I am emceeing the gala dinner for The Gift of Life Bone Marrow Foundation tonight in Manhattan. The Yeshiva University Maccabeats are being honored, but that’s not why I was chosen as the emcee. Check out the real reason.
I have written about Ezra here before. I just saw him this past Monday.
Ezra is a 3-year-old, sweet, talkative, and gentle boy from New Jersey who I met about a year ago. His family was searching for a bone marrow match for him through The Gift of Life because of an immune disorder he has. A match for Ezra would essentially mean a life-saving new immune system and a healthy life. The Gift of Life heard I was staying near Ezra’s hometown and asked me to put a public face on him and The Gift of Life’s mission.
I didn’t expect to grow to love the Gift of Life organization so much and to devote so much of my time and energy to working with them. But I did. I didn’t expect to get involved with the Maccabeats to raise over $80,000 last Hanukkah to try and find Ezra a match. But I did. I didn’t expect to want to be Ezra’s match as badly as I did. But I did.
And I’m not Ezra’s match. We have not found Ezra’s match yet.
Ezra’s family had to make the heartbreaking decision to pursue other options for him to try and give him a new immune system. So he’s in the hospital. And I went to see him. And it broke my heart to see a boy my son’s age staring at me from a hospital bed, looking at a visitor in a gown and mask and gloves sitting at his bed, wondering when he can go home and be in his house and his yard and his kitchen and his bathtub, and not staring at visitors and doctors and nurses and not being in pain.
I can’t explain to you what Ezra’s mother is like. Out of respect for her privacy, I won’t. But suffice it to say, this woman is a woman among women; a warrior for her son and for hope and love and everything sacred to parents everywhere. The bond she has built with Ezra is tremendously strong and God forbid it should ever be tested, but I know that this bond will not break. It is a reminder to me of how you can’t love your child too much. Ever. You just keep giving and giving even when you feel you only exist to give to them and you begin to forget where they start and you end.
I asked Ezra’s mother what she wants me to say when I emcee the Gift of Life gala dinner this Thursday night. She wants everyone to know Ezra did not find a match. Ezra needs a match. And there are so many still waiting for a match who may run out of time. Period.
Become a registered donor today: go to GiftofLife.org, swab your cheek, and become someone’s miracle. If you are someone’s match, you don’t have to necessarily undergo surgery to donate bone marrow cells; 70% of the time, a blood platelet-like donation can save someone’s life. If you can’t or don’t want to register, consider making any donation to help process cheek swab kits that are literally sitting waiting for the funds needed to process them. $50 helps us read one kit.
Spread this far and spread it wide. Let it soar as far as your love can go. For Ezra, yes, and for those in need of a match. Give your name, your money, your time, your voice. And let’s see if we can blur the line between where Ezra starts and we end.