Over 100 ‘potential life savers’ register at Sternberg Centre
Submitted to: Religious Groups 
Posted: February 27 2007

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February 27 2007 (Jewswire.com) - Over 100 people responded to Rabbi Miriam Bayfield’s call to ‘give the gift of life’ by attending a special donor recruitment clinic held at the Sternberg Centre last Sunday.

Finchley Reform Synagogue member, Sharon Berger, was diagnosed with MDS, a rare bone marrow disease towards the end of last year. To prevent leukaemia, the only treatment for MDS is a bone marrow transplant. FRS Rabbi, Miriam Bayfield, who is due to marry Mrs. Berger’s son, Jonni, later this year, worked with The Anthony Nolan Trust to organise the clinic to enable potential donors to be added to The Trust’s register.

Jonni Berger said: "I am so pleased that all the hard work by so many people has paid off. Breaking the 100 mark is a tribute to the ways in which word of mouth, synagogue sermons, friendship links, email and social networking can bring people together for such a good cause. We now have over 100 people who can potentially save someone’s life - what could be more of a mitzvah than that? We are contacting our wide network to host clinics at their own places of work with definite clinics happening on campus in Leeds, Birmingham and Manchester and many more to come. I want to give special thanks to my fiancée Rabbi Miriam Bayfield, my sister Caroline and of course the Anthony Nolan Trust for making this happen."

Lynsey Dickson of the Anthony Nolan Trust added: "Working in partnership with the Berger family, the Sternberg Centre and Finchley Reform Synagogue has proved to be a rewarding and exciting experience for all concerned and we hope that all people from the Jewish community who registered gained a real sense of empowerment doing something so worthwhile and giving hope to leukaemia patients. In donor recruitment we deal with many truly amazing patients, they inspire us to continue our work and encourage more people to join our register to offer the chance of life. Being able to reach a wide audience especially in terms of our vital target groups of males, young donors and BME donors is essential in order to continue our life-saving work, therefore we are grateful to all the people who helped to make this clinic a success."

For further details, please contact:

Andrea Newman, Public Relations

The Movement for Reform Judaism

Tel: 020 8349 5689

E-mail: pr@reformjudaism.org.uk

Website: www.reformjudaism.org.uk

Notes for Editors

The criteria for joining the register is very important, please publish

New donors must be aged between 18- 40yrs old, and in good health, weigh over 8 stone, not be severely overweight and be willing to donate stem cells to ANY patient they may ever match.

Key target groups: male donors, young donors and donors from all ethnic minority backgrounds. More donors are sought due to shortages from these vital groups.

Potential donor's wishing to contact The Anthony Nolan Trust - www.anthonynolan.org.uk or telephone The Trust direct on: 020 7 284 1234 or call 24hr donor hotline: 0901 8822234 (calls are charged at 25p per minute)

For more information on organising a donor recruitment clinic please contact Lynsey Dickson on 07917 627 951 or e-mail lynsey.dickson@anthonynolan.org.uk

ADDITIONAL INFO:

· Should a donor ever match to donate stem cells a short hospital stay is required and the stem cells can be donated in two ways. Either direct from the bone marrow via the pelvis under a general anaesthetic (cells will regenerate in the body within 21 days) or after a series of injections to increase stem cell production, the extra cells are withdrawn from veins in the arms (similar to platelet donation). Donors have the choice of donation method and all donations take place in London. All donors’ loss of earnings and travel costs are covered and donors have a full medical prior to donating.

· MDS is a genetic blood disorder where the bone marrow does not produce enough healthy white blood cells and therefore the body’s immune system cannot fight off infections.

· Bone marrow, found in the centre of all large bones, is the ‘factory’ where new blood cells are made. Without it our bodies would be unable to produce the white cells needed to fight infection or the red cells needed to carry oxygen and remove waste products from organs and tissues. Absence of healthy bone marrow also prevents the production of platelets, which help blood to clot and stop bleeding.

· Matching is performed on tissue type and this is an inherited characteristic passed on from parents to children so ethnic origin is vital when looking for matches. We are more likely to find a match for a patient from a donor of a similar ethnic origin.

· Every 21 minutes someone in the UK is diagnosed with a potentially life threatening disorder, like Leukaemia or aplastic anaemia where often the only chance of a full cure is to have a bone marrow transplant. Fewer than 30% of these patients will find a family member with compatible blood stem cells to donate. For the rest, an unrelated donor is the only chance.

· More information about the Karen Morris Memorial Trust is available at www.kmmt.org.uk

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    reformjudaism.org.uk

    Contact Information:
    Andrea Newman
    The Movement for Reform Judaism
    +44 (0)20 8349 5689  

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