Hundreds of Students Line Up to Give the Gift of Life at Campus Bone Marrow Drive

Dec 11, 2007 — A recent bone marrow drive held by the Yeshiva University Student Medical Ethics Society was so successful that on its first day, the station on the Wilf Campus had to close early, surpassing its total two-day target of 75 students. Having run out of the necessary materials to continue, the organizers ordered more kits to be shipped overnight so that the crucial work could continue the next day on the Beren Campus.

The drive, presented by the Center for the Jewish Future in conjunction with the Gift of Life Bone Marrow Foundation on Nov. 28-29, registered an astounding 381 people on both campuses.

“Being a bone marrow or stem cell donor affords a privilege at the highest level by literally giving life to a desperate person with only a single morning or afternoon’s investment of time,” Edward Burns, MD, executive dean and professor of pathology and medicine (hematology) at YU’s Albert Einstein College of Medicine, said.

Yeshiva College junior Avi Amsalem, a donor in August 2007, is one such example. He was so moved by his experience that he took the lead in organizing the YU drive.

“Being matched up with someone is a tremendous privilege,” said Amsalem. “I wanted to provide others with a chance at this incredible opportunity.”

Amsalem credits the overwhelming turnout of students to the energy and dedication of the Medical Ethics Society team, who worked tirelessly to promote the drive. One of the volunteers even brought out a swabbing kit to a security guard who requested to register.

The hard work that went into registering the possible donors will be followed by a complicated screening procedure to find a match before the donation process can begin. Yet as Robby Charnoff, a Yeshiva College junior who registered at the drive, said, “When there’s a chance to save a life, what can be more important?”

Amsalem also pointed out that, “I don’t think it is a coincidence that the drive evoked such a remarkable response from the student body, given that a sense of moral and social responsibility is something that is commonly stressed here on the Yeshiva University campus.”

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