Life-saving drive starts for bone marrow donor

By Anna Sheinman, December 17, 2012
Sharon Berger

Sharon Berger

A Harrow woman who set up a patient support group for the stem cell syndrome she suffers from is in desperate need of a donor for a bone marrow transplant.

Sharon Berger established the MDS UK Patient Support group after being diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), a malfunction of the bone marrow in producing blood cells.

“I have had no immune system for six years,” she said. Since her diagnosis, antibiotics have been keeping infections at bay but her latest blood test results show she now urgently needs a transplant.

“No drugs can slow it down now,” Mrs Berger said. “I am going into isolation in hospital as soon as a bed becomes available for four weeks of intensive chemotherapy.
“After that, I simply must have a transplant.”

Mrs Berger’s daughter-in-law is Finchley Reform Synagogue rabbi Miriam Berger, who said: “The community will do anything and everything.”

Limmud has confirmed that a drive for bone marrow donors will be held at the conference if the Anthony Nolan trust can provide the necessary staff.

“My match is most likely to be an Ashkenazi Jew, with heritage from Russia and Lithuania,” Mrs Berger explained. Donors must be aged between 16 and 30.

A Twitter campaign has been launched by her children Jonni and Caroline, using the hashtag #Spit4Mum, referring to the way donors are tested.

Last updated: 10:45am, December 17 2012