Posts Tagged ‘hospital’

Ezer Mizion Linked to Life “Takes the Cake”

September 13, 2017

pr-whats-app-bas-mitzvah-cakeA father of young children becomes ill. It goes without saying that the main focus is on his receiving proper medical care. But then there’s the little things. The sadness that pervades a once cheerful home… the frustrations when normal needs cannot be met…the guilt of the mother at not being supermom…children trying to be grownups and failing…kids desperate for childish pleasures as a security blanket enabling them to feel that their world hasn’t completely fallen apart…so many needs…

Daughter turns twelve and nothing happens. No family celebration.  Not even a mention.  The cloud encompassing the home is too dark, too heavy to allow a smile to enter. Until a request from a neighbor to Ezer Mizion resulted in a  super fantastic celebratory cake which brought in its wake a bit of sunshine to this despondent family.

L2L takes the cakeAnd now her brother is turning nine. He begs for a cake. He begs and begs as only almost-nine-year-old boys can do.  His mother offers to make one for him even though she has no energy for even the most basic household tasks. But he wants, no needs (!), more. He wants a cake like his sister received when she turned twelve. Somewhat embarrassed but comfortable enough since she was calling “family”, Mommy contacted Ezer Mizion. “Is it…I mean could you…would it be at all possible…?”

As with the Bas Mitzvah cake, Ezer Mizion’s Linked to Life (a What’s App group) was contacted. Hundreds of screens lit up and in moments, a reply came in.  The super fantastic birthday goodies (see pictures for some of the yummies that accompanied the cake) were produced by Shaindy and her kids. Listen to her comments when it was done.

“The truth is that yesterday, on the fast day, in the heat wave, I wanted to help out but it just didn’t work out. I felt as if it was a lost opportunity.

“And then, this request popped up. You should know that I felt it was a real chessed – for me! I was fasting, and my girls, full of energy, wanted an active mother with them, as they have every day.

“Thanks to the cake posting, they and I had an especially enjoyable afternoon: One ran to the grocery, the other mixed the batter. When the first got back, she was busy passing over the ingredients and putting things away.

“We spent a few hours enjoying a positive learning experience, and when they asked whom the cake was for, I explained… and they were really, really touched, especially since my eldest is the same age as the birthday boy…

“So, baruch Hashem, I wanted to do my part and get an assignment – and I succeeded,  and had a wonderful family experience, to boot. Thank YOU for the privilege to be Linked to Life!”

 

Ezer Mizion provides services to over 660,000 of Israel’s population annually in addition to its Bone Marrow Registry which saves the lives of Jewish cancer patients the world over.

 

For further info: www.ezermizion.org              5225 New Utrecht Ave Bk NY 11219

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Giving with Vitamin P

August 2, 2017

pr general hel;ioong hand in darkTheir mother has cancer and is in a very precarious condition. Her situation is shaky. The family is shaky. And terrified. And numb. And overwhelmed. And beaten. And disoriented. All at once.

 

A day of fun, of pampering can work wonders for the spirit. I ask them what they would want. Unable to think past their dire situation, they say, “A trip to Teverya, to pray at the gravesite of Rabbi Meir Baal Hanes, to daaven for Ima to have a nes, a miracle…

Linked to Life is not staffed by mere people. It is staffed by angels. When there are angels along the way, things looks different… It starts with a phone call to Shmulik of Ezer Mizion’s Transport Division, who works on the logistics for the family trip to Teverya.

 

Family bonding. A vitamin called ‘Pleasure’ to strengthen the spirit. Vital ingredients for this Special Day. And so it gets better: First thing in the morning Yishai, the nicest volunteer driver in the world, reports at the door with a huge smile and takes them for a banana boat ride on the Kinneret, funding donated by SL from Teverya. Smiles are contagious and tentative replicas begin to appear on the faces of the family.

 

And even better: They continue on to a gourmet meal at the Caesar Hotel, funding donated by AAA from Caesarea. Long-forgotten feelings of happiness well up in them as they continue their day of pampering.

 

They reach the gravesites of Rabbi Meir Baal Hanes in Teverya and Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai in Meron and daven with every fiber of their being. Their arms around each other, they leave strengthened. They’re a family. They can cope.

 

More Vitamin P, shared together, empowering them for the difficult days ahead: a fantastic performance to suit their mood (funded by MH from Hadera) tops off the day.

