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AEPi Fraternity Partners with Gift of Life!

Sep 13, 2004 by Gift of Life News

The Gift of Life Bone Marrow Foundation has recently partnered with Alpha Epsilon Pi Fraternity (AEPi) to raise awareness among students on college campuses throughout North America about the life-saving potential of bone marrow transplants. Students will have the opportunity to join Gift of Life's registry of volunteer donors and potentially save lives.

Gift of Life manages a database of over 75,000 volunteer donors recruited in Jewish communities throughout North America. Its goal is to improve the chances that Jewish patients needing transplants to survive a variety of life-threatening illnesses will find genetically matched donors. The need for Gift of Life's unique mission arose in part due to the Holocaust which severed bloodlines and made the search for matches for Jewish patients particularly difficult. The donor database is made available to any transplant center searching for a match for patients around the world. Since donors remain in the registry until their 61st birthday, recruiting young, healthy students is particularly desirable.

"We are very excited about this life-saving partnership with AEPi," said Jay Feinberg, Gift of Life's Executive Director, himself the recipient of a bone marrow transplant. "Working with philanthropically active, Jewish young men is an important step in building a high quality registry of young, healthy donors who are dedicated to saving lives."

AEPi is a Jewish fraternity whose purpose is to develop leadership for the future American Jewish community by providing opportunities for Jewish men to join an organization that is not specifically religious, but rather social and cultural in nature. This exciting new partnership between Gift of Life and AEPi was facilitated by Jonah Zinn, Lorber Director of Jewish Programming for AEPi. He learned about Gift of Life after reading an article in which Mr. Feinberg expressed interest partnering with Jewish organizations on campuses for a landmark recruitment effort during the 2004-2005 academic year.

Each year, 400 AEPi chapter members and alumni gather for a national convention. At this year's convention in Phoenix, the new partnership was announced and students had the chance to be tested to join Gift of Life's registry. According to Zinn, "Students from chapters on campuses across North America responded enthusiastically. As many as 25 AEPi chapters expressed interest in coordinating donor drives on their own campuses."

An integral part of the program will be education and empowerment. Students will work with Gift of Life to take leadership roles in setting up donor drives and develop marketing plans to recruit and educate fellow students. By putting the tools to run successful donor drives in the hands of students and allowing them to take ownership of the planning and implementation, Gift of Life will allow them to experience firsthand the thrill of planning and participating in an important activity for the greater good of their community.

Joining Gift of Life's Registry is simple, fast and painless, requiring only a cheek swab. No blood is drawn at donor drives. The program will begin on campuses in the fall semester of 2004. For more information, contact Edward Feinberg, Gift of Life Recruitment Coordinator at (561) 988-0100 (toll free: 1-800-9MARROW) or