Israeli actress and model Agam Rudberg donated bone marrow this week in an effort to save the life of a woman with leukemia who urgently needed a transplant.
Rudberg was automatically added to the national bone marrow donor registry Ezer Mizion in 2005 when she was drafted into the IDF. According to an agreement between the IDF and Ezer Mizion, upon enlistment, new recruits supply a saliva sample to a registry of potential donors. As of 2013, a third of the registry, some 228,000 samples, was supplied by IDF soldiers.
Recently, Rudberg was told she was a match for a woman who was diagnosed with leukemia and decided to prep for the donation. The transplant was successful.
Dr. Bracha Zisser, director of the Ezer Mizion bone marrow bank, said Rudberg was a perfect example of how straightforward the life-saving process was.
“She showed everyone how easy it is to save a life. I call on all those who have yet to join the registry to do so as soon as possible by giving a saliva sample. The privilege of saving a life is its own biggest reward,” she said.
Rudberg’s heroics didn’t elude the eyes of MK Elazar Stern (Hatnua), who called on deputy foreign minister Ze’ev Elkin (Likud) to hire Rudberg for his ministry’s new ad campaign and dismiss supermodel Bar Refaeli.
The Foreign Ministry came under fire from the IDF last month for choosing the alleged draft-dodging model to star in its new ad. Refaeli responded to the controversy by dismissing the “negative energy and criticism.”
“I suggest that the Foreign Ministry reconsider whom it chooses to represent us [Israelis]. Rudberg is a good example of a model who has not shirked army service and who continues to succeed after her release from the IDF,” said Stern.
In 1998, as former head of the IDF’s Manpower Directorate, Stern cooperated with Zisser to set up the registry with samples from IDF soldiers.