 

Because that’s the way it is with Ezer Mizion’s Linked to Life, when there are people there who care about you, who are sensitive to your needs and want with all their heart to pamper you…

 

Ezer Mizion provides services to over 660,000 of Israel’s population annually in addition to its Bone Marrow Registry which saves the lives of Jewish cancer patients the world over.

 

For further info: www.ezermizion.org             5225 New Utrecht Ave Bk NY 11219             718 853 8400

 

July 26, 2017

pr canc sup lego kids - sLove at first sight, that’s what Maor Cohen felt when he got his first Lego set at age five. “My Mom came home from a visit in Tel Aviv, the ‘big city,’ with a humongous Lego set that must have cost half her monthly salary. You have to understand that back then, in the beginning of the 1980’s, this was no trivial matter. I was so excited that I went to sleep at night hugging the box and the next day I couldn’t wait to come back from preschool and play with it.”

“From that moment, which remains vivid in my heart more than thirty years later, I never stopped developing my hobby. Every birthday present was Lego, and every bit of money I saved up as a child remained in my piggy bank until enough accumulated to buy a new set. I lived at the time in Yavneh and I would ride my bicycle all the way to Rechovot in order to buy Lego and save the cost of a bus ticket.”

Throughout his youth, Cohen never abandoned his hobby. But, of course, as he matured, his focus turned to adult occupations. He served in the army, completed an officers’ course, and today, after finishing his academic studies through the army, is serving as a Major in the Manpower Department.

One day, he recalls, after realizing that he had accumulated in his home an unimaginable amount of Lego, worth hundreds of thousands of shekels, he decided that it was time to pass the pieces on to somebody else who would enjoy them. “I wanted to do something good with the Lego. I turned to my friend, Rabbi Eitan Eckstein, who suggested that I donate the collection to Oranit, Ezer Mizion’s Donald Berman Rehab Center for Support of Cancer Patients and their Families.pr canc sup lego

When I arrived at Oranit, my plans changed. Drastically. “I came there intending to simply donate the Lego and go my merry way. Oranit staff had a different idea. “Suppose you keep the Lego and use it for a club, showing the kids how to use it. You’ve got the skills. You’ve got the know-how. You could accomplish so much. You could put life into those kids (and maybe even adults). Dealing with cancer is frightening. It’s depressing. Having a project like Lego to look forward to would work wonders.”

“They were so convincing that I tried giving the workshop that very day. I recall hesitantly entering the playroom with a few pieces of Lego and three children and we started building. Well, it worked. The kids loved it. Every week, the number of kids increased, and today there are almost thirty children participating.

From that moment five years ago, Maor Cohen has been running the Lego Club in Oranit on a volunteer basis. With time, the project expanded. Others volunteered to assist him. Nir Solomon, who served as Cohen’s brigade commander in the past and is now retired uses his free time help Maor run the club. Four other volunteers also come regularly. Even Maor’s immense collection has its limits but many have been fascinated by the project and offered to help finance new Lego sets. Maor’s brother is one of these. “He was very excited by the idea and asked to donate money so that I could buy the kids Lego as a gift. That would enable them to have Lego not only during the club time but also at home and with them during their treatments.”

Neither sun, nor rain, nor the security situation can deter the energetic Lego man. “The club is now in its fifth year, and it takes place once a week, no matter what. At most, I push it off a day, because I know that the child and his family are waiting for me. In addition to the club, I also make the rounds in the Oncology wards of the hospitals 3-4 times a week and build with the hospitalized children.”pr canc sup lego s-f

Why Lego? “First of all, Lego is great fun. I also think that it is especially important for these kids, because with Lego, there is a feeling of continuity. All that planning gives them a sense of a future.

Dr. Bracha Zisser, Director of Oranit, explains that Oranit was founded in order to relieve patients and their families during the difficult period of treatments. “We operate as a guest house that enables families to sleep over in the Center of the country near treatment centers to avoid the long, grueling hours of traveling. We also organize trips and social activities. In addition, we provide many forms of therapy for both patient and his family. We are constantly expanding our activities in order to enable every person, the patient or his family member, to connect with activities that speak to him.

Maor has got to know Oranit and its staff over the years. “Oranit is an amazing place. They provide support in the most difficult moments, both to children who are sick and to children with a sick parent, and actually to the entire family, in the knowledge that the family is the circle surrounding the child.”

