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27 January 2013, 08:00
A woman from Oxford, whose mother has just five weeks to find a bone marrow donor, hopes people will come forward and join the register.
Sharon Berger was diagnosed with blood disorder MDS in 2006, but doctors have told her that she needs a bone marrow transplant to survive.
Finding a matching donor is more difficult because of Sharon’s combination of rare tissue types – her best match is likely to be an Ashkenazi Jew.
Caroline, Sharon’s daughter, says, "It really is a race against time – in five weeks' time she will need a bone marrow transplant, and a good match has not yet been found.
"Although a match is most likely to come from a Jewish person with Ashkenazi heritage, we would like to grow the bone marrow register so that people in the same position as my mother can benefit as well."
The Oxford Jewish Centre are supporting the campaign by holding an event where members of the public can join the bone marrow register.
The recruitment event will be held on Sunday 27 January from 10.30am to 1.30pm at the centre in Richmond Road.
Anyone aged 16-30 can join the register. To sign up, people need to fill in a short application form and provide a small saliva sample.
People who can't get to the event can sign up to the register online at www.anthonynolan.org
Lynsey Dickson, regional recruitment manager for Anthony Nolan, says, "If someone needs a bone marrow transplant, it is often their last chance of survival. But first they need to find a matching donor, which can prove difficult for people from unusual ethnic backgrounds like Sharon.
"We know that the best possible match is likely to be someone from a similar background so we’re urging all Jewish people aged 16-30 to come forward and join the register."