18 month old Muhamad, his donor Maharan, age 21, and Maharan's mother.A unique and moving meeting took place recently at Hadassah Ein-Kerem hospital in Jerusalem. Two Israeli Arab children who had undergone bone marrow transplantation a year ago, met with the two bone marrow donors, Israeli Arabs also.
These are two of 65 cases where Israeli Arab donors were found to be genetically matching for patients in Israel and abroad. 11 from them have already donated their bone marrow and most of the transplantations were successful.
The Israeli Arabs Tissue Typing registry was established by Hadassah in October 2008, based on the fact that 40% of Arab patients did not have potential donors, and that there was no such registry in the world. It has since been supported by the Kahane Foundation in Austria and Hadassah Austria.
Hala, age 8, with her donor Muhamad, age 42.Dr. Amal Bishara is managing the registry, together with Prof. Chaim Brautbar who founded Hadassah tissue typing unit and Dr. Shoshana Israel, its current director.
More than 15,000 Israeli Arabs joined the registry, during more than 90 campaigns in Arab villages and cities in Israel. These campaigns included also lectures given in Arab colleges and public institutions in Israel, as well as on going publications in Arab media in Israel.
"This was a very moving occasion" said Dr. Amal Bishara. "We are all grateful to the donors, who opened a possibility for new life for people they did not know at all".