MK Rabbi Moshe Gafni: Ezer Mizion Saved My Life

MK Rabbi Moshe Gafni opened the Knesset meeting this morning with words of thanks to Hakadosh Baruch Hu (G-d) for His many kindnesses and pronounced the berachah (blessing) of “Hagomel” —“Who does good to the undeserving and Who has rendered every kindness to me.”

MK Gafni related: “I didn’t realize what it was all about. It was Shabbos (Sabbath). Suddenly I felt that I couldn’t walk and before I knew it, I had fallen. I wanted to go down to Minchah (Afternoon Services) so my children wouldn’t worry about me. I didn’t know what was wrong with me. It’s probably nothing, i thought to myself, but I did need to take care of the gash near my eye before Mincha so I went to Ezer Mizion’s Emergency First Aid Station. There were two doctors there, Arabs, it happened, friends of mine. I told them that I had fallen and I asked them to close and bandage the wound I’d gotten around my eye from the fall. Even though all I had asked them to do was to take care of my wound, they insisted on doing an EKG. EKG for a wound??? I told them that all I came for was a simple bandaging. But they did an EKG and immediately sent me to the nearby Maayanei Hayeshua Hospital Emergency Room.

Dr. Zachalka was there, a cousin of the former MK. We’re old friends but he just looked at me seriously. And he didn’t make any jokes. I asked him: “What’s going on?” He says to me, “Is this your EKG test?” “Yes,” I answered, “It’s mine. I just came with it from Ezer Mizion.” He immediately called another doctor and brought him in together with his team. They did this. They did that. And then like the voice of a nightmare, Dr. Zachalka tells me, “You’re having an angioplasty right now. You’re in the middle of a heart attack.” He couldn’t understand how I was speaking and laughing. It was a Divine miracle. Had I not fallen, i never would have gone to Ezer Mizion. I would not have known that I was having a heart attack. I didn’t even know that I had a heart…”

Knesset colleagues interjected: “It was your good fortune is that you fell and got hurt. Otherwise you wouldn’t have gotten to the hospital…”

“They called in Professor Granat, head of Cardiology at Maayanei Hayeshua. He immediately put in a stent and that saved my life. That is the story. Baruch Hashem (thank G-d), they took very good care of me. I have the highest praise for the doctors in all the places that took care of me; they were exceptional. My children, especially my youngest son, were with me for the duration of my hospitalization and recovery at home, and in addition, there wasn’t a single Knesset worker or MK who didn’t inquire as to how I was doing. I hope to reciprocate to everyone on happy occasions, and I thank Hakadosh Baruch Hu again and again for all of the kindnesses He did for me.”

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They’re Twins But

Two adorable twins. Too young to understand numbers and question why the ‘two’ doesn’t match their actual age. When they mature perhaps Mommy will explain that this was a party celebrating another birthday. It had been two years since Yarden. had received her life-saving bone marrow transplant. No family member was a genetic match and her parents had been forced to look elsewhere, somewhere, around the globe, for someone whose DNA matched their precious child.  We cannot imagine the tension, the fear, the prayers that filled their home until one morning, the phone rang. “I’m calling from Ezer Mizion Bone Marrow Registry. I have wonderful news…” Life hasn’t been easy for the twins. They were born together but have been apart for so much of their life what with Yarden in and out of hospitals. May they now spend the rest of their lives together, enjoying each other’s company in perfect health. 

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A Network of Thousands of Family Members

Next week is my birthday and I want…The words are those of an eight year old but can easily be the thoughts of a thirty-eight year old. She’s just learned to be more polite. Natural feelings. We like being pampered and appreciated. We may be giving parents, neighbors, friends but on a birthday, it’s nice to receive. But then there are others, those rare few, who receive the most by giving. They don’t even realize how special they are and will casually send a message like the one below.

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What Is It?

“What is Ezer Mizion? Is it the Jewish Bone Marrow Registry?”

“I think it’s an organization that helps cancer patients. When my sister lived in  Israel, her son was in the hospital off and on for months with leukemia. Ezer Mizion couldn’t do enough for the family. Meals at the hospital, rides, a beautiful apartment for the family to live so they wouldn’t have to travel for treatments. And let me tell you, that apartment was housed in a gan eden (garden of eden) for kids with everything a child could want including a petting zoo. You know, they even took all the kids on a chol hamoed trip

“I always thought Ezer Mizion was an organization for special children. When my cousin moved to Israel , she was so excited to see all the programs available for her autistic child.”

