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Spotlight: I Gave the Gift of a Lifetime

Sara Miriam Gross

Books, games and nosh are the kinds of things we usually share with our brothers and sisters. Nine-year-old Gitty Cohen* from Brooklyn gave her brother bone marrow — a priceless, healing gift from inside her bones.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

gift illustration
MJ: Hi Gitty. How did you get to be a bone marrow donor?

Gitty: My brother Yoel, who is four years younger than me, was born with low platelets. Some people with low platelets get lots of bruises or bleed a lot, but Yoeli didn’t. It was discovered he had a platelet problem when he had a routine blood test done at birth. He had to go to the hospital twice a week, where, using a tube called an open line, the hospital put platelets into his main artery (aorta). My family started looking for a bone marrow donor because they knew that if Yoeli had better bone marrow, his body could make enough of its own platelets. I was the only member of the family whose blood matched Yoeli’s, so I was the perfect donor.


MJ: Did you donate your marrow immediately after it was discovered you were a good match?

Gitty: It took a few months until I was able to donate. I had been given an MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella) vaccine, and I had to wait six months after that, since it wouldn’t have been good for my brother’s body to be given live vaccines. The doctors also thought it would be better for my brother to be at least a year old when he underwent the procedure.



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