June 19, 2024
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June 19, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Five Minutes Can Help Save Judy’s Life: Get Swabbed!

Judy Fine-Edelstein, a mother, wife, doctor and friend, needs you to join the Gift of Life registry. Judy was diagnosed with AML, which is an aggressive form of leukemia, a little more than a year ago. At this point in her treatment, she needs a stem cell transplant, which requires a match. There will be swab drives set up in her name as well as an online option which easily allows people to swab.

Locally, there will be a drive on July 25 at Congregation B’nai Israel in Emerson from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. All are welcome and encouraged to come and get swabbed.

Judy grew up in Queens and ended up going to Boston for medical school, where she met her husband, a fellow resident. She raised her family in the greater Boston area and has been practicing medicine ever since. During COVID, she dedicated herself to taking care of her patients “like her own family,” commented Gail Starr, her machetenistsa. After some time, she developed a severe cough herself, but put her own medical needs aside for the sake of her patients. Eventually, she saw a doctor, and after a series of tests, was diagnosed with AML. Judy underwent intensive chemotherapy, and around February, her doctors told her she was in remission. During that time, her son got married.

After a few months, she noticed some bruising and went back to the doctor. Sadly, the cancer had returned and she is now in the hospital receiving treatment. Judy needs a transplant to save her life.

Genetically, Ashkenazi Jews would be most likely to match with Judy, however, anyone can and should swab. With its non-invasive simple cheek swab, joining the registry takes five minutes and could save someone’s life, even if it’s not Judy’s. In Judy’s case, a stem cell transplant is required, which is a simple procedure for the donor.

There will be a drive on July 25 at Congregation B’nai Israel, located at 53 Palisade Avenue in Emerson, from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. There’s also an online option to order a swab kit at https://www.giftoflife.org/dc/judy


Hannah Kirsch just returned from a gap year in Israel and will be attending Binghamton University in the fall.

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