Two-year-old Ezra Freeman has a rare primary immune deficiency called Hyper IgM Syndrome. Only with a bone marrow transplant will his life be saved. Thus far, neither doctors, hospitals nor the Gift of Life Bone Marrow Foundation have been unable to find a donor match. Time is critical.
On Sunday, March 4 from 9 am-2 pm, Har Shalom will hold a donor recruitment drive to register potential bone marrow donors on behalf of Gift of Life Bone Marrow Foundation. A simple swab from the inside the cheek is all that is needed to determine a match for Ezra or another person in need.
Thirteen-year old Potomac resident, Rebecca Holstein is chairing the bone marrow drive. “I wanted to do something to make a difference for my bat mitzvah project. My mom found the ‘Gift of Life’ organization. Because my grandmother passed away from leukemia, I wanted to pay tribute to her and help others with leukemia, lymphoma, other cancers and genetic diseases find a bone marrow match,” Rebecca said.
That match has not yet been found for Ezra. Since tissue type is inherited, Ezra’s best chance for finding a genetic match lies with donors of Hungarian and Polish descent but 18 to 60-year-old volunteers of all ethnic backgrounds are encouraged to join the registry. The procedure for removing a donor’s blood marrow is not difficult, time-consuming or painful.
Holstein is hoping that more than 100 donors come to Har Shalom next Sunday. “This is so important, and we have been working hard to get the word out,” states Holstein.” People who have life-threatening blood-related diseases need to find the perfect match.”
To save his life, or that of another person, stop by Har Shalom, located at 11510 Falls Road in Potomac next weekend.
For more information about Gift of Life Bone Marrow Foundation, visit www.giftoflife.org or call 1-800-9MARROW.