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Maccabi Helping to Save Lives with GOLA

Posted: 11-Sep-2019 by Maccabi NSW

Gift of Life Australia (GOLA) was initially established in 1994 and run by the late Shula Endrey Walder, in association with Wolper Jewish Hospital to help patients in need of a blood stem cell transplant who do not have a match in their family, by recruiting potential volunteer donors to the Australian Bone Marrow Donor Registry (ABMDR).

This program was run predominantly in the Jewish Community, where regular testing sessions at Wolper Hospital and at Jewish communal events were held. This program has been reinvigorated by joining the ABMDR Strength to Give pilot Donor recruitment Program.

The Gift of Life Australia (GOLA) in association with the Australian Tissue Donation Network, Wolper Hospital and the Australian Bone Marrow Donor Registry are not-for-profit organisations helping to establish a database of potential bone marrow donors.

In recent weeks, Maccabi has played its part and helped GOLA and the ABMDR to connect with the desired demographic to promote and collect more samples for which to hopefully find successful matches.

The ideal type of potential donors has been identified as males between the ages of 18-30 years, by registering males of this demographic from a diverse range of cultural and ethnic backgrounds, a wide immunological range of potential donors will be obtained. This increase of donors will potentially reduce the need for overseas donors or imperfectly matched donors and improve many Australian patient’s chances for survival.

GOLA has attended various Maccabi sporting activities, includng Basketball training, Touch Footy games as well as Rugby and Soccer trainings, to connect with Jewish males 18-30 years old.  Education regarding the program has been provided and Buccal swabs and registrations have been performed.

To find out more about the program please visit;

 http://www.giftoflifeaustralia.org.au  or  https://gola.strengthtogive.org.au/

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