Cancer on Its Way Out! Happy Two-Year Birthday to Me! by Shir Tahar

Numbers are funny things. They look nice and neat, march in straight rows. They create groups (3 of these and 5 of those) and somehow make us feel that everything is under control. Until one personally finds herself in one of those groups – the wrong one.  The one that people don’t like to mention. You know,   the C word.  Cancer.

That was me. The C monster opened its mouth and grabbed me right before my trip to South America. I had been planning it for months but it wasn’t going to be. I gave myself a compensation prize of some amazing tours in different countries but in between, I toured hospitals.

When cancer ruined my plans…

It was on the big trip to New Zealand, exactly a year ago. Right in the middle of a fantastic trek, when, dressed in a sunhat and attempting to conquer some mountain, I fell apart. I could barely do the last part of the trail, because my body started to weaken. They started doing all kinds of tests. Continue reading Cancer on Its Way Out! Happy Two-Year Birthday to Me! by Shir Tahar

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Meals on Wheels: Lottie’s Kitchen

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Meals on Wheels for the caretaker sitting for hours and hours at the bedside of a family member

It’s hard work. Ditza is exhausted each day as she makes her way home, usually quite past her official hours. She needed a bit of encouragement to put some verve into her steps.  Recently that encouragement came in the form of two ‘notes from heaven’ showing how much Hashem values her efforts. Continue reading Meals on Wheels: Lottie’s Kitchen

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A Letter Meant for You, Our Dear Friends and Supporters

pr fileIf words of praise were drops of water, this page would turn into an ocean of thanks and adulation, after I experienced more than help, more than support, more than just a ride from point A to point B. Continue reading A Letter Meant for You, Our Dear Friends and Supporters

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A Letter Meant for You, Our Dear Freinds and Supporters

pr fileDear Bracha and all the people at Ezer Mizion,

I wanted to thank you for helping us get adjusted.

Even before we had gotten to the hospital, you opened up your hearts and the doors of Ezer Mizion – Oranit and showered us with warmth and love. Continue reading A Letter Meant for You, Our Dear Freinds and Supporters

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Hospital ‘Rounds’ via What’s App

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Linked to Life: We’re all connected!

I 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. Continue reading Hospital ‘Rounds’ via What’s App

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The Lego Man Fights Cancer with Lego Therapy

 

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Maor Cohen offering his special brand of joy to a child dealing with cancer!

“LEGO-MAN”, MAOR COHEN, TELLS HIS STORY:

Three years ago, when I came to Oranit, Ezer Mizion’s Cancer Support Center, to donate some LEGO sets, they asked me to work with children who have cancer and with children whose parents have cancer. “Wait! Stop! That’s more than I bargained for! All I came for was a one-time donation of LEGO .” I felt overwhelmed. This wasn’t what I had planned on.  But the angels at Ezer Mizion made me see how much more I could do. I was frightened at the thought. After all, the word ‘cancer’ is unmentionable and I’d be not only using the word but diving right in. Lego therapy is what they called it. Something to enable the child to be a child in spite of the raging river of terror that threatens to drown him.

I was hesitant. At the time, my wife and I had been married for some time and still had no children. A friend gave me some great advice: If you want Hashem to give you children, volunteer to take care of His children.  That clinched it. I was still hesitant, still frightened but I began with baby steps, thus launching my career as Lego Man. We have two little girls now. I can never thank my friend enough for his advice.

When I  see those suffering children, I understand their inner turmoil.  I know what it means to be a child with a sick parent.

