Lymphoma Survivor Meets Lifesaving Stem Cell Donor At Gift Of Life Marrow Registry Event

Top Quote Annual party held to honor marrow donors and transplant recipients. End Quote
  • (1888PressRelease) February 28, 2023 - Diane Berson 69, of Leonia, N.J., a survivor of non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, met the Gift of Life Marrow Registry donor of peripheral blood stem cells who saved her life, Alexandra Levy, 27, of Boston, Mass. The emotional introduction took place on February 23 during the organization’s annual Celebrating Life New York City.

    Berson, a former TV/video producer/director, was introduced to her heroic donor at the evening event held at the Edison Ballroom Rooftop of the Edison Hotel. Levy, a health technology program manager, joined the marrow registry in 2016 while a student at Tulane University. Berson first learned she was battling cancer in 2019 while hospitalized during a vacation.

    After chemotherapy and an autologous stem cell transplant using her own stem cells failed to work effectively, her doctors recommended a second stem cell transplant with cells from an unrelated donor. Donors and recipient must have matching tissue types for transplant to be successful, so Berson was fortunate that Levy was already in the registry when she was needed.

    The two were introduced by event co-chair and stem cell donor Evan Dolgow.

    “Diane, I am so happy to see how well you’re doing,” said Levy, who was very emotional at meeting the woman she saved. “I wish you continued health and happiness, and I’m so honored to be a part of your journey.”

    “You’re a special person, you saved my life!” said Berson on first meeting Levy. “Even though the pandemic was at its height when you were going in to donate, you did it. The pandemic did not deter you! You are my superhero.”

    Additionally, three New York residents were recognized by Gift of Life Founder and CEO Jay Feinberg, and honored for their ongoing support of Gift of Life’s mission to find a stem cell or marrow donor for every patient who needs one: donor Evan Dolgow, Sydnie Spector, and donor Jennifer Winick.

    Today, 90% of donations use blood stem cells, collected from the arm in a process similar to donating blood platelets. Only 10% of transplants use bone marrow, which is collected from the hip bone and is a short outpatient procedure. For more information, visit

    About Gift of Life Marrow Registry
    Gift of Life Marrow Registry is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization headquartered in Boca Raton, Fla. Established in 1991, Gift of Life Marrow Registry is dedicated to saving lives by facilitating blood stem cell and bone marrow transplants for patients battling leukemia, lymphoma, sickle cell, inherited immune disorders, and other blood-related diseases. To learn more about Gift of Life Marrow Registry, visit

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