Lightning Strikes Twice By Yaron Kellner, Yediot Achronot


They could not believe it was happening to them again: Nine years after taking their daughter Adi to Ezer Mizion’s summer retreat for cancer patients, the  Diamants are going back there again, now with their son Shmulik.

The Diamant family’s first encounter with Ezer Mizion’s summer retreat for cancer patients was a positive experience. Adi Diamant was a girl with a future when she came as a volunteer to the retreat geared for families of cancer patients.

“She loved to volunteer. Everything in her life revolved around chessed, doing good deeds. Only years later, I understood why she wanted so much to be a counselor at Ezer Mizion. It is a very special place.”

The family’s tranquil routine was shattered one day, about a year after Adi’s volunteering, when she came home with severe stomach cramps. The parents rushed with her to the emergency room, suspecting appendicitis.

At the hospital, they were told that Adi had an intestinal obstruction and she was immediately wheeled into surgery. When she came out of the operating room, it was clear that life would never be the same. The operation, which was supposed to last an hour and a half, took six hours. The obstruction was caused by a tumor in the large intestine. Tumor. Chemo. Tension..Ezer Mizion offered Adi a place in its many support programs at its Donald Berman Rehabilitation Center but she consistently refused, knowing that her acceptance would mean another child could not take part. Giving was her essence. Taking was hard for her. She agreed only to the annual London trip for teenage girls but only if she went in the capacity of a counselor. The treatment continued and, with it, the tension.   But then came Recovery. Relief. Art school. Normalcy.

 It didn’t last.   Two years later the cancer was back. Round two was hard and Adi accepted a place at Ezer Mizion’s  summer retreat for herself and her family. Adi’s second visit was that of   a patient but her new status did not prevent her from continuing to give to others. It would be one of her last opportunities to give. Adi passed away at 21.

“If this is what G-d gave us, we will meet the challenge. We know that what is happening here is all G-d plan, even if we do not understand it and never will. Before Adi got sick, we had a fire in the house, and when our worldly possessions were burnt, we thought our world had collapsed. Today we understand that material objects are just a bunch of nonsense.”

After Adi’s death, our faith kept us from falling apart. We gradually rebuilt our lives, never dreaming that we would once again be forced to face the same horrendous nightmare.”

Looking cancer in the eye. Again.

Then, last October, it happened. “I had some allergy tests done,” reports Shmulik, the sixth of the seven children in the family. When he got home, his concerned parents were already waiting for him. The allergies were forgotten. It was leukemia. Schneider’s Hospital became his home. He took his matriculation exams there and passed with flying colors in spite of the fact that he was under morphine and wearing an oxygen mask. This summer, the family will once again be at Ezer Mizion’s summer retreat. “To our good fortune, there are angels in Ezer Mizion, like Ahrele Sinai, who directed Ezer Mizion’s cancer patient guest home when Adi was there, and Tzippy Kestenbaum, the social worker, and today, we have Yomi Dzialovsky, who serves as patient liaison and is so helpful to us.”

Shmulik has learned his childhood lessons well. His faith is strong and we hope for a complete cure.  Ezer Mizion has been a tremendous support each step of the way and each member of our family hopes to take part in its many programs in the future… as volunteers!

For further info: ezermizion.org

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