It’s a tradition! The families look forward to it for weeks. It’s not like the others.
Chanukah parties take place all over the country but even the family party can be uncomfortable for parents with special needs children. While their siblings rejoice in the annual get-together, relaxed, enjoying each other’s company, the special needs parent cannot relax for a moment. Her sister worked hard on a fun kids’ activity. Will her child overturn the perfectly set-up table resulting in children’s tears and adults’ pitying stares? The cousins grab hands. They have plans. They want to put on a choir for the adults and are running down to the basement to practice. They don’t mean to be cruel when they don’t invite her child but her heart cries. She tries to comfort him as her tears mingle with his. Continue reading This One is for Us!
In recent times, family crises abound and our students are directly affected. Due to the tremendous interest expressed by hundreds of principals in practical tools for dealing with the personal challenges of students, principals and Chinuch Atzmai supervisors were invited to a seminar on the influence of the school when a personal situation is threatening to topple the girl’s emotional stability.
The seminar was hosted by Ezer Mizion with the collaboration of the Bnei Brak Municipality and centered on the theme of “Imah Anochi, I am with her,” the sincere wish to be with the struggling student, to share her burden, and ease her way. A vital facet of the seminar was providing the right tools such as the open phone line for consultation with Ezer Mizion experts in every case of a girl struggling in the face of serious illness or death of a family member.Continue reading Helping Our Students Deal with Family Crises
Life goes on. Tuesday is similar to Monday. We know what to expect. And that knowledge brings us security. And then one day, life falls apart. He becomes a stroke victim, lying on a hospital bed. Nothing is the same. Even his body has changed. What he could do easily in his past life now may be impossible. He is trapped in a nightmare and can’t seem to wake up. He needs explanations, he needs reassurance and he needs simple basic needs fulfilled, needs he cannot do on his own. Now, when he needs so much, he is unable to express himself. He tries to tell the nurse that he is thirsty but she doesn’t understand his garbled sounds. His loved ones try so hard but they, too, are unable to communicate. His daughter cries in frustration. She wants so much to help. She tries several possibilities but he continues to ask in his unintelligible speech, becoming more and more upset that he is unable to convey his thoughts and needs with those around him. More than 62% of stroke patients suffer through this demeaning and discouraging challenge. The stress, the anguish greatly hinder the healing process. But he remains at an impasse, unable to move forward. Continue reading Giving a Voice to Those who Cannot Speak
December 2019 35 transplants, 29 of these from donor pools
(of these 31 joined the registry as part of their induction to the IDF, of these, 14 are active soldiers) 3,444 total transplants
(of these, 2,153 joined the registry as part of their induction to the IDF) Transplant Countries
Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Netherlands,
Spain, Switzerland, UK, USA,
Our precious holocaust survivors have reached their golden years. Some are surrounded by family with constant reminders of the place they have created for themselves in the world. Others are not so fortunate. Over 500 are living in nursing homes, no longer in charge of their lives. They have become a number, the patient in Room 346, and are no longer able to feel themselves to be individuals. How to recapture the feeling of self-identity? Continue reading More than a Room Number
It all began with a video. I don’t believe too many positive stories begin this way, but I’m proud to say this one does. This was an Ezer Mizion video of IDF Major Maor Cohen’s special mission for nine years: to help children with cancer escape into the world of Lego. His message spoke to me immediately. In the video, one mother explains “Cancer broke my family apart and Lego rebuilt it anew.”
My son always made a beeline to the Lego area at Mommy and Me each week. For his second birthday, I decided to buy him a big builders’ box of Lego. He got croup shortly before his birthday so I decided to give him the present a little early. I remember the miraculous sound of clicking and clacking and the total absence of the scary cough he had beforehand. While STEM educational models point to the mathematical and engineering benefits of Lego, I had forgotten the mindfulness aspect of it until seeing this video.
