N.J. Toddler Needs Bone-Marrow Transplant


A young Fairlawn, N.J., couple is seeking a compatible bone marrow donor for their 21-month-old son.

Ezra Fineman, who at 5 months was diagnosed with Hyper IgM Syndrome, a rare auto-immune deficiency, requires monthly antibody treatments until a proper match is found.

While Hyper IgM Syndrome is not considered a Jewish genetic disease, a compatible donor, with 10 matching antigens, is more likely in the Jewish community, says his mother, Robin, who has helped set up a Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/pages/Help4Ezra/101222439945126) and a page on the Gift of Life website (www.giftoflife.org/dc/Help4Ezra/Blog.aspx) to help her son. The Finemans are also raising funds to defray the cost of testing and to pay for processing of samples provided to the Gift of Life registry.

Donors must be between 18 and 60, in “general good health.”

“A bone marrow or stem cell transplant is the only cure,” Ezra’s parents write in an open letter. “Thankfully, he has been doing well with the medical treatments that he receives.”

Ezra “loves the alphabet, music and his tricycle,” the Facebook page states. He is “a normal toddler,” leading “as normal [a life] as possible,” learning to wash his hands frequently to ward off infections, Robin says. “He’s learning good hygiene.”

Neither Robin nor her husband Evan, who have coordinated several local bone marrow drives in recent months, are proper matches for their son.

The next bone marrow donation event, which involves the swabbing of one cheek, will be held Sunday, Jan. 9 at Temple Emanu-El in Closter, N.J. (For information: help4ezra@gmail.com.)