In February 2016, Majic 100 radio host and Public Announcer for the Ottawa Senators, Stu Schwartz “Stuntman Stu” was devastated when he was diagnosed with leukemia. The fear, however, set in when he was told that he needed to find a bone-marrow donor within three short months. Despite springing into action immediately and appealing for donors locally and nationally, no match was found. With time quickly running out for Stu and his family, the hospital that was treating him contacted Ezer Mizion, a non-profit organization that has created the largest international Jewish bone marrow registry in the world. Within days, the match that would save Stu’s life was finally found.
Not all bone marrow recipients get the chance to thank their donors. Stu, however, was an exception. In March 2018, now cancer-free, Stu came face to face with David Levi, 50, with whom he now shares DNA. Arranged by Ezer Mizion, the meeting between Stu and David was an emotional one. Immediately sharing a tearful embrace when David and his family landed in Ottawa from Israel, it became clear what the act of giving and receiving bone marrow meant to these two men. While Stu tearfully thanked David for saving his life, David insisted that Stu had helped him by allowing him to save a life and praised Stu for his bravery and courage in the face of his aggressive cancer.
Ezer Mizion’s registry has grown so much that if someone is in need of a transplant, they have a 76% chance of finding a match straight away. This number, however, is still not enough. New this year, the Toronto community is joining together to create the very first TORONTOGETHER donor pool, which consists of purchased DNA tests for the Ezer Mizion Registry. Each time a match is made from the TORONTOGETHER donor pool, the Toronto Community will be notified.
Join the TORONTOGETHER donor pool by purchasing a DNA test for $65 and visit us at our 2nd annual Famous Jerusalem Shuk that will be in Toronto on October 21st and 22nd.
Visit www.ezermizion.ca/shuk to participate.