Jewish geography plays a role for this donor/recipient pair
Photo: Courtesy Greer Brody
When Greer Brody (left) registered with the Gift of Life Bone Marrow Registry while on Birthright Israel in 2011, she never imagined the recipient matched three years later, Ivan Sacks, would be a neighbor just blocks from her childhood home. 

By Deb Silverthorn

Alex Horn swabbed with Be The Match during a 2014 bone marrow drive for Dallas resident Ivan Sacks. Sacks is married to Melanie and the father of Talia (Jethro) Solomon, Liat and Gal, and now the grandfather of Ellie, Live and Maya Solomon. 

Sacks was first diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2006. He reached remission but was diagnosed again and given a 12% chance to live. Bone marrow donor drives were planned in Dallas, in Israel and in South Africa but just days before the donation drives in the Dallas area even happened, he was told a match was found in New York.

Eight years later, he’s healthy and well. He tells his story, including the part about how the agency had told him he couldn’t connect to the donor but social media had other ideas. Sack’s daughter Liat had posted to Facebook that her father was receiving the transfusion, asking her friends to wish him well. A friend who knew that a friend in New York had made a donation just thought it all seemed too close. The donor in New York was Greer Brody, who it turned out had 84 mutual Facebook friends with Liat, and whose childhood home was just blocks from the Sacks’ Far North Dallas home.

Jewish geography never fails and the two met. It was not lost on either party that eight years later, one of the donation drives which went on in the merit of Sacks’ good health would yield a donor for a child.

“It was a horrible thing to be sick, but it’s an incredible thing to learn that from that time lives have been saved,” said Sacks. Horn’s donation is just one of many he’s heard resulting from the 2014 drives. “All is good now and what Alex, and every donor, has done, is absolutely giving the gift of life.”

“Three years after I swabbed, I got a call saying I matched. It’s still hard to believe but just a few weeks later we met in person,” said Brody, who registered at a Gift of Life Marrow Registry drive while on a Birthright trip to Israel in 2011. Now living in Los Angeles, the Richardson High School graduate is the daughter of Sheryl, of blessed memory, and Robert. “Ivan’s still doing so well and that, all these years later, other lives are still being affected is amazing. I’d absolutely do it again for sure and encourage anyone else to do so too.”

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