For further info: www.ezermizion.org              5225 New Utrecht Ave Bk NY 11219             718 853 8400 Ezer Mizion provides services to over 660,000 of Israel’s population annually in addition to its Bone Marrow Registry which saves the lives of Jewish cancer patients the world over.

Hospital Rounds

April 19, 2017

helping handssI was trying. Friends and relatives were also helping. The situation was beyond hopeless and I was helpless to keep things together.   I had three children in three separate hospitals, located in various parts of the country. One was in a mental hospital, two in medical hospitals. Can you imagine the anguish, the sights I witnessed daily? The despair when I had to leave one to visit another. The tiny bewildered faces at the window at home watching Mommy leave…again. The exhaustion- both physical and emotional. The frustration when twenty-four hours were far from enough in each day. The astronomical expenses incurred on top of less money coming in.

A friend gave me a number to call. “Perhaps these people would be able to get you a ride once in awhile,” she suggested. I was skeptical. “Why would anyone outside of my immediate circle want to help?” I wondered. But I was desperate and thought I would give it a try. Even one ride would be something. Well, that number enabled me to enter a world I never realized existed. A world where complete strangers really cared and gave up their time and energy to help. It was the number to Ezer Mizion’s Linked to Life, a What’s App program connecting people in Israel and even around the world.

A friendly, sensitive operator answered and said she would pass on the message. I thought that would be the end of it and was surprised to be contacted almost immediately. It was a short Friday and I needed to visit all three children. “Perhaps he could drive me to the first one,” I timidly asked. Well, Yossie drove me to the first one, came back to pick me up and drive me to the second, returned to drive me to the third where I would be staying for Shabbos, delivered a car-full of delicious Shabbos food to my home, food that my family had not seen in weeks, plus Shabbos food for me at the hospital. Yossie and his family continued to help. It was only later that I found out that he had made a bris for his grandson during that period and his help was certainly needed at home. Yet he and his family rallied to help me, a person they had just met.

More volunteers came after Shabbos- some to do homework with the kids, some to help with housework, some to take the kids out to buy much needed school supplies (with ice cream afterwards for a treat). The food continued to come daily, delivered by people who really understood. For rides, all I needed to do was dial the number and a driver would materialize at my doorstep, always a person whose caring could only be matched by that of the next one.

Ezer Mizion was my family’s savior. We never could have made it through that period without them.

Linked to Life…We’re all connected!

Ezer Mizion provides services to over 660,000 of Israel’s population annually in addition to its Bone Marrow Registry which saves the lives of Jewish cancer patients the world over.

For further info: www.ezermizion.org              5225 New Utrecht Ave Bk NY 11219               718 853 8400

 

 

 

 

The Beeps Keep Coming

March 22, 2017

helping-handsWe all remember what Purim was like. That special electricity in the air as we rush from house to house sharing shalach monos and Purim joy. A gorilla dancing with a rabbit to a lively Shoshanos Yaakov right there on Avenue J. Nearby a miniature Mordechai is gleefully riding a pony while “Haman” leads it, shouting “Thus shall be done…”

But for some, especially those who are members of Ezer Mizion’s Linked to Life Group, Purim had an added dimension this year with the special Purim joy multiplied a hundredfold. It was almost a beep a minute at Linked to Life and each request was answered, some within seconds. Come take a peek at what was behind each beep.

  • A little boy wants to be a fireman but his mother has cancer and has no strength to buy him a costume. Who can help?
  • We have 150 special kids who learned about shalach manos but won’t be receiving any? Can someone donate them?
  • A small boy with leukemia is dreaming of a special costume. No one can find it anywhere. Any volunteer to custom sew it for him?
  • There’s a patient at the oncology ward who is so depressed that she is missing Purim. We need lots of volunteers to bring shalach manos and smiles.
  • We’re on duty here at the firehouse all day. Can someone come to read the megillah for us?
  • There’s a large group of patients at Shaar Menashe Hospital with not a sign of Purim. Can anyone arrange a lebedike party? Who can provide food? Music? Costumed dancers?
  • A cancer patient has no family. I have a list of all her favorites but I’m out of town. Can someone put together a ‘personalized’ shalach monos?

Purim is over. The beeps are less frequent but still coming in.

