Help Save a Life

7 Jan

Ben with Anthony Rizzo, first baseman of the Chicago Cubs, who visited Ben in the hospital. Anthony is a cancer survivor.

Ben, 14, the cousin of Tony and Jan Joseph, (Temple Sinai) has Acute Childhood Leukemia. 95% of children diagnosed with this disease respond to chemotherapy, but he is in the 5% of children who have not responded and is in desperate need of a bone marrow transplant.  He has undergone four rounds of intensive chemotherapy and is very ill. Ben, a very smart child, with leaning towards math and science, responded to the doctor who told him his diagnosis, “I thought it was a blood thing because my pain was so random.” An avid baseball player, Ben has many friends, but this year cannot interact with them as he is being home schooled to avoid any contact with other illnesses.

On Sunday, January 12th at Temple Sinai’s Sarasota Jewish Food Festival, 4631 South Lockwood Ridge Road, a booth will be available from 10 am to 2 pm to those who would be willing to register on the BeTheMatch (An international Bone Marrow Registry).  Ben ideally needs donors between the ages of 18 and 44.  The first step for registration is to have one’s cheek swabbed, with the results being sent to a central laboratory for analysis.  There are over 10 million people on this registry, and Ben’s doctors have not been able to find a suitable match as of yet.  If one is between the ages of 44 and 60, one can be screened by through kits mailed to one’s home.

Ben’s family is hoping that many will respond to this bone marrow registration as somewhere, some place, someone will help to save his life.

For further information, please contact, Tony and Jan Joseph, or Norma Weitman (Ben’s aunt),


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