My brother-in-law, Matthew Fenster, a 35-year-old father of four young children, was diagnosed with Acute Myelogenous Leukemia in April and is in urgent need of a bone marrow transplant to survive.
If you are between the ages of 18 and 60 and in good health, you could be the miracle donor match for Matt — or for someone else.
Testing is fast and painless: You do it yourself by swabbing the inside of your cheek; no blood is drawn. The swabs are sent to the Gift of Life Bone Marrow Foundation for testing. Gift of Life is an affiliate of the National Marrow Donor Program and the worldwide donor registry.
Matt’s best chance of a match is someone who shares his Eastern European Jewish ancestry, but donors of all backgrounds are encouraged to join the registry. The more donors tested, the better the odds of finding a suitable match for Matt and others. Even if you cannot donate blood, you may be able to donate bone marrow; 80 percent of bone marrow donations are performed through a process similar to giving blood.
To order a testing kit to use at home or to make a contribution to defray the costs of processing donor kits and for more information about how you can help Matt, visit www.mattfenstercircle.org.
There will be a bone marrow drive at the Salute to Israel Parade on Sunday, May 23; if you are interested in volunteering and for more information, please contact email@example.com.
The Talmud says if you save a life, it is as if you are saving the entire world. In this instance, to save Matt’s life is certainly to save a world for Matt, his family, and his friends who love him.