  • To New York branch of Linked to Life:Baruch is a 5-year – old cancer patient who is arriving from Israel and landing in Newark at 6:00 PM. He is able to eat only cooked white rice and, what with all the paraphernalia needed for this medical trip, his parents forgot his container of white rice. Can someone meet them at Newark airport with a meal for this child who will have had nothing to eat for so many hours?
  • Urgent! Urgent! Urgent! Looking for a volunteer to bring a prosthetic hand from London to Israel today! The prosthesis can be brought to any location in London and picked up from any place in Israel…If you know of someone flying today from London to Israel, please call Zevulun ASAP

Ezer Mizion’s Linked to Life…where no Jew is ever alone.

Like to join Linked to Life from any country around the world? SMS: 011 972 52 580 8936

For further info: www.ezermizion.org              5225 New Utrecht Ave Bk NY 11219             718 853 8500

Caring for the Caretaker

February 8, 2017

lk-del-ok-to-use-2-maleIt was erev Shabbos (shortly before the onset of the Sabbath)  when an elderly mother went for a trip with her daughter and son-in-law…

A death trip…

Road accident. The grandmother was killed instantly, the daughter and son-in-law were very seriously hurt, hospitalized out there in the Nahariya hospital.

Tragic. A simple car ride and life will never be the same. People were in shock. But shock was a luxury that those at Ezer Mizion could not be afford at the time. Things were needed. Crying would have to wait.  The most urgent need was food for those that will be sitting with the patients.

Unlike the United States, Israel’s nursing staff does not provide non-medical care. It is essential that a family member be there at all times to offer the drink, the pillow, the extra blanket. And in this case, it was vital that family be there to hold the patients’ hands, giving them the love and caring that can make all the difference on the road to recovery.

And the caretakers? Spending hour after draining hour at the hospital bedside. Who will take care of them? That’s where Ezer Mizion’s Food Division comes in to play.  Its army of volunteers provide attractive, nutritious meals to be delivered by another fleet of volunteers together with a sympathetic arm around the shoulder and sound advice.

Now it was erev Shabbos. Soon the siren would sound. Would there be food for those distraught relatives who were already emotionally drained by the trauma?

Ezer Mizion’s Yedidya Chazan, the man whose name has become a legend, went to work. The grandmother’s funeral had not yet taken place, but abundant, tasty food for the people who will be sitting by the bedside of the wounded in the hospital on Shabbat was already simmering in the pots of volunteers. In under two hours, the man organized an array of Shabbat food with all the trimmings. ‘Platters of energy’- both physical and emotional- enabling the givers to be strong for those who needed them so desperately.

Yedidya, we salute you.

You are truly a ‘yedid’ of Hashem. Hashem’s beloved.

And ‘Yedid amo’ the beloved of his people.

 

 

Ezer Mizion provides services to over 660,000 of Israel’s population annually in addition to its Bone Marrow Registry which saves the lives of Jewish cancer patients the world over.

 

For further info: www.ezermizion.org 5225 New Utrecht Ave Bk NY 11219             718 853 8400

Did You Ever Feel Frozen in Terror and So Very, Very Alone?

December 21, 2016

shabbosEvery Friday night, in every Jewish home, a platter of roast chicken appears on the table and the cholent can be heard bubbling in the crockpot. We take it for granted. It always was and it always will be. Until one week when it isn’t. No mouth-watering aromas emanating from the kitchen. No frantic calls of, “Put away the game right now and set the table. Shabbos is in eight minutes!” No Mommy standing quietly by the flickering candles, praying for those she loves. Where is Mommy? The mainstay of the home? The creator of the Shabbos atmosphere? Mommy is in the hospital, undergoing chemo. And even though the clock reads past the time for sunset, Shabbos, as the family knows it, had not yet entered their home. Grandma lives miles away in California and Abba, utterly devastated by recent events, is hardly functioning. Ten-year-old Chavi spreads peanut butter on bread to feed herself and her siblings.

Shabbos food would provide so much more than nutrition. Its aromas would enable the home to, once again, be pervaded with hope. The family would be enveloped by an all-encompassing feeling of belonging to the Jewish people, of being loved by their Creator. Smiles would appear on faces that hadn’t smiled in days. When Shabbos would depart, it would leave its gifts of Courage and Faith.

But there was no Shabbos food. And the home was filled with Melancholy and Despair.

