Gift of Life Australia (GOLA) was initially established in 1994 and run by the late Shula Endrey Walder, in association with Wolper Jewish Hospital to recruit potential donors to the Australian Bone Marrow Donor Registry (ABMDR) run by Red Cross. This program was run predominantly in the Jewish Community. where regular testing sessions at Wolper Hospital and at Jewish communal events were held, this program has been reinvigorated by joining the Australian Bone Marrow Donor Registry (ABMDR) Strength to Give pilot Donor recruitment Program.
The Gift of Life Australia (GOLA) in association with the Australian Tissue Donation Network, Wolper Hospital and the Australian Bone Marrow Donor Registry are not-for-profit organisations helping to establish a database of potential bone marrow donors. The ideal type of potential donors has been identified as males between the ages of 18-30 years, by registering males of this demographic from a diverse range of cultural and ethnic backgrounds, a wide immunological range of potential donors will be obtained. This increase of donors will potentially reduce the need for overseas donors or imperfectly matched donors.
In the coming months GOLA will be attending various sporting clubs as part of the recruitment drive, where education regarding the program is provided and Buccal swabs and registrations can be performed.
To find out more about our program please visit:
We would like to thank Maccabi Soccer and Rugby for their participation in the drive for donors.
The Gift of Life Australia's mission is to raise awareness about the life saving potential of Stem Cell, Bone Marrow and Cord Blood transplants and to increase the representation of Jewish people on the Australian Bone Marrow Donor Registry.
Tissue type is inherited. A patient's best chance of finding a genetic match lies with those in their immediate family or with those of similar ethnic ancestry. Only one third of patients find a relative whose tissue matches theirs, the rest need to find an unrelated donor within their community to increase their chance of survival. Patients with a Jewish heritage are more likely to find a match with someone of a similar background.
There are currently several Jewish people in Australia and worldwide diagnosed with life threatening diseases such as leukaemia and aplastic anemia. A stem cell transplant is their only chance of survival. The need for volunteer potential donor from the Jewish community is urgent.
Information for donors
To register onto the Australian Bone Marrow Donor Registry a small sample of blood is used to analyse your tissue type and to determine if you are a match to a patient in need.
The procedure and conditions are described below.
The first step is to meet our representative who will provide a brief information session.
Following the information session, you will be asked to fill in a consent form and medical history questionnaire.
A simple blood test is taken to determine your tissue typing. This is then analysed at the nearest Red Cross/ABMDR laboratory. Your information is securely stored until your 57th Birthday.
If you are found to be matching, you will be notified and undergo a thorough medical examination. Another blood test - a lymphocyte culture test - will be done to determine compatibility and your DNA details are stored on the ABMDR.
For bone marrow donations:
A small amount of bone marrow is removed from the pelvic bone by needle puncture under a light general anaesthetic.
For peripheral blood stem cell donation:
A series of small injections are given to stimulate your stem cells from your bone marrow to go into your circulating blood system.
Blood is collected, the stem cells are separated by a machine and blood is given back to you at the same time.
Your bone marrow/stem cells donation is then transported to wherever in the world the patient is waiting for the transplant.
Bone marrow and stem cells regenerate in you in a very short-time. Bone marrow and stem cell transplants do save lives.
To join the Stem Cell/Bone Marrow Donor Registry you must be between 18 & 45 years of age and in good health.
You are ineligible io join the Stem Cell/Bone Marrow Donor Registy if you:
Have been diagnosed with or treated for cancer (except skin or testicular cancer) in the past five years.
Have ever been diagnosed with leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma.
Have a history of heart disease.
Are a carrier of Hepatitis B.
Are HIV positive or have AIDS or Hepatitis C.
Are aware of anyone in your family who has or has EVER had Creutzfeldt Jacob Disease (CJD), Gerstmann-Straussler-Sheinker Syndrome (GSS) or Fatal Familial Insomnia (FFI).
Have received injections of human growth hormone for short stature or human pituitary hormone for infertility prior to 1986.
Had a surgical procedure involving head, brain or spinal cord between 1972-1989.
Have ever received a transplant or graft (organ, cornea, bone etc).
Have lived in the UK for a cumulative period of six months or more between 1980 and 1996
Have ever been an injecting drug user.
Have had male-to-male sex in the past 12 months,
Had sexual activity with a male who you think might be bisexual in the past 12 months.
Have been a male or female sex worker in the past 12 months.
Have engaged in sexual activity with a male or female sex worker in the past 12 months.
Have been a sexual partner of an IV drug user or a bi-sexual male in the past 12 months.
Have been injured with a used needle or received a blood/body fluid splash in the past 12 months.
Had a tattoo within the past 12 months [though you can join the Registry now].
Have been imprisoned in a prison or lock-up in the past 12 months.
Have had a blood transfusion or have received blood products in the past 12 months.
If you are unsure about your eligibility to join the Bone Marrow Registry or need further information, please call Yehuda Kaplan on 0425 724 314 or email.
How to Join Gift of Life Australia
All it takes is 15 minutes and a teaspoon of blood.
Please read the information for donors to see if you are elgible for testing.