Blood drive aims to find match to save girl's life

10-year-old asks public for suitable bone-marrow donation; blood samples to be taken at 70 spots around country.

blood drive 88 (photo credit: )
blood drive 88
(photo credit: )
Talia Borochov, a 10-year-old girl who was first struck by cancer at the age of two, is fighting for her life against a recurrence and asking the public for a suitable bone-marrow donation. On Tuesday, blood samples will be taken at 70 spots around the country, including Azrieli malls, to find a potential donor with a compatible tissue type who could cure her leukemia, which returned a few months ago. The national bone-marrow data bank of Ezer Mizion will store the tissue data and match would-be recipients with potential donors to save lives. Tuesday's campaign aims to help not only Talia, but other cancer victims as well. The data bank already has 356,000 tissue samples, so anyone who has already been tested should not go again. Only a small sample of blood is taken, but processing it costs NIS 180 per sample. Therefore, Ezer Mizion is asking for donations of NIS 10, which can be given by sending an SMS to 6789 and writing in the number 10. For more information on where samples will be taken or to donate, go into the Web site or call 1-800-236-236. Every year, some 9,000 people - a third of them children - in the US alone die of cancer while waiting for a matched bone-marrow donation. In the past year, about 32,000 Israelis were tested, and the voluntary organization hopes to get 25,000 more people to give blood samples on Tuesday. Healthy people aged 18 to 50 and weighing 45 kilos and over can donate. Pregnant women and people with colds or allergies may give samples for testing, according to Ezer Mizion. AIDS/HIV patients may not, nor can asthma patients getting oral steroids, people who have undergone heart surgery, insulin-dependent diabetics, and former cancer patients, among others.