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Topic: IMPORTANT OT: Michael Brecker in need of help--please read

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  1. #1
    Senior Member Bruce A. Richardson's Avatar
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    IMPORTANT OT: Michael Brecker in need of help--please read

    FROM: Susan Brecker
    SUBJECT: Michael Brecker needs your help.

    Dear Family and Friends,

    My husband, Michael Brecker, has been diagnosed with MDS
    (myelodysplastic syndrome), and its critical that he undergoes a stem
    cell transplant. The initial search for a donor (including Michael's
    siblings and children) has not yet resulted in a suitable match.
    Michael's doctors have told us that we need to immediately explore ALL
    possible options. This involves getting as many people of a similar
    genetic background to be tested as possible.

    There are some important points to understand concerning this process:

    1. The screening involves a blood test only. It can be done very
    quickly either at a marrow donation center or at a LOCAL LAB. The cost
    is anywhere from $40 to $75 and your insurance may cover it. (In NYC,
    you can call Frazier, at the NY Blood Bank, at 212-570-3441, and make
    an appointment for HLA typing. It costs $40.00.) Check with your
    local blood bank, or go to http://www.marrow.org to find the donor
    center nearest you.

    2. Your blood typing information can be posted on the international
    registry, if you choose, where it would also be available to others in
    need of a transplant. BEING ON THE REGISTRY DOESN'T MEAN YOU HAVE TO
    DONATE, it just means that you may be ASKED to do so. You can take your
    name off the registry at any time.

    3. Should you be selected as a potential donor for Michael, please
    understand that there have been tremendous advances in bone marrow
    transplants and the term itself can be misleading. Bone marrow
    donation is no more invasive than giving blood. Stem cells are simply
    harvested from your blood and then transplanted to Michael.

    4. A match for Michael would be most likely to come from those of Eastern
    European Jewish descent. If you or anyone you know are in this category
    please make a special effort to immediately get tested. Ultimately, you
    would be doing something not just for Michael, but for so many more who
    are in a similar situation as my husband.

    5. You are now part of our internet-based drive for donor testing. If
    everyone who receives this can motivate a bunch of their friends to get
    tested, and those friends then forward this email to get their friends
    to get tested, we will have rapidly expanded the pool of potential
    donors. I urge all of you to get tested AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.

    Any local blood center/Red Cross center can assist in organizing a
    drive for Michael, although it would be desirable if you can get a
    large group, e.g. a synagogue, to sponsor it. Should you have any
    questions about this, please don't hesitate to get in touch with
    Michael's management office at 212.302.9200 or info@michaelbrecker.com.

    Thank you so much for your love and support.

    We are so grateful.
    Susan xo

  2. #2

    Re: IMPORTANT OT: Michael Brecker in need of help--please read

    I sincerely hope that this has a happy ending. I can't help out myself, but I'll pass it around among friends. A long-long shot, but always worth taking.

    Best of luck to the Breckers
    Heath

  3. #3
    Senior Member Bruce A. Richardson's Avatar
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    Re: IMPORTANT OT: Michael Brecker in need of help--please read

    Here's the main criterion, culled from the post above:

    4. A match for Michael would be most likely to come from those of Eastern
    European Jewish descent. If you or anyone you know are in this category
    please make a special effort to immediately get tested.


    Please...everybody here can make a huge difference if you will just take a moment to think of people you know who may be a match for this.

    If you are not familiar with Michael Brecker's work, just do an internet search and you will realize that he is probably one of the most influential jazz/studio saxophone players of our time. I know that my life has personally been enriched and my musicianship improved by studying his work.

    This is one of those situations where the exponential power of the internet's reach can actually make a difference.

    Please also post this to any newsgroups, forums, etc., that you know are populated with musicians or jazz fans. The more this word gets out, the more likely that someone who is a match will take that important step of getting tested.

    There are thousands of other people who could be helped by a match. The Breckers are being exceedingly unselfish in urging people to be tested just to "help everyone." But Michael is one of our own. Let's make an effort on his behalf. Please, everyone do what you can to spread the word about this, and especially try to speak with people you know who may be of Eastern European Jewish descent--who might be able to help in this time of dire need.