There are too many homes like this—those that haven’t yet been put on the Ezer Mizion list. Sometimes, it‘s Mommy who is ill. Sometimes Mommy is spending Shabbos at the hospital with a tiny child or perhaps with her husband, whispering t’hillim for hours and praying that her children should have a father.

A home-cooked Shabbos meal, attractively presented for the family. A warm, sympathetic arm around the thin shoulders of the too-young teenager, trying to hold the home together. A smaller package delivered to a terrified family member spending Shabbos at a hospital bedside. The comforting feeling that someone understands and cares. The supportive crutch of knowing that the angel delivering the meal will return next week. All this is available to those on the List. But because so many are not yet on the List, Ezer Mizion has issued a call for more volunteers in Israel, especially in Bnai Brak. Volunteers are matched to families based on preferred kashrus certification, cuisine and location. Each volunteer prepares one meal per month for one family which is picked up by Ezer Mizion and delivered to the families by other trained volunteers.

We Jews are characterized by our desire to give. The call has gone out throughout Israel. A good response is certain. New homes will soon be added to Ezer Mizion’s list. The meals cannot cure the cancer but they will help to encourage the family in its battle for life.

Ezer Mizion provides services to over 660,000 of Israel’s population annually in addition to its Bone Marrow Registry which saves the lives of Jewish cancer patients the world over.

For further info: 718 853 8400         5225 New Utrecht Ave Bk NY 11219                             718 853 8400

Behind the Wheel with Yisroel

November 16, 2016

car-driving-man-city-46591018They always say thank you but, in truth, I am the one who feels privileged, as an Ezer Mizion driver, to transport so many very special people who have been battling illness and often have gained a clear insight of Hashem’s loving hand. A family   had requested a ride to the kvarim to give thanks to Hashem upon their young son completing a set of treatments.

At 7:45 I met six-year-old Noam Chai and his parents, exuberant after a 5-month long hospital stay. Their story is amazing, a story of blazing faith, of pure love of Hashem.

They came to these shores not for happy reasons, but rather because of the disease that ravaged their son’s lean body. From their very first words, I could tell what a special family they were, their faith engraved in stone, resistant even to gale-force winds, and the mitzvah of loving their Creator above all, guiding their steps at every moment. I was jealous. Their tribulations did not deter them. On the contrary, they just empowered the parents and their sweet child to accept the heavenly judgment with love.

The first stop was at the gravesite of Shmuel Hanavi, where we poured out our prayers for the complete recovery of Noam Chai. Our next stop was breakfast. I derived special pleasure seeing the 6-year-old boy being careful in the laws of netilat yadayim, making the brocha on a whole roll, eating politely, like a grown boy. And so, we continued traveling, while hearing words of Torah and inspiration, until we reached the grave of Rabbi Meir Baal Hanes. In awe, the family poured out their prayers at the holy site.

From there we went on to the gravesite of Rachel, the wife of Rabbi Akiva, and then to the kvarim of the great Rambam and of the Shelah Hakadosh. Rivers of tears flowed. Near them, with the intensity characteristic of a grown yeshiva bachur, the young Noam Chai prayed tearfully and slowly, saying word after word as if he was counting golden coins. I am certain that the heavens shed tears and cleared the way for the prayer of this young child, fighting a cruel and terrible illness.

From there, we continued to a lighter experience – a boat ride. The boat owners had donated their time as a gift for the child who captured the heart of all who met him.

Tzefas was our next stop. We visited the special candle factory, and saw scribes at their work writing a miniature sefer Torah, and then resumed our travels to the gravesite of Rashbi in Meron, stopping first for a meal.

The child, who was now able to put real food in his mouth after being nourished for long, hard months by IV, was visibly thankful. When we went to wash netilat yadayim, he stood politely, his hands clasped behind refusing to wash before his elders would do so. You could see the marvelous middos cultivated by the upbringing of his mother, who is meticulous about everything, big and small.

I dropped off this special family, now recharged with holy energy, anxious to thank Ezer Mizion and the devoted volunteers who are at their side day and night, ready to meet all their needs. From rides like this to transportation to and from the clinic, from daily hot meals to detailed advocacy and medical advice. Whatever their needs, Ezer Mizion was there for them. Praised is your nation, Hashem where a Yid is never alone!

All that remains is to give our blessing to Noam Chai ben Chami, for a complete recovery among all the ill of Israel, and that his dear parents should enjoy much nachas from him, in good health and happiness, and merit to be oleh laregel with all the Jewish people in the holy land very soon.

