YU A Cappella Group Raises More than $80,000 for Bone Marrow Registry
Last week’s eight days of Hanukkah celebrated an ancient Hebrew miracle.
A modern day miracle happened during this Hanukkah festival.
A music group and their YouTube video might save the life of a two-year-old boy.
The Maccabeats, a Jewish a cappella group from Yeshiva University, are named for the Maccabees, the ancient Jewish warriors who fought the Greek army.
The Maccabeats are fighting for 2-year-old Ezra Fineman among others.
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Hanukkah is the miracle of a tiny oil lamp that burned for eight days.
It was these eight men whose YouTube video “Miracle” brought in donations over Hanukkah last week to find a bone marrow donor for Ezra.
The group’s Hanukkah video last year went viral with seven million YouTube hits.
“We thought this year, when we released a video for Hanukkah, why not also do something positive in keeping with the spirit of the holiday and perhaps raise money to save people’s lives,” said Immanuel Shalev, the Maccabeats.
One of them might be Ezra’s.
He was born with a weak immune system.
Only a bone marrow transplant would give him hope of a future.
But no donor registry around the world had a marrow match.
“It was devastating. Because you know that if he has a bone marrow transplant and it’s successful, it would be a cure for him,” said Robin Fineman, Ezra’s mother.
Testing for the cure means getting DNA.
Getting DNA is pretty simple, it’s just a cheek swab, but processing it costs $54.
One registry, Gift of Life, had 15,000 of these samples, but ran out of money to analyze them.
“So the key is to get as much fundraising done as we can to get the 15,000 samples that are now on the waitlist to the laboratory,” said Jay Feinberg, Founder and Executive Director of the Gift of Life Bone Marrow Foundation.
When the Maccabeats heard about the problem, they recorded “Miracle,” had it on YouTube overnight, and received $80,000 in donations during Hanukkah.
“It’s unbelievable, we rarely see such tremendous fundraising activities happen in such a short span of time,” Feinberg said.
Ezra’s match could be in those 15,000 samples, and you don’t have to be Jewish to be tested.
A post on the Maccabeats YouTube site said: “I’m Muslim and I love this a cappella. However, I was in a bad mood, this video made my day. I hope you guy realize that you are changing lives. I know you changed mine. Let’s hope they’ll change Ezra’s too.”
For more information please visit: www.makesomemiracles.com
This story first appeared on ABC 7.