Flying High

Cancer is hard. A child whose worst complaint should be ‘too much homework’ is suddenly confronted with what no child should ever know.   He finds himself in strange surroundings with his body doing strange things. He hears whispered fragments of his parents’ conversations. He witnesses children who shared the chemo experience with him suddenly disappearing and no one wants to tell him where they went.  He’s scared. Confused. Anxious about the future. Will he have a future? He tries to block such thoughts but late at night, in the dark, they come creeping out of their hiding places.

CHOC_Childrens-Hospital FKP Architects

And his siblings do not have it much better. A bedtime talk with Mommy when the hidden questions can safely be asked is a thing of the past. Mommy is always at the hospital or talking nervously to doctors on the phone. Suppers arrive from strangers. No one is home to help with homework. And worst of all is the terror – that dark shadow that permeates every corner of their home. Continue reading Flying High

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The “X” Days

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Helpless to cope
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Helpless to cope

It’s heartbreaking. Every mother jokes about the first day of school being the beginning of her vacation.  Our kids, as much as we love them, are a handful and many a mother will be drained, trying to keep up with their needs during the relatively unstructured summer months.

But then there are the others. The parents who truly cannot handle even one hour without the unbearable tension that accompanies life with a special child. As chaotic as a period of unstructured days may be, the parent of an average child cannot imagine marking her calendar with x’s on the days that he will be home.  One father of a special child did just that upon the realization and dread of the block of unstructured days coming up. Unfortunately, he is one of many. Continue reading The “X” Days

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Because of You!

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June 2018BONE MARROW DONOR REGISTRY ACTIVITY SUMMARY

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Donating stem cells to save a life

36 transplants, 22 from donor pools
2,861 total transplants
912,984 members in registry

Transplant Countries
Germany, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, UK, USA

Donor Pool Countries
Brazil, Canada, Israel, Mexico, UK, USA
Continue reading Because of You!

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The View from Both Ends of Giving

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It feels good to give!

It feels good to give. Seeing the joy on another person’s face because of something that you did is an experience that cannot be defined. I know about that. I joined Ezer Mizion’s Linked to Life awhile back. L2L is a  WhatsApp group that can be called for rides, deliveries of vital supplies and a zillion other requests by people who are dealing with serious illness. Continue reading The View from Both Ends of Giving

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A Letter for You, Our Dear Friends and Supporters

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To the blessed Ezer Mizion, who surely deserve to be praised,

Their name sung and extolled, and their banner ever raised.

The ones who have set as their mission and their supreme goal

To help the ill and the needy, to comfort, aid, and console,

To nurture and offer assistance – in short, to foster the art

Of bringing joy and solace to every broken heart

To express our heartfelt gratitude, this page will not suffice,

For the dedicated work you do in this tremendous enterprise.

How you sincerely cared for Tzvi, our beloved son,

And arranged a limudei kodesh tutor, to teach him one-on-one.

Bringing us more nachat ruach, with every passing day,

Horseback riding and other therapy, to build him up in every way.

Then giving Michal your attention and generous, flowing aid –

All that’s left is for us to say “thank you”; our gratitude will never fade.

Continue to enjoy success, in all the great things you do,

From us, appreciative parents, who will never ever forget you.

Naftali and Tova W.,

Haifa

(Parents of Michal, who had Hodgkin’s lymphoma and has baruch Hashem concluded treatments.)

 

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Nightmare: the Common Denominator

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Giving bits and pieces of childhood back to kids that have lost theirs

It’s 1:30 on a long summer Friday afternoon. There are twelve vehicles parked in the parking lot of Park Enav in Modi’in.  The doors open and fifty-eight (!) children burst out of the cars ready for an afternoon of fun. Who are they?

Each one has a different story but the common denominator is that each one is living through a nightmare that no child should ever know. One has lost a parent to cancer, another is battling cancer himself and a third came home one day to find that his mother had gone on a simple shopping trip never to come home again due to a terror attack. Continue reading Nightmare: the Common Denominator

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Because of You!

website bmr update template

 

 

May 2018Bone Marrow Donor Registry

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Stem cells being harvested for transplant
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Stem cells being harvested for transplant

ACTIVITY SUMMARY
34 transplants, 26 from donor pools
2,825 total transplants
910,798 members in registry

 

 

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Stem cells being harvested for transplant

Transplant Countries
Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany, Israel, Italy,
Poland, Spain, Sweden, USA

Donor Pool Countries
Brazil, Canada, Israel, Mexico, UK, USA Continue reading Because of You!