And to you, the amazing Ezer Mizion family, who teaches us what real chessed is, I thank you for enabling me to be a small agent in this holy organization.

With the blessing of a Kohen,

Yisrael ben Reitcha Raitzel

Ezer Mizion provides services to over 660,000 of Israel’s population annually in addition to its Bone Marrow Registry which saves the lives of Jewish cancer patients the world over.

For further info: 718 853 8400    5225 New Utrecht Ave Bk NY 11219       http://www.ezermizion.org

 

A Perfect Stranger

September 14, 2016

jacob-adashek-royi-horowitz-facing-frontAnother Ezer Mizion International Jewish Bone Marrow Registry success story! Jacob is now on his way to becoming a doctor and helping others. Just a few short years ago, his future was not certain at all. Read on as he tells his story.

A perfect stranger saved my life. He didn’t jump in front of a moving vehicle or fend off an attacker. He wasn’t perfect for the reasons one might think, but for my predicament, he was indeed perfect—a 10 out of 10 match, to be exact. I required such a match to survive.

As a senior in high school, my classmates had voted me “most likely to cure cancer.” Ironically, a year later, I found myself lying in a hospital bed, after being diagnosed with leukemia. The conundrum was that I felt fine and was anxious to begin my summer of organic chemistry as part of a combined undergraduate and medical school program. At 19 years old, I was completely unprepared to be diagnosed with cancer, admitted to the hospital, and informed I would need an urgent bone marrow transplant and chemotherapy, all in the same day. I had planned out my life for as long as I could remember, and suddenly nothing was under my control.

Being the youngest of 5 children, I felt confident that I would have a bone marrow donor. I would learn that a full sibling has a 25% chance1 of being a human leukocyte antigen (HLA)match and, as each of my siblings was eliminated as a possible donor, fear set in. I couldn’t fathom that a complete stranger would be willing to save me, yet that is what my life depended on. The first of 6 matches was found, and relief engulfed me. My “perfect stranger” was chosen because he was a 10-point HLA match, male, around my age, and had tested negative for cytomegalovirus.

From the moment I learned that a 28-year-old stranger from Israel would donate his bone marrow to me, I could not stop thinking about him. What did he look like? I imagined him in each face I saw. I had always expected to spend a large portion of my life in hospitals, but never as a patient, always as the physician. I spent over 100 days as an inpatient and, throughout my long recovery, I often wondered about my donor. Why was he on the bone marrow registry? Why was he willing to undergo bone marrow donation surgery to save me? He would later explain that a young girl in Israel who needed a bone marrow transplant had inspired him to join the registry and, later, I had more insight into his sacrifice, when he referenced the quote from the Talmud, “to save a life is to save the world.”

 

Each country has its own guidelines for the time frame when willing donors and recipients can learn one another’s identities. In the United States, the rule is 1 year, whereas, in Israel, it is 2 years. I wrote to my donor never knowing more than his age, gender, and country, and he wrote to me under the same conditions of anonymity. I wondered how we would meet given the distance between us, until one day I received an unexpected telephone call, offering me the opportunity to be flown across the country to meet him at a fundraiser. Ten days later, I was on a plane with my parents, feeling excited, thrilled, and nervous.

It was a whirlwind few days. I was asked to prepare a speech, but everything else was kept a secret. The time came for me to put on my suit, and I was whisked off to the event to learn the name of my hero. Never has the appetizer hour taken so long. I searched all over hoping to catch a glimpse of my donor. Unbeknownst to me, he was sequestered in a room upstairs. Eventually, it was time for dinner, and I would finally meet the man whose blood now runs through my veins (my blood type had been O+ but changed to his blood type, A+).

My name was called. I rose and strode to the podium. I expressed my gratitude and appreciation for my donor, and described waiting anxiously for 2 years to thank the stranger who saved my life. As I expected, my mom was in tears, but to my surprise there was not a dry eye in the room. The master of ceremonies approached and reached for the microphone. He spoke my donor’s name and, hearing it for the very first time, I felt exhilarated. Then Royi Horowitz walked through the doors. Gratitude flooded through me, and I gave him a long bear hug. I looked in the eyes of the man who so selflessly and willingly saved my life; a perfect stranger.

