Lifesaving Stem Cell Donor 'Brother' Gets Place of Honor at Australian's Wedding

Groom Beats Leukemia Thanks to Michael Striegold

Michael Faust, center, celebrates his wedding with Michael Striegold, right, who helped save his life with a matching stem cell donation.
Jeremy Byrnes Photography
Michael Faust, center, celebrates his wedding with Michael Striegold, right, who helped save his life with a matching stem cell donation.

By JTA

Published April 28, 2014.
  • Print
  • Share Share

An American Jew whose stem cells saved the life of an Australian Jew diagnosed with life-threatening leukemia was guest of honor at his wedding in Sydney.

Michael Striegold, 38, from Houston, Texas, was in the front row to witness Michael Faust marry Jackie Antico under the chuppah overlooking Sydney Harbor last week, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

A decade earlier, in 2004, Striegold was at a Jewish function in San Francisco when he decided to test for the Gift of Life registry, an organization dedicated to finding matches for Jews with life-threatening stem cell, bone marrow and transplants problems.

For Michael Faust, 33, it was literally a lifeline, after he was diagnosed with an aggressive form of leukemia at the age of 23. “I was totally devastated that someone my age could be diagnosed with cancer,” he told the paper.

The pair now meet up each year. “For me, a stranger, to have a second family is overwhelming,” Striegold said.

“I now have another brother,” Faust responded.

Shula Endrey-Walder told J-Wire, a local Jewish website, that there are four more Jews in desperate need of a transplant; Jews are much more likely to find a match within their own ethnic group.

Still, she said, it’s a long shot: “The likelihood of finding a match in the Jewish community is 1 in 10,000.”


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Israeli soldiers want you to buy them socks. And snacks. And backpacks. And underwear. And pizza. So claim dozens of fundraising campaigns launched by American Jewish and Israeli charities since the start of the current wave of crisis and conflict in Israel and Gaza.
  • The sign reads: “Dogs are allowed in this establishment but Zionists are not under any circumstances.”
  • Is Twitter Israel's new worst enemy?
  • More than 50 former Israeli soldiers have refused to serve in the current ground operation in #Gaza.
  • "My wife and I are both half-Jewish. Both of us very much felt and feel American first and Jewish second. We are currently debating whether we should send our daughter to a Jewish pre-K and kindergarten program or to a public one. Pros? Give her a Jewish community and identity that she could build on throughout her life. Cons? Costs a lot of money; She will enter school with the idea that being Jewish makes her different somehow instead of something that you do after or in addition to regular school. Maybe a Shabbat sing-along would be enough?"
  • Undeterred by the conflict, 24 Jews participated in the first ever Jewish National Fund— JDate singles trip to Israel. Translation: Jews age 30 to 45 travelled to Israel to get it on in the sun, with a side of hummus.
  • "It pains and shocks me to say this, but here goes: My father was right all along. He always told me, as I spouted liberal talking points at the Shabbos table and challenged his hawkish views on Israel and the Palestinians to his unending chagrin, that I would one day change my tune." Have you had a similar experience?
  • "'What’s this, mommy?' she asked, while pulling at the purple sleeve to unwrap this mysterious little gift mom keeps hidden in the inside pocket of her bag. Oh boy, how do I answer?"
  • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
  • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
  • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
  • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
  • Jon Stewart responds to his critics: “Look, obviously there are many strong opinions on this. But just merely mentioning Israel or questioning in any way the effectiveness or humanity of Israel’s policies is not the same thing as being pro-Hamas.”
  • "My bat mitzvah party took place in our living room. There were only a few Jewish kids there, and only one from my Sunday school class. She sat in the corner, wearing the right clothes, asking her mom when they could go." The latest in our Promised Lands series — what state should we visit next?
  • Former Israeli National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror: “A cease-fire will mean that anytime Hamas wants to fight it can. Occupation of Gaza will bring longer-term quiet, but the price will be very high.” What do you think?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.