Association of Jewish Aging Services

For Marla Gilson, Leukemia Sparks Massive Jewish Bone Marrow Drive—And Fight With Employer

03/29/2011
JTA

WASHINGTON (JTA) – Marla Gilson found out in January that she had acute leukemia.

By March, she learned that her disease had cost her not only her good health, but her job leading an advocacy group for the Jewish aged.

In quick succession, friends, colleagues and acquaintances in Washington’s Jewish activist community rallied to Gilson’s bedside to support her in her fight with her employer -- the Association of Jewish Aging Services -- and also to champion a wider cause: registering Ashkenazi Jews as potential bone marrow donors.

Marla Gilson's plight

Somehow you expect more from Jewish organizations when it comes to relations with employees – who, after all, are mostly in it because they care about communal causes, not because of the big paychecks and great benefits.

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