We are deeply saddened by the news that Sharon Berger passed away a few days ago. Sharon was one of the founders of the very original MDS patient group back in 2007, when that group was still in its infancy - together with Fiona Pirilla and Kes Grant.
MDS UK Patient Support Group Treasurer
In 2008 and thereafter, when the group grew, thanks to the help and advice of the MDS Foundation, the financial support of Novartis and Celgene (and their very dedicated patient relation staff members) and the great leadership of chairman and MDS patient David Hall, Sharon became the treasurer of MDS UK, later together with her husband Stephen, until they resigned a few years later, due to Sharon's MDS progressing to AML.
MDS UK is very grateful to the time and work both Sharon and Stephen contributed over the years to the organisation.
All members who got to know them over the years, working and growing together as a group are deeply saddened and convey their condolences to the family.
Recruiting stem cell donors of Jewish origin: the great legacy of Sharon
The MDS and AML community owe a huge debt of gratitude to the Berger family who took on the extraordinary task of recruiting stem cell donors of Jewish origin, when Sharon's needed her first transplant.
Sharon had a very rare and mixed ethnic background of Russian and Ashkenazi Jewish origin, which meant a very long and difficult search for a suitable donor.
Her children Jonni and Caroline created an incredible campaign to mobilise the Jewish community to register as donors.
It grew the percentage of Jewish stem cell donors by over a 1000% and did finally result in finding a donor.
The work of Caroline and Jonni are an inspiration to all patients, organisations and haematologists, as to what can be achieved when everyone works together.
Their efforts had a huge impact everywhere and are a tribute to their Mum, who went through so much, but always brave, strong and positive.
We convey our sincere condolences to Jonni, Caroline, Stephen, Sharon's sister and all the family and many friends.