Behind the Wheel with Yisroel

pr general bldg DG857322They 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 (gravesites) 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. Continue reading Behind the Wheel with Yisroel

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Lottie’s Kitchen

lk del ok to use w recipient 2Nine hours! Can you imagine spending nine hours with five small, rambunctious children in a hospital setting with no supplies?! It’s the stuff of nightmares but it actually happened to a young mother who became worried about a medical issue in one of her kids and, having no place to leave them, ran out with the whole family to the hospital emergency room. Continue reading Lottie’s Kitchen

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Lottie’s Kitchen

pr food ok to use 12419176_585529134933360_4259858518081068046_oDid you ever feel helpless? Alone? Frightened? Do you recall how a smile of sunshine could break through the black clouds? The hospitals are filled with family members who have been suddenly catapulted out of their comfortable daily routine to deal with a nightmare of fear. They spend hours and hours with the patient, never even noticing their own needs. A quick coke from the machine down the hall will have to sustain them for the day.  Often vital decisions must be made with the decision-maker running on empty. Until Lottie’s Kitchen comes by. A sympathetic volunteer arrives at the door   bearing a mouth-watering, attractively served, hot meal. The caregiver, who hadn’t even realized that he is fasting, is revived like drooping flower after a heavy rain. A pat on the shoulder, an understanding remark, some practical advice complete the meal. He feel strengthened. He is now able to once again give to the patient who is depending on him.

Yaakov* is a case in point. He known as Mr. Nice Guy. Continue reading Lottie’s Kitchen

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Of Tantrums and Rabbits

Enjoying Ezer Mizion activities
Enjoying Ezer Mizion activities

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!”   Continue reading Of Tantrums and Rabbits

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Ezer Mizion Elad Troops in Action

pr phoneEzer Mizion, the Caller ID reads.
“Are you available to drive a patient to the hospital today at four?” Eli’s forehead wrinkles in thought and he makes the calculations. “I’ll take it.”
His cell phone vibrates. “This is Dr. Kluger’s secretary,” You have an appointment in another two weeks but a slot became available today at four. Interested?”
Yes, very interested. His foot has been waiting for over a month to be seen by the overbooked, expert orthopedist. True, it’s nothing critical but the nagging pain… Perhaps he should cancel the volunteer trip? Just this once…
“No,” he heard himself say. “I’m booked this afternoon.”
A soldier in the Ezer Mizion army does not go AWOL. Continue reading Ezer Mizion Elad Troops in Action

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Behind the Wheel at Ezer Mizion

pr amb Shmuel Strauss interviewShmuel Strauss was hired as a driver. His job: to transport the elderly and disabled from here to there. But reading between the lines, he knew that an Ezer Mizion driver could do so much more.
“I often see the same people week after week and develop relationships,” he says. “One of my clients was a young mother of three whose husband had died four years ago. Now it was she who was battling for her life. I take her to the oncology clinic for treatment several times a week. Worries color her every waking hour. Will she…? What will be with her children afterwards…” Shmuel would speak warmly to her. His encouragement left her smiling, albeit wanly. One trip found her even more depressed than usual. Continue reading Behind the Wheel at Ezer Mizion

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Back to Routine?

Fall Leaf Images Clip Art Three-fall-leaves-cl..Summer is over and Yom Tov has come to an end. It’s back to the routine. Lost homework, missed busses and all the rest. For most people.

As we wait outside in the rain with a shivering first grader who refuses to wear her raincoat, a neighbor looks on in envy. She would also like to be back to routine but her first grader is lying on a hospital bed in the oncology ward. She has her own routine: chemotherapy treatments, tests, pain, and anxiety.

It’s so hard. The endless, complex red tape, the demands of the other children who cannot understand why Mommy is hardly home, the regular household needs, the emotional needs of her precious child lying so pale and wan—it’s all so overwhelming. And then there’s the fear- the terror that engulfs, the horror that crushes, the monster that you don’t want to face but it faces you and you are forced to look into its ghastly eyes, helpless. Continue reading Back to Routine?

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A Glimpse at the Volunteer Division Files

pr fileName: Doriel Feig (18)

Personal Status: Single

Residence: Kefar Ganim Gimmel, Petach Tikvah

Occupation: High school student, Ulpanat Yeshurun

Congregation: Moriah

Volunteering areas: Volunteers at Oranit, Ezer Mizion’s Guest Home for cancer patients undergoing treatments at nearby hospitals (and their families).

As part of a group of volunteer youth, Doriel also goes to the Pediatric Oncology Ward at Schneider to play with the patients, cheer them up, laugh, roughhouse with them, and otherwise dispel their boredom and pain.

Insights: The volunteering and the personal connection made with the patients and their families is tremendously fulfilling. Each child, each family, steps into your heart and becomes an inseparable part of your personal life. The volunteering offers opportunities for tremendous joy, like when you manage to get a smile or a good laugh from one of the patients. The distinction between what is important and what is trivial in life becomes so clear. It develops your gratitude to Hashem for what he gave you, for your physical and emotional health. The suffering that is seen there breaks down all your defensive barriers of apathy and forces you to be sensitive to those around you, to stretch out a helping hand, to give a warm hug, and to experience a feeling of genuine caring towards every person who needs it.”

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Lottie’s Kitchen

Life was fine. There were the usual bumps in the road. Nothing to write home about. That was before I fell into a black hole.

It had been a frustrating few weeks. My son wasn’t feeling well. It threw my schedule off what with having to take off so many days from work. Appointments had to be cancelled. Some clients weren’t too happy. The doctor prescribed some medication and I thought we were done but a few days later we were back in his office, another day off from work. It was really getting to my son also. It was no fun for him to hear all about the funny things that happened at school from   frienpr food preparation2  2014 IMG_0041ds at night. He wanted to be back on his regular schedule. He even missed a school trip. We were both in lousy moods, frustrated at not being able to get back to our routines. The phone rang one afternoon. They were calling from the doctor’s office. Continue reading Lottie’s Kitchen

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