Reluctantly, I released him. This man whom I had loved since the day I learned he would give me a future was now right before me. I could finally lay eyes on him and hear his voice. The connection I feel with my donor, Royi, is sacred. For 2 years, I referred to him as my donor, my blood brother, and now I can finally call him by name. Four years later, the connection is just as strong. We are in touch regularly, and he and his wife have even traveled to my parents’ home in California, and met my family. Once a perfect stranger, now he is a dear friend.

For further info: 718 853 8400            5225 New Utrecht Ave Bk NY 11219 http://www.ezermizion.org

 

To All Lego Lovers Out There…

July 12, 2016

pr canc sup lego dollhouseThe Lego Workshop is an important part of Ezer Mizion’s extensive cancer support services for cancer patients (children and adults) and their families.

The Lego Workshop takes place once a week at Ezer Mizion’s “Oranit” cancer patient guest home that serves as home away for home for cancer patients through periods of outpatient treatment. When patients finish their ambulatory treatments, they return to Oranit where they are hosted. They are left with many hours each day that Ezer Mizion’s fills with creative, therapeutic, recreational activities – including the Lego Workshop – which they enjoy at Ezer Mizion-Oranit’s rehabilitation center. As all the other recreational and therapy activities, the Lego Workshop is offered as an activity outlet for cancer patients and their siblings and parents as well.pr canc sup lego f

The Lego Workshop also travels to hospital wards several times each week, bringing cheer to children who are hospitalized for extended periods.

Alon was 21 when he completed his combat duty and was discharged from the IDF to begin civilian life. That was when he began to feel sick and was shortly after diagnosed with a form of cancer that hits kids only. Because of his condition and the treatment required, he was hospitalized at Dana Children’s hospital, the pediatric hospital of the renowned Ichilov Medical Center in Tel Aviv.pr canc sup lego kids - s

He obviously felt out of place and quite lost with the youngsters around him but had no choice in the matter. That is where he has to be for the kind of treatment that he needs. So he gets s steady stream of visitors and activities all geared for kids: arts and crafts, clowns, entertainers, puppet shows, game room, etc. Besides for not feeling well, Alon feels very out of place.

Alon’s frequent week long hospitalizations for treatment began to become bearable when ezer Mizion’s dedication Lego workshop coordinator, IDF Major Maor Cohen, found out about him and began visiting him every week, helping Alon pass the long, lonely evening hours busy building with Lego.pr canc sup lego- f

Before each hospitalization, Alon would call Maor and let him know. Maor would turn up with another Lego building set to keep Alon occupied and challenged, with his mind off his illness.

Alon especially enjoyed building a Mini Cooper vehicle, which kept him enraptured. That was when his girlfriend commented to Maor that Alon’s occupation with the Lego was ruining their relationship…pr canc sup lego

With a twinkle in his eye, Maor told her that Alon was building a Mini Cooper to take her on a picnic. Shortly after Alon’s hospital release, Maor – true to his word – came to pick Alon and his girlfriend up to take them on a picnic. He chauffeured them in an authentic Mini Cooper that he borrowed from a friend who collects antique cars….

It was truly a picnic they will always remember. We recently received a sponsorship gift from the Shemtob Foundation with which new Lego sets were purchased. Alon was the first patient to get a set, which will tide him over his scheduled hospitalization for surgery and recovery from cancer treatment.pr canc sup lego f-s

Maor took his passion for Lego and developed it into an amazing tradition at Ezer Mizion. In addition to weekly meetings where participants build Lego creations, Lego parties and semi-annual Lego raffles are held as annual highlights at Ezer Mizion for kids with cancer and their families. These events give participants a chance to momentarily step out of their medical nightmare, and put together amazing Lego displays. At these much anticipated events, sick children are awarded huge Lego prizes that are donated by caring sponsors and every family leaves with a standard Lego set.

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Generate Strength and Instill Hope: Become a Lego Sponsor!

Join Ezer Mizion in our support activities for cancer patients with a generous sponsorship of Lego sets for our Lego club and Lego prizes for children with cancer.

Become a Lego sponsor and give these children a chance to hold on to the security of a normal childhood. Donations to Ezer Mizion are tax exempt in Israel, USA, Canada, UK and France.

Thank you for your caring and partnership with us through your generous donation.

Donate online and specify LEGO: http://www.ezermizion.org

USA tel: 718-853-8400

Israel tel: 03-614-4573