Two Life-Saving Marrow Donors Meet Their Transplant Recipients at Gift of Life Marrow Registry Charitable Gala

Annual Event Supports Mission to Add New Donors to Registry and Save Lives

NEW YORK, June 10, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Gift of Life Marrow Registry hosted its One Huge Night NYC Gala, where two life-saving marrow donors were united with their transplant recipients for the first time. The event, held at The Lighthouse at Chelsea Piers in New York, N.Y. on June 5, 2024, brought together stem cell and marrow donors, transplant recipients, business leaders, and community members in support of Gift of Life’s mission to cure blood cancer, inherited immune disorders and other diseases. As a result of the funds raised, more than 26,000 new donors will be added to the registry, each with the potential to save a life.

The first donor and recipient pair included Alex Davidson, a 31-year-old man from Bethesda, Md., and his 9-year-old recipient, Addaline Dolson, a survivor of Severe Aplastic Anemia. Addaline was just four years old when she was diagnosed with this rare and serious bone marrow disease. The family later learned that Addaline would need a transplant, and they were crushed to discover that no family members were a close enough match to donate. They would have to rely upon a total stranger for a life-saving treatment.

“It was an emotional moment, realizing I could significantly change someone’s life,” said donor Alex Davidson. “One minute I was having a normal day, and the next, I was told I potentially could be the match that saves a young girl’s life and change the course of both of our lives forever. The rush of emotions was overwhelming, a mix of responsibility and joy.

The evening’s second pair had an equally heartwarming story. It included Rina Davidson, a 29-year-old PhD and medical student living in New York City, and her 12-year-old recipient, Zach Yudin, who was battling Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. Yudin, who traveled with his parents from Huntersville, N.C., was initially diagnosed when he was two. After a relapse in the second grade, Yudin’s doctors began searching for a marrow donor, and he ultimately received a transplant at Levine Children's Hospital in Charlotte, N.C., in May 2019.

“Getting a transplant is a life-changing experience and it’s a marathon recovery,” said Yudin’s mother, Nicole Yudin. “We are eternally grateful that a donor was found for Zach, and thankful that there are such selfless people who do this for others.”

“I would say to potential donors who are unsure, that the experience is incredibly rewarding,” said donor Rina Davidson. “The opportunity to save a life and bring hope to someone in need is a unique and powerful feeling. If you're unsure, take the time to educate yourself about the process, speak to medical professionals, and connect with individuals who have donated. It's an extraordinary gift to give, and the impact is immeasurable.”

The gala also served as a platform to recognize the unwavering commitment and outstanding advocacy of several supporters. The organization’s highest honor, the Partners for Life Award, was presented to Susan and Edward Blumenfeld in recognition of their significant leadership and generosity, as well as their sincere dedication to Gift of Life’s lifesaving mission.

In addition, longtime Gift of Life volunteer and stem cell transplant recipient, Evie Goldfine, received the Lifetime Achievement Award. Fairstead, a national real estate firm specializing in sustainable communities, was also honored with the Corporate Partner Award.

Ezra Fineman, a 15-year-old from Fairlawn, N.J., who recently celebrated the 10th anniversary of his second stem cell transplant, served as the event emcee alongside WNYW-TV journalist Bianca Peters.

About Gift of Life Marrow Registry
Gift of Life Marrow Registry is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization headquartered in Boca Raton, Fla. The organization, established in 1991, is dedicated to saving lives by facilitating blood stem cell and bone marrow transplants for patients with leukemia, lymphoma, and other blood-related diseases. The registry houses its own state-of-the-art stem cell collection center, biobank, and laboratory. To learn more about Gift of Life Marrow Registry, visit

Media contact: Amy Glanzman
Phone: (561) 982-2900; Email:

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at

Michael Priest Photography