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Caring for the Caretaker

Lottie Chalom
Lottie Chalom ob’m

Many years ago there had been a place called Lottie’s kitchen. It was a small kitchen in a home teeming with chessed. Lottie, a culinary expert, produced trays and trays of goodies which were largely consumed by her many friends. They would gravitate to this island of warmth and compassion to discuss their personal woes with a woman who seemed to have never-ending patience.

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Volunteering at Lottie’s Kitchen

Lottie and her husband and partner in chessed, Chaim, have since passed on. Their four daughters deemed it appropriate to found Lottie’s Kitchen in Israel under the auspices of Ezer Mizion. It is there that nutritious, attractive meals are produced, packed and delivered to family members sitting at the bedside of a hospitalized loved one. Women of all ages volunteer– from teens to the sprightly 85-year-old golden-ager who makes her way to Lottie’s Kitchen with a walker. She had been a chef in her younger years. Her day at Lottie’s Kitchen enables her to make use of her skills and offer advice to the younger set.  For the elderly, it is a two-way chessed as it enables them to have structure to their day and meet with similarly minded women as they work.

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Lottie’s Kitchen volunteers delivering meals to family members at bedside of hospitalized patient

Israel hospitals do not provide more than basic medical care for its patients.  The nursing staff is unable to take the time for the little extras that can make all the difference to a patient’s spirit. A family member therefore, tries to be there for as much as possible of the 24-hour day. Running from work responsibilities to home responsibilities and then making a mad dash to take over a shift at the hospital does not leave the caretaker much time or emotional space to even think of her own needs. A coke and a bag of chips from the hospital vending machine will often be her only fare for weeks. Distraught, tense, worn out, a mother will sit with her six year old, trying to distract him from the constant question of “Mommy, when will Hashem make the leukemia go away?”

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Caring for the Caretaker

And then, like an angel, there enters a Lottie’s Kitchen volunteer with a steaming hot, delicious meal. She’ll offer her a chance to talk, to share her story, to ask advice. Mommy can’t believe it. Someone is caring for the caretaker!

Orders are filled – some of them very specific. Any meals left over at the end of the day will be given to the dialysis patients who find it so difficult to go back to normal routine just hours after treatment.

Nechama, the head cook, considers herself just a small cog in the wheel of chessed. But those at Lottie’s Kitchen know that it is she that creates the ambience of giving, of loving. More and more.  The Lottie’s Kitchen Family was treated to a trip to pray at the holy places in Israel. Nechama would have loved to join but she realized she would have to cut corners in her cooking. To give ‘her’ people anything less than perfection was unthinkable. So she opted out, citing a quote from the Chofetz Chaim’s book, Ahavas Chessed, that doing chessed is an especially opportune time to pray. ”I won’t lose out at all,” she assured her friends as they boarded the bus.

Lottie’s Kitchen, one of the many divisions of Ezer Mizion, an empire of chessed.

 

 

 

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Together? Nothing Is Impossible!

Alone it was impossible but together…together nothing is impossible.

Ezer Mizion’s Linked to Life, a WhatsApp group with many branches and hundreds in each branch, has proven this time and time again. One person needs. Another has an idea. A third has the means to make some headway and a fourth can complete it. Like the tickets story.  Continue reading Together? Nothing Is Impossible!

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Giving Again and Again and Again

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A Shavuot treat for holocaust survivors

When a person wakes up each day with the thought of how can I make things better for someone else, then answers seem to abound. Rabbi Chananya Chollak, founder of Ezer Mizion, is such a person. The most recent idea has been collaboration with Chasdei Naomi to brighten the lives of hundreds of holocaust survivors on the Yom Tov of Shavuot. These very special heroes often live on a fixed income. Their food expenditures are perforce minimal and only the lower cost items enter their kitchens.  Continue reading Giving Again and Again and Again

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