    I read up on the disease. This is serious stuff. When this disease progresses to the stage where stem cell/marrow therapy is being discussed, it is at a final stage. Without a stem cell transplant, Michael will likely die. With it, he can recover and continue to make amazing music.

  4. #4

    Re: IMPORTANT OT: Michael Brecker in need of help--please read

    I am a Jew of Eastern European descent. I will look into this.
    Composer, Logic Certified Trainer, Level 2,
    author of "Going Pro with Logic Pro 9."

    www.jayasher.com

  5. #5

    Re: IMPORTANT OT: Michael Brecker in need of help--please read

    This is terrible news.. Ive been a huge Brecker fan a my life..3 Quartets is masterpiece.. After we`ve been tested, how do we know if we are sutiable donors ? They send the info. to the Breckers via e-mail ? Very sad news..Best Rich

  6. #6

    Re: IMPORTANT OT: Michael Brecker in need of help--please read

    I've emailed my inlaws, who may be able to help. Best wishes to Michael and his family.

    fizbin

  7. #7

    Re: IMPORTANT OT: Michael Brecker in need of help--please read

    I wish him the best. I believe that there is some 100,000 individuals in the registry for an un-related match. Hopefully the registry can find someone who matches.

    I do not know how severe his MDS is, but it sounds like it is severe with the urgency of the letter.

    Vidaza (5-Azacitidine) is already available to treat MDS, but seems to me is a more effective treatment in milder cases of MDS.

    Revlimid (made by Celgene) is an oral medication that is likely to receive FDA approval in two months for the treatment of MDS. Once again, I sucspect that this medicine will be more effective for milder cases of MDS than more advnaced cases.

    There are investigational drugs, of course, and if there is no other treatment available I would look into treatment with Telintra (Telik corporation) that seems to work for some people. It is an investigational treatment and he would have to qualify for the study and go to a clinic where the study is being offered (in Los Angeles, I beleive).

    Just some suggestions from musician who is also a hematologist.

    David

  8. #8

    Re: IMPORTANT OT: Michael Brecker in need of help--please read

    I'm so sorry to hear about this. Mr Brecker has been one of the most outstanding musicians of our time. Hopefully he will be helped by these generous efforts. I doubt I can help, but I will certainly spread the word.
    The very best of luck to Michael and his family.
    Kid: When I become an adult I wanna be a musician.
    Parent: Son, you cannot become both.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Bruce A. Richardson's Avatar
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    Re: IMPORTANT OT: Michael Brecker in need of help--please read

    Quote Originally Posted by chambermusic
    I wish him the best. I believe that there is some 100,000 individuals in the registry for an un-related match. Hopefully the registry can find someone who matches.
    Apparently, the registry has no match at present, from what I can gather from information being released by the Breckers.

    If you go to michaelbrecker.com, there is a PDF which provides a copy of the letter I posted above, plus some specific info about being tested, what kind of testing options are available, etc.

    Here are some general notes from that, just things I recall. Please read the PDF for specifics, as my memory may not be 100%.

    1) You can privately test, and have results forwarded to the Breckers.

    2) If you just do the general test for the registry, apparently it is not a very fast process, taking a couple of months from time of testing to showing up on the active registry. Michaels case seems to be more urgent than this would allow. Your own physician might be able to help you, if you wish to be tested.

    3) There is a private test-kit company in the PDF, which would forward the results to the Breckers. It is not as cheap as other options. So, your physician might be able to find a better deal for you.

    4) Being a donor is not a horror story--apparently the methods of doing this are now quite non-invasive. They put in an I.V., circulate your blood thorough a system which filters out stem cells, and then circulate it back into you. For your part, you have to lie around a while and read a magazine. And save someone's life. Not bad.

    It is great to see that there are people here who might be able to help out. Please continue to circulate this information to any public BBS systems or Forums that you participate in.

    Imagine the amazing possibility that we musicians might be able to connect up the dots and help Michael...it would be a real testament to the power of our community.

  10. #10

    Re: IMPORTANT OT: Michael Brecker in need of help--please read

    Good thoughts to Michael.

    Joanne

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