Monday, February 18, 2008

Jewish Mother Needs Bone Marrow


They are looking for someone of Ashkenazi or Eastern European Jewish decent to donate. Please, if you haven't been tested for Bone Marrow Donation, please consider getting tested now. You could perform the greatest Mitzvah of all--that of saving a life.



February 18, 2008 -- Thousands of New York moms - including actress Kate Winslet - are joining in a desperate bid to find a bone-marrow donor for a mother dying of leukemia.

The moms are networking at playgroups and cultural events, sending out mass e-mails and holding drives for Lisa Gershowitz Flynn, a 41-year-old Manhattan lawyer and mother of two who doctors say may die in the next four to six weeks unless a match is found.

"The community is coming together in an unbelievable way," said Anne Flynn, Lisa's sister-in-law, who is running the Web site,

"In only four weeks, we've probably added more than 3,000 people to the registry, which is pretty good - but not enough," she said.

Lisa Flynn was diagnosed with fast-moving acute myelogenous leukemia a day after Thanksgiving, on her daughter, Alexandra's, third birthday. Flynn and her husband also have a 5-year-old son, Michael.

The ailing mom has already had two unsuccessful rounds of chemotherapy.

"I just want a chance. Give it to me, and I'll take it from there," said Lisa Flynn, 41.

Winslet, who learned of the situation through some concerned mothers, has offered to lend her star power to the effort, supporters said.

Metropolitan Moms, run by Flynn's pal Molly Snyder, as well as Sensible Sitters, Divalysscious Moms and Big City Moms are just some of the groups participating in the donor-registry drives, along with Morgan Stanley, where Flynn worked seven years ago.

The sick mom needs a donor of Ashkenazi or Eastern European Jewish descent.

Testing involves a painless cheek swab. The potential donor's results then go into national bone-marrow registry. If there's a match, the donor undergoes a minor surgical procedure, usually outpatient, to extract healthy stem cells for the transplanted.

Ironically, Lisa Flynn herself is in the donor bank - she volunteered about nine years ago to help the friend of a friend.

"I think more people would donate if they knew how easy it was," Flynn said. "It's kind of a stupid way to die [waiting for a donor]."

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