Diabetes or not—here we come!!!


Every teenager wants to be at one among his peers. And if he is not? If he must, of necessity, do things that appear strange to his peers? If the simplest encounter, like a spontaneous decision to meet at the pizza store, requires a complicated inner calculation that causes him to seem standoffish as the others animatedly discuss the pros and cons of olives or mushrooms? If the teen is imprisoned within the walls of diabetes and that trip to tomato sauce heaven necessitates a- what seems to his friends as bizarre- finger stick as others casually place their orders?

For a Yeshiva student living 24 hours in a dormitory, this can be a straining situation that keeps him on constant alert. As one of the boys put it – “Dealing with diabetes occupies many gigabytes in my brain.”

To periodically release the valve on the boys’ unremitting tension, Ezer Mizion arranged an action-packed trip on a vacation day. The exuberance of the group was tangible and fairly shouted: Here we come…diabetes or not!  On that special day they could let down their defenses and act naturally with contemporaries who are in the same boat.  “We understand each other better than any doctor,” one of the boys pointed out, “because they know it all in theory, but we live it. And that gives us the best understanding there is!”

The 35 boys who participated in the trip enjoyed an exhilarating jeep ride through the beautiful southern Israel landscape, breathing in the cool, crystal clear air and rappelling the mountain with the abandon of someone who has been able to leave his heavy, personal baggage behind. The boys basked in the relaxed social interchange, devoid of the usual undercurrent of tension stemming from their constant need to hide their condition.

They glowed at the characteristic Ezer Mizion “TLC” – in the form of individual kits containing a flashlight, pen, single serving of carbohydrate, booklet and sun visor. “You can’t imagine what a good feeling it is to know that people are thinking just of you.”

After a delicious barbecue, complete with smoked steaks and kebab and other low carb ‘boy foods’, the teens concluded their action-packed day with a visit at Yeshivat Hanegev with the Rosh Yeshiva Harav Yissachar Meir, who inspired the boys to rise above their limitations.

The group expressed their deep thanks to Yehudah Silver, field trip coordinator who made the arrangements, Rabbi Weintraub, who skillfully provided the social, emotional accompaniment and set the tone, Yael Neiman, the moving force behind the scenes at Ezer Mizion’s Juvenile Diabetes Support Program, and Shai Agentek, of the Agentek Company, who helped finance the trip, distributed gifts and came along for the ride, injecting his own spark of sensitivity among the participants.

Above all, they thanked Chananya Chollak, Ezer Mizion’s International Chairman, whose genuine caring put support of Juvenile Diabetes patients on Ezer Mizion’s packed agenda.

Accompanying their gratitude was a longing. One boy expressed it for the rest of them:  “The jeep trip was larger than life. Could we do it again sometime?”

For further info: http://www.ezermizion.org

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