A few weeks after her search began, a Virginia woman diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma was matched with her lifesaving donor through Gift of Life Marrow Registry. On April 19th, the two were introduced for the first time at the Annual Hillel Basketball Tournament hosted by the University of Maryland in Baltimore. Gift of Life is a non-profit bone marrow registry that facilitates marrow and blood stem cell transplants for patients with leukemia, lymphoma and other blood-related diseases.
Esther Bogin, a 50-year-old manager from Richmond, was diagnosed with lymphoma in July 2015 after discovering lumps just below her chin. Anticipating a positive cancer diagnosis, her immediate reaction was to take action and seek medical attention. Doctors confirmed that her brother was not a match, and she began exploring the possibility of relying on an unrelated donor.
A few weeks later, she received news that she had not only one potential donor, but three – and Ari Goldstein, a 23-year-old first-year medical student from Owings Mills, was confirmed to be a 100 percent match.
“When I was first diagnosed, I was told at best that I would live less than five years,” said Bogin. “I am so blessed because now I feel fully recovered. I thought, ‘How special that a very simple process might have the potential to save someone’s life.’ Ari, you are part of my heart, you are in my blood. I love you.”
Goldstein joined the Gift of Life registry in March 2015 at the same event where he would meet Esther three years later. He signed up because he thought it provided the opportunity to do something important without needing to endure an excessive amount of sacrifice. After receiving news that he was a match, Goldstein was excited and motivated to do whatever he could to serve the patient in need.
“Being a part of this is really moving,” said Goldstein. “Go swab if you can – it’s really not a very hard process but what you’re going to do is so incredible and so important. If you are given this opportunity, take advantage of it.”