Things are ok now but nightmares are something that you never really get over. Hadas recalls those months of terror in the hospital with Maoz, her tiny son. “Ima, what are they doing to me?” he would ask. The chemo bag was marked ‘Danger’ and its contents were dripping into his little veins. Maoz looked like a tiny, helpless laboratory mouse. It began with nausea and continued on to non-stop vomiting. She tried to be upbeat for his sake, “Pretend that you’re superman and the ‘chemo juice’ will kill those bad cancer germs inside you and make you super-strong.” But her too-mature-for-his-years son answered, “Mommy, superman is a fairy tale. And this, this is real!”
“The tension was exhausting,” Hadas continues. “The only bright spot was the Ezer Mizion volunteers. They seemed to be everywhere. They brought me meals when, even though I was faint with weakness, I didn’t even realize I was hungry. They were there to explain things and offer comfort. For those that live far from the hospital, they offered a suite to live in during the duration. Someone to do homework with the other kids. Someone to keep the house going while we can’t. Someone to care. A shoulder to lean on…”
It’s all over now. Maoz attends pre-school like a regular kid. But his mommy is still shaky. Maybe he is also and that’s why he threw a tantrum today. He used to love the activities at Ezer Mizion—therapeutic activities that enabled each family to come to terms with what was happening in our lives. The petting zoo was a favorite of his. And his hero was Yumi who would frequently come to the hospital in an Ezer Mizion ambulance. “Today I brought Maoz to school like every day but he refused to go in,” Hadas reported her friends at the Ezer Mizion staff. “I had to get to work. I can’t be late. But there he was with a full-blown tantrum. ‘I’m not going to school unless Yumi will promise to take me to Ezer Mizion afterwards. I’m not…’ I glanced at my watch. I was late already. My boss wouldn’t be too happy. But Maoz didn’t let up. In the old days, I could handle a situation like this. But now, after everything we had been through, I just didn’t have the strength. Officially, we were off the Ezer Mizion roster but I knew that Ezer Mizion didn’t take its cue from officialdom. Should I do it?” Maoz was whimpering now, ‘Yumi…Yumi…Yumi…’ I did it. Desperate, I called Yumi.”
‘Just say ok to Maoz and afterwards we’ll see how to work it out,’ not a trace of annoyance in his voice. Yumi spoke with Maoz and together they planned how Yumi would come at 2:30 to take him to Ezer Mizion.
“At 2:10 Maoz was already driving the assistant teacher crazy, “Why hasn’t Yumi gotten here yet?”
“Needless to say, at the promised time, Yumi was there to take Maoz from kindergarten. He drove him to Ezer Mizion, where he spent an enchanting afternoon – he cut vegetables for the rabbits in the wildlife pavilion, fed them, played, and had a terrific time.
“This story might seem trivial to you. I personally was so touched by Yumi’s dedication, by his presence in the lives of these children, both the ones who are sick and the ones who are physically, but not yet emotionally recovered, by the unwavering support he and all the Ezer Mizion staff provide to their families. That a small child’s request should trigger a change in an adult’s schedule is cause for immeasurable admiration and appreciation.
“Ezer Mizion is not just another organization. The support, sensitivity, and dedication sown in the heart of the recipients enables them to truly move forward in their battle for life.”