I contacted Ezer Mizion to see how we could be a part of it for Michael’s bar mitzvah project. Hadassah Somosi, an incredibly warm, caring, devoted, and capable director of Resource Development at Ezer Mizion, connected all the dots for me and we had our date set and plans in place of which Lego sets to bring for our Israel trip.
Can there be a more appropriate location for Ezer Mizion’s Oranit cancer patient guest home and center for its cancer support services than Petach Tikvah—defined as “opening of hope?” Built in 1996, with the generous assistance of the Bracha & Motti Zisser Foundation and the Rosinger Family, Oranit is located amidst three major hospitals that treat pediatric cancer and provides them with an oasis while enduring difficult treatments. The Andrew and Margaret Rosinger Residential Wing provides housing for children and families for short-term stays as well as endless options for recreation at the Donald Berman Rehabilitation Center—the Rinat Bakshi Wildlife Pavilion, the cleanest petting zoo around, arts-and-crafts including a full ceramics studio, music therapy including a recording studio, a movie theater, snacks, slushies and meals, indoor and outdoor spotlessly clean Malka Lazarus playgrounds, and, of course, what drew us there: the Lego room. As Hadassah explained on our tour, “We want to make them happy in the hope it will help make them well.
Thanks to import taxes, in Israel Lego can cost triple the price as in the United States, so many children do not have any Lego sets. At Ezer Mizion – Oranit, they have weekly Lego workshops and their projects are stored while under construction and displayed once completed. Families usually do the projects and escape into this alternate world together, letting the cancer suffering vanish for a precious hour or two. Maor writes about his personal connection to family illness: “Ever since I was five, my father, may he live and be well, has been a heart patient. I never had the security of knowing that just because I saw my father at breakfast would he be there at supper … Through the years, Abba got better and then was sick again, and that cycle kept repeating itself. As a family, we learned to live with this reality.”
As my family took it all in, Hadassah had more special plans for us. As some of the children actually walked in to join the Lego workshop, Michael had the rare opportunity to give a set to a few children in person. They exchanged hugs and warm words. The only dry eyes in the house were on the Lego figures.
I can’t daven (pray) now without thinking of these special families and hoping for a refuah sheleimah (complete recovery) for everyone. I hope to continue supporting Ezer Mizion and I encourage our readers to do the same.
Danit is a very wise young lady who has donated her hair to Ezer Mizion to be made into a wig for a cancer patient.
“My hair has always been my comfort blanket and I’ve always believed that my hair is what made me beautiful and what made me …me. But I realized that hair is just hair and clothes are just clothes and these things are just accessories that people use as a mask. What makes you you is your heart and what makes you beautiful is the actions you do to make other people feel a little more loved and understood. Someone is going to love this hair a little more than I did. (Long hair is not what made me beautiful ‘cuz I think I’m looking pretty terrific with a shoulder cut.)”
Flying 35,000 feet above the Atlantic Ocean is not an easy job! Ofer had already spent 17 years as a fighter pilot in the IDF. In 2003 he left the reserves and joined El-Al full time. “Most people don’t realize that being a pilot is a very dangerous profession. When you know it is dangerous, you are safe but when you think it is easy, when you’re a cowboy, you are unsafe! A pilot’s job is to always be alert in case something happens.” Ofer always remained alert with hundreds of travelers under his wing, quite literally!Continue reading Flying High
BONE MARROW DONOR REGISTRY ACTIVITY SUMMARY Most ever transplants in one month! 47 transplants, 40 of these from donor pools 3,409 total transplants
(of theseת,2122 joined the registry as part of their induction to the IDF)
2019 monthly averages: “34 transplants per month“
4,448 new members join each month
Argentina, Canada, France, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Romania,
Spain, Sweden, USA
“My two sons are adults but they took it real hard. I think they were afraid they were going to lose their father.” A.S. recalls those horrific days when he learned that he would be battling cancer for the second time. “My wife is a librarian. She did what comes naturally to her and researched the disease. And panicked. There were so many possible outcomes and a lot of them …not good. But she was there at my side, terror and all. Continue reading Never Give Up Hope