me. Someone needed help, I was a match, and so I went through the process and donated bone marrow in 1997.
Please reach out if you have questions about bone marrow donations. Registering is so simple but it’s important to know that matches are found, and donating has the possibility of saving someone’s life.
To read other stories of Gift of Life donors who have saved lives, click here.
We are challenging every member of Ansche Chesed to:
- Recruit one person between ages 18 and 35 to register with the Gift of Life Marrow Registry – You, your child or grandchild; a niece or nephew; a neighbor.
- Share a link to this cite and make sure that person registers – by clicking on the blue "Get Swabbed" button.
- Confirm that he has actually used the Swab Kit and provided the cheek swab. Take nothing for granted – explain what a mailbox is if you think you have to!
All potential donors may join the Registry upon turning 18. Donors over the age of 35 can join the Registry but we ask that anyone over 35 donate $60 to offset the lab fees – Click here to learn why.
Certain medical conditions may mean someone is not able to join the Registry or to donate – Click here to check the Conditions List. A health history questionnaire is part of the registration process and will aid in identifying any disqualifying issues.
Sponsor a Swab Kit. Click on the orange "Give to My Circle" button. Lab processing of every kit costs $60. Your contribution will help add new donors to the Registry, who may be a match for our Member or another patient.
Spread the word. Use the social media links to the right to share Gift of Life's story in your Facebook or Twitter accounts, and please share on your TikTok and Instagram, as well. The more people who order a Swab Kit and join the Registry, the faster we will find a donor.