“A few years ago, we were visiting Israel and I noticed they were having an inauguration of a mental health building. So many g’dolim (sages) came. Isn’t it an organization for mental health?”

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Because of You!

September 2020 – BONE MARROW DONOR REGISTRY ACTIVITY SUMMARY
In August 2020:
33
transplants, 29 of these from donor pools
3,697 total transplants


Transplant Countries
Australia, Austria, Chile, Germany, Greece, Israel, Poland, UK, USA

Donor Pool Countries

Brazil, Canada, Israel, Mexico, UK, USA

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One Wish from the World of Yesteryear

A View Of The Monfort Lake, Israel Stock Photo, Picture And Royalty Free  Image. Image 53062937.

The scene is typical at Montfort Lake in Israel. A lone man casts his fishing rod breaking the shimmering lake’s surface. His pail is already filled with trout for the family supper that evening. A father helps his youngsters into a rowboat cautioning them to close their life jackets with care.   A newlywed couple strolls around the lake’s edge. And then there is the Ezer Mizion group. Not the typical. They are in their eighties and nineties. No boating or fishing for them. But the memories…They, too, had once loved the lake. It may have been a lifetime ago but in their hearts there is the same joy of yesteryear when they were young. The weather was perfect. The view magnificent. They sang. They engaged in sports suitable for the golden-ager. This most sublime day was topped with a cookout, a marvelous treat for our survivors whose three meals a day are eaten in the nursing home dining room.

This special day was part of Ezer Mizion’s One Wish Program whose purpose is to enable the holocaust survivor living in a nursing home to emerge from the ‘just a number’ syndrome and once again experience his favorite activities.

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To Prepare for Shiva

Will I ever see my sister again?

I will never, ever, ever   forget my first visit to the oncology ward. It was a traumatizing place to be for a young high school girl but how could I not have visited my little sister, Chevy! So I stared at all the children with bald heads. ‘That won’t happen to Chevy, will it?’ i whispered to myself, still blissfully unaware of what no young girl – or even adult – should know about. When I got home, I pulled out a picture of Chevy and, with my fingers, covered up her long, dark wavy hair, still pretending it will never happen but preparing myself just in case.

It happened. After the second treatment. Chevy said she feels as if she is carrying her hair. When I tried to brush it for her, big clumps came loose. We ended up with an immense pile of hair which Chevy thought was funny. ‘Lets make a funeral’, she giggled. ‘What should we use for a talis?’

Oh , Chevy, if you would only have known what is to come. But none of us did. The treatments ended. We were so happy. Chevy’s numbers were good and things looked bright. It had been such a difficult time for the whole family. Without Ezer Mizion, I don’t see how we could have made it through. They were everywhere. They gave us rides to the hospital, let us live in this really nice apartment that was near the treatment center so we couldn’t have to travel. There was therapy for all of us kids – such fun therapy with music, sand play, crafts, and even a petting zoo. There was psychological help, hot, delicious meals, parties and trips. And most of all they enveloped us with such love. They seemed as happy as we were that it was almost over.

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It’s All About Giving

I am the grandmother of Uri who — thanks to you — celebrated his bar mitzvah in the Corona hotel.

I cannot begin to describe the difficulties of this period— the difficulty of planning a bar mitzvah for a boy who is so looking forward to his big day, and then, a week before the occasion, he, his parents and his siblings experience symptoms of Corona, test positive, and are compelled to evacuate to a Corona hotel… All we could do was to focus on praying for their recovery and strengthening our faith that this is G-d’s will and that all is for the best.

None of us dreamed that so many good people would rally on our behalf and organize such a stupendous, lively event! What a fantastic job!!! What efforts to make one boy happy on his big day! You thought of everything: a huge “Mazel Tov” sign; balloon arrangements; a dessert table with fancy cakes, chocolates, petit fours, candies and more and more; a big festive meal for all the patients at the hotel; music, including a keyboard player and singers; and behind the scenes — all the planners, the cooks, the electric technicians, helpers, coordinators  — you name it!

And as for us? We will never be able to sufficiently thank you for the joy you brought to Uri and the entire family.

In 1979, Rav Chananya Chollak, then newly married, founded a small organization of 8 volunteers because he saw a need and wanted so much to give. His attitude has filtered down to the thousands of Ezer Mizion staff and volunteers of what is now known as an empire of chessed. New departments crop up as a new need is identified. The above letter is one of hundreds received in response to help given during the corona crisis.

The Cancer Support Division provides a variety of professional, emotional and practical assistance. Like the planters. A group of children whose mothers