Bone marrow drive may be last for a while

Once again, a bone marrow donor identification drive will take place at To Life!

But this will be the last such drive to be held at the Jewish Family and Children’s Services’ booth — at least for a while, according to Chana Adler of the San Francisco-based organization.

“We’ve done this at Israel in the Gardens and the To Life! Festival for the past five years,” she says. “We’re at a place where most of the people who want to get tested have been tested. If people have been meaning to get around to being tested, now is the time.”

Testing — just a simple swab of cells from inside the mouth — will be conducted between 11 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Donors must be between the ages of 18 and 60.

Jewish donors are urgently needed, and will be entered into the Gift of Life Bone Marrow Foundation Donor Registry for the benefit of patients of any faith, worldwide.

(If identified as a match, the potential donor would need to travel to the City of Hope research, treatment and educational institution in Los Angeles or Seattle for physical exams and collections.)

The drive is sponsored by JFCS in cooperation with the Gift of Life Bone Marrow Foundation, and is held in memory of Alan B. Snyder, a JFCS board member who died in September 2004 at age 61.

Snyder suffered from myelofibrosis, a terminal genetic blood disorder, undergoing two bone marrow transplants and trying a number of drug trials during the four years he battled the illness. The founder of a boutique investment firm in San Francisco gave generously to the Jewish community and was active with the S.F.-based JFCS for more than 25 years, serving on its board for several terms.