The family behind a campaign for Jewish bone marrow donors have been shortlisted for a prestigious national award by the organisation that helped them find a matching donor for their mother.
Jonni and Caroline Berger, who galvanised the Jewish community to register for their desperately-ill mother Sharon using the hashtag #Spit4Mum, have been put forward for Anthony Nolan’s Advocate of the Year Award.
Caroline said: “It is humbling that the campaign has been recognised. I think the award should go to my mum who has bravely tackled blood cancer for the past year. I only hope that the campaign helps find matches for other people.”
Sharon needed an urgent bone marrow transplant to survive, and was told that a matching donor was far more likely to come from the Ashkenazi Jewish community. However, the family soon found that this was difficult, because Jews were significantly under-represented on the donor register.
In recent months, a near-matching donor was found for her and Sharon continues her recovery.
“Without the incredible work that Anthony Nolan does, my mum wouldn’t have found the hero who saved her life,” said Caroline. “There is a Jewish saying that to save one life is as if you have saved the world. That is what Anthony Nolan means to me.”