Wife’s leukemia battle inspires event to create lifelong donors
When Alison Spodek, Vassar professor and wife of Beacon’s Rabbi Brent Spodek, was hospitalized for shortness of breath this March, one of the first things her doctors did was give her a blood transfusion. As Alison’s well-being almost instantly improved, she looked up at the pint of blood hanging from the IV pole. It was stamped “Volunteer Donor.”
Alison was soon diagnosed with leukemia, and now blood transfusions are a regular part of her treatment. The Spodeks have been touched by an outpouring of support from their friends in Beacon and Cold Spring, and they continue to be deeply moved by people who have given in the past and whose blood donations make Alison’s treatment possible.
Rabbi Spodek, who leads Beacon Hebrew Alliance, was inspired to share the love. He pulled together a group of community members to organize One Hundred Units of Love — a public blood drive that Rabbi Spodek hopes will be one of the largest Beacon has ever seen and will inspire more people to become regular donors.
“Our experience brought home the real urgency of blood donations. I learned that the health care system that we all rely on needs 43,000 units of blood every day in North America for cancer patients, accident victims, premature babies, and others,” said Rabbi Spodek.
One Hundred Units of Love will take place on Monday, May 13, from 1 to 8 p.m. at Beacon Hebrew Alliance, 331 Verplanck Ave. in Beacon. Parking is available in the lot that the synagogue shares with its neighboring church. Snacks will be served, including delicious homemade Kosher baked goods.
Walk-ins are welcome, but prospective donors are encouraged to register and make an appointment with New York Blood Center, to ensure there are enough supplies on-hand to meet demand. Register to donate here at bit.ly/100UnitsOfLove. If you have questions regarding medical eligibility, call 1-800-688-0900.
Contact Rabbi Spodek with any questions at 845-831-2012 or [email protected].