Bone marrow group wants more screen tests

By James Martin, June 4, 2009

A year-long global fundraising campaign supporting Jews needing bone marrow matches has reached London.

Volunteers from the British Friends of Ezer Mizion, which organises bone marrow testing in Israel, were outside north-west London synagogues and shops seeking donations towards a £2.5 million UK target.

Simon Maurer of the British Friends says the campaign will enable “many more Israelis to go for a bone marrow test, which will improve the chances of Jews worldwide finding a match”.

Since February, £120,000 has been raised in Glasgow, Leeds, Manchester and Liverpool. Mr Maurer hopes many more people will make a £25 donation, equivalent to the cost of a test.

“As Israel has the widest mix of Jewish blood, Jews elsewhere have a greater chance of finding a match there.”

The charity has overseen 400,000 tests for bone marrow matches since its establishment in 1989. It estimates the chances of finding a match are between 1-in-10,000 and 1-in-30,000. Over the last six months, however, 55,000 tests in Israel have identified eight matches.

The British Friends also raised £11,000 to enable 30 Israeli children with cancer to enjoy a week in London, including an entertainment night at Hasmonean Girls’ School in Hendon for an audience of 300.

Last updated: 10:36am, June 4 2009