On November 7th and 8th, the YU Cancer Society ran a bone marrow drive on both the Wilf and Beren campuses. The drive aimed to contribute to the search to find a donor match for Adam Krief, a thirty-one-year-old father of two from Los Angeles, who has been diagnosed with a rare form of blood cancer called primary myelofibrosis, in which normal bone marrow is gradually replaced by scar-like tissue. Krief was diagnosed this summer, and in the months since, multiple donor drives have taken place in Jewish communities all over the US. His story, and his plea for help, have also been shared by multiple news outlets, both Jewish and secular.
Though he is temporarily on chemotherapy, Krief will need a bone marrow transplant in order to save his life. According to recent interview with CBS Los Angeles, his wife Lia explained that the chemotherapy is “really just to keep his numbers low to buy us time so that we can find him a donor because the only cure at this time is…a bone-marrow transplant.”
YU Cancer Society Co-President Michael Bouaziz said, “The drive was definitely a success. Although most people are already in the registry, we got around an additional one hundred to join.” The registry which Bouaziz is referring to is a list of eligible donors who receive a call if they match with a patient in need of marrow. Over twenty-five million people are on the international registry already, but so far, none of them have been a match for Krief.
Though bone marrow donation is often a nonsurgical procedure, many people are fearful to donate their own bone marrow because they “get nervous about the bone marrow transplant procedure and its reputation for being painful,” said Bouaziz. Though a minority of donations are still done through surgery, most bone marrow donations today are done through a simple procedure similar to blood donation. Once a donor is initially matched to a patient, there are still several medical evaluations done to ensure that the donor and patient are a close enough match.
Said Boaziz, “Although it (the drive) was done for Adam, anyone who joins the bone marrow registry could potentially be a match for others who are in desperate need as well.”