JERUSALEM (Aug. 21)
Inessa Flurova, a Soviet Jewish woman who has been seeking an exit visa to Israel since March to enable her to donate bone marrow to her leukemia-stricken brother in Israel, has been reportedly allowed to leave the Soviet Union.
Her brother, Michael Shirman, told reporters here Thursday that he expects his sister to arrive in Israel early next month. He said he expects treatments to take place immediately thereafter.
Flurova; a 37-year-old sociologist, has been holding a hunger strike for almost a week to pressure the Soviet authorities to issue an exit visa for her, her husband and their two small children.
Shirman, who emigrated with their mother to Israel in 1980, has been undergoing treatment for leukemia in Rehovot’s Kaplan Hospital, where his doctors concluded that he needed a suitable match for a bone marrow transplant. His doctors said his mother’s bone marrow was incompatible and that there was a 25 percent chance that the sister’s marrow would be suitable.
Since Flurova applied for a visa, her request was aupplemented by a plea from Dr. Robert Gale, the bone-marrow expert from California who assisted in the treatment of victims of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster.
In March, Flurova asked for a travel visa to Israel with her husband Victor and their children. But the authorities claimed a temporary visa would be impossible since the Soviet Union and Israel have no diplomatic relations. In June she was asked by the authorities if she would consider going to Israel by herself. She refused. Shirman said Thursday that the entire family of his sister was allowed to leave for Israel.