Founded in 1979, Ezer Mizion is Israel’s biggest provider of health support services, one of the largest volunteer organisations in the country, and the host of the International Jewish Bone Marrow Registry. The charity boasts more than 16,000 volunteers and has an annual budget of $100,000,000. Ezer Mizion is committed to helping everyone who needs them, with a special focus on ill, elderly, disabled, and underprivileged people.
To facilitate this commitment, Ezer Mizion operates a diverse range of health support services from 58 centres in 31 Israeli cities. They include: food distribution, ambulances and patient transportation, mental health care, medical equipment loans, cancer support, summer camps, medical advocacy, hospital volunteers, as well as the Oranit guest house campus which provides much-needed respite for cancer patients and their families. Ezer Mizion’s combined programmes impact more than 670,000 people every year!
As well as the above services, Ezer Mizion established and runs the world’s largest Jewish bone marrow registry. Somewhere in the world, someone is diagnosed with blood cancer every four minutes. Blood cancers are notoriously difficult to treat, and for many cancer patients, a bone marrow transplant rich in life-giving stem cells is their last chance at recovery.
A genetically matched donor is vital for the procedure’s success, which means that anyone in need of a bone marrow transplant is statistically more likely to find a match from within their own ethnic group. Jewish people are more likely to be matched with other Jews, but the tiny size of the Jewish population means that they are dramatically under-represented in general population donor registries. That’s why the International Jewish Registry is so important, and why Ezer Mizion’s work is literally lifesaving!
Ezer Mizion’s primary goal is to increase the number of participants in the registry, ensuring a perfect match for everyone who needs one. To date, the registry has grown to include 885,264 potential donors, of which an incredible 470,038 are IDF recruits! In 2005, Ezer Mizion and the IDF signed a landmark agreement which offers bone marrow swab testing for new army recruits as a standard part of their induction. Young, healthy soldiers are a preferred donor group – in fact, 85% of all transplants enabled by Ezer Mizion in 2017 were from people who joined the registry as part of their IDF induction. The Ezer Mizion – IDF agreement is truly a match made in heaven.
Since its inception in 1996, Ezer Mizion’s registry has made 11,930 complete donor-patient matches and facilitated 2,691 marrow stem cell transplants. It has handled thousands of requests from transplant centres in 48 countries across the globe and has grown to be the 6th largest registry in the world. It is an accredited member of the National Marrow Donor Program, Bone Marrow Donors Worldwide, and the World Marrow Donors Association.
Ezer Mizion and the Bone Marrow Donor Registry strive to expand the registry, and to continue offering unparalleled resources and support to people across Israel and the world. All proceeds from our event will help fund further testing and research, and allow Ezer Mizion to keep giving hope and life to people fighting life’s hardest battles.