WE ARE APPEALING TO THE SOUTH AFRICAN JEWISH COMMUNITY, PARTICULARY FROM ASHKENAZI DECENT
Please consider becoming a donor to assist patients like Ivan, who desperately need our help.)
As one of the founders of a Texas yeshiva continues his desperate quest for a stem cell transplant, Dallas’ Jewish residents took the opportunity to pay tribute to a man who has been described by many to be a pillar of the city’s Torah community, with an evening of music and inspiration featuring Yaakov Shwekey.
Ivan Sacks, a driving force behind the creation of Dallas’ Texas Torah Institute, was diagnosed with lymphoma eight years ago. Officially classified twice as being in remission, the 57 year old stockbroker finds himself once again fighting cancer and has been told by doctors that he needs an immediate stem cell transplant.
While Ivan’s sister had initially been identified as a perfect match, doctors later decided that she was not a potential candidate because of a medical condition. Three stem cell drives, two in Dallas and a third in South Africa, have yet to locate a proper match for Sacks, the father of two adult daughters and a special needs son.
Ivan is known throughout Dallas as someone whose lives to help others.
Finding a matching donor depends on tissue type and because peoples genetic makeup is so varied and their tissue types are inherited characteristics, the chance of finding a suitable match is challenging. In South Africa, with our ‘rainbow nation’ we have even more unique combinations of tissue types and therefore need a larger Registry that proportionately reflects these unique tissue types. People of all ethnic origin and heritage need to step forward and join the Registry so that we can increase the odds of patients finding their matching lifesaving donor.
“I couldn’t believe how many people came out for Ivan, how many people care about him, people who have no shaychus to Yiddishkeit,” said Shwekey. “People tell me I am inspiring but all these people who came out inspired me even more than I could have ever inspired anyone.”
The musical evening took place on September 15th at the home of Rabbi Tzvi Wachsman of JET, with close to 200 people in attendance, with some coming from as far away as New York, Colorado, Toronto, South Africa and Australia. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=J8kGheQFxB4 and then Ivan’s Speech on the night http://youtu.be/GtjK4_ICYc0
By joining the South African Bone Marrow Registry you could assist patients like Ivan, all over the world. Don’t wait until it could affect one of your family members. Join today. If you no longer reside in SA please contact your local Registry to join. If you are in SA, please consider becoming a bone marrow stem cell donor and call The Sunflower Fund on 0800 12 10 82. All potential donors must be COMMITTED TO HELP ANYONE when then register, be between 18-45 years of age, weigh over 50kgs with a BMI<35 and in general good health. Share a Little, Save a Life. Visit www.sunflowerfund.org.za for more information.