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Hour of vacation from cancer

Ever since I was 5 years old, my father, may he live and be well, has been a heart patient. Continue reading The Lego Man Fights Cancer with Lego Therapy

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Emissaries or Angels

cell-phone-300x300It’s erev Shabbos on a winter Friday. They thought they were already frantically busy but then a call came in on What’s App. The remainder of their personal lists fell by the wayside with nary a thought. It’s an emergency and they are ‘volunteer soldiers’ in the ‘Ezer Mizion’s Linked to Life army’ (the real reason What’s App was invented). It may be a Shabbos meal to prepare, together with other volunteers, for a family whose mother was suddenly hospitalized. Perhaps it’s medication available only at his neighborhood pharmacy that must be delivered before Shabbos to an ill child in a more remote area or maybe it’s a desperate   search for a missing Alzheimer’s patient. Within moments there are enough volunteers. Each mission is accomplished. Each person is cared for. Each volunteer glows with satisfaction. And they know they are appreciated.  As the candles are set up moments before candle lighting, a message from the Ezer Mizion coordinator is received on What’s App by all volunteers: Yaakov sent malachim…” ­– Some explain this to mean literally “angels”; others interpret it as “shlichim,” emissaries.

The Tzemach Tzaddik asks: According to those who maintain that these were actual angels, why would Yaakov employ divine angels for a mission to his brother Esav??

He answers that these were mortal emissaries. But since the mission was so difficult, by agreeing to do it, they were elevated to the level of divine angels… because one who makes a great effort for another perShabbosson and bears difficulties for his sake, is considered “literally an angel.”

…And you, who respond to Linked to Life requests with such joy and readiness, even on these short Fridays … you are truly “angels.”

Have a tranquil and joyous Shabbos!

The job is never done. Unfortunately, requests continue to pour in. Over Chanukah, it was two Bar Mitzvahs. The first was for the son of a cancer patient who was recently niftar. The very security of the boy’s home was shaken. No longer would father and son daven (pray) side by side. l2l bar mitzvah 7No longer would he see the sheen of pride in his father’s eyes as they reviewed the week’s learning on Shabbos. The very pillar of his life had shattered but ‘thirteen’ was fast approaching. Was he also to miss out on what every boy looks forward to for years? His mother did not have the emotional energy to plan a major event. He understood that. But did that mean that the day would be just a day like every other?  He swallowed hard. He had accepted his father’s death. He’d grown up fast, this young man.  He would accept this, too. He would. But Ezer Mizion would not.  It’s Linked to Life Division got to work. A venue.  Invitations. Food-only the nicest would do. And suddenly there it was. The Bar Mitzvah he was sure would never be.

That same week of Chanukah, a second Bar Mitzvah was born. This one was in answer to the timid, whispered request of the Bar Mitzvah boy whose medical condition was not very good. Cancer. As desperate as he was for what every boy dreams of, he felt hesitant to ask, what with everything else that Ezer Mizion was already doing for him.  The faint whisper- no louder than the movement of a butterfly’s wings- reverberated throughout the Linked to Life membership producing a resplendent  affair which brought a grin to the face that hadn’t smiled  in weeks. Was he surprised? Lets listen in on a conversation between the mother and a Linked to Life volunteer:l2l bar mitzvah 3

My son asked me: “Maybe we should ask the people from Ezer Mizion’s Linked to Life to daven for me to get better?”

“Why?” I asked.

“Very simple…”, he replied, “Because everything we ask of them ­­- comes true… So let’s ask them for this too, and maybe it will also come true and I will get better…”

The volunteer adds:

Dear friends!

I don’t know about you, but I’m writing this with tears in my eyes…

How many zechusim (merits) this sick child has given us …!

Let’s pray today at candle lighting for the refu’ah (well-being)  of the child

Chai Yehuda ben Rachel

B’soch she’ar cholei Yisrael (among all those afflicted with illness) .

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A Letter Meant for You, Our Dear Friends and Supporters

pr fileHello. I was in Sharei Tzedek hospital, staying with 2 grandsons about 2 weeks ago. I flew in from NJ to help our children. I came from the airport to take a shift at the hospital with no food. Someone from your organization came around delivering food to people who weren’t patients. It was beyond amazing! My daughter and I were just discussing how we could get lunch and you showed up! Unbelievable! Thank-you! It was the best lunch ever!

Debbie S.

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Shabbos Meals for Familes of Patients

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. Continue reading Shabbos Meals for Familes of Patients

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