Jewish Journal

Record Number of L.A.‘s Persian Jews Gather For Bone Marrow Drive

by Karmel Melamed

July 17, 2007 | 3:51 pm

By Karmel Melamed

Nearly 1,500 local Jews and non-Jews packed the main hall at the Nessah Cultural Center in Beverly Hills on Sunday, July 8th to be tested for a potential bone marrow match urgently needed for two local Iranian Jews; Jenny Cohen, a 3-year-old and 52-year-old Benjamin Brookhim. Organizers of the drive, City of Hope personnel, and nearly 100 volunteers ranging from age 13 to 80 helped process the record number of people that had arrived to have the insides of their cheeks swabbed for potential matches. “Representatives of the City of Hope were also overwhelmed by this truly remarkable outcry of support,” said Kahen. “One staff person mentioned that this was the most successful bone marrow drive, in terms of numbers, she has ever participated in”, said Michelle Kahen, an organizer of the event. Many in attendance said they were touched by the emotional pleas made by families of Jennifer Cohen and Benjamin Brookhim. Cohen is suffering from “Aplastic Anemia” and a “Factor VII Deficiency”. Aplastic Anemia is a rare disease affecting fewer than 1,000 people each year in the United States and Factor VII Deficiency is a condition typically common among Iranian and Moroccan Jews. The conditions prevent a person from producing enough blood cells and the blood from clotting properly. For more information call call (310) 570-9500 or (310) 993-3703.

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Karmel Melamed is an internationally-published freelance journalist based in Southern California.

Since 2000, Melamed has specialized in covering the growing influential...

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