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Time Is of the Essence: Michael Brecker’s Fight for Life

Michael Brecker
Michael Brecker (photo: Michael Piazza)

Saxophonist Michael Brecker, 56, has been diagnosed with MDS (myelodysplastic syndrome). MDS is a collection of disorders in which the bone marrow does not produce enough healthy blood cells.

Brecker needs a bone-marrow transplant, and after an initial search for a donor resulted in no matches his doctors advised him to explore all possible options. As a result, Brecker and his family are encouraging as many people with a similar genetic background (Eastern European Jewish descent) to get tested for compatibility. In fact, they are encouraging everyone to get tested. “Irrespective of [Brecker’s] illness, being a bone marrow donor is really important,” said Darryl Pitt, Brecker’s manager. “Michael has MDS, but if you have leukemia, lymphoma, myeloma or sickle cell anemia, the solution is still a bone marrow transplant.”

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