Giving the Gift of Life

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Eisner and Crane Lake have long had a relationship with a special organization called Gift of Life. Gift of Life is a bone marrow registry which collects cells from volunteers through cheek swabs in order to try to find matches for patients needing bone marrow or blood cell transplants.  During staff week and on camp’s Opening Day, Eisner and Crane Lake have hosted a bone marrow drives for staff members and camper families to register as potential matches.

Three years ago, Crane Lake Head Songleader Jeff Schwartz was matched with a 62-year-old man battling Acute Myelogenous Leukemia.  Despite being a busy college student, Jeff answered the call and traveled to Detroit for an operation to donate his bone marrow.  Jeff wrote about his donation experience on Crane Lake’s blog in 2013: “It’s Hard to Be Good: Giving the Gift of Life.”

But the story didn’t end there!  This fall, at the JCamp180 Jewish camping conference in Springfield, MA, Jeff had the life-changing experience of meeting his bone marrow recipient. The two shared a hug, resulting in many tears from conference participants.  You can hear their stories and watch their emotional meeting in this video.

This year, we also received word that a registrant from an Eisner staff drive in 2012 resulted in a match for a 66-year-old woman battling Acute Myelogenous Leukemia.  We hope to be able to share with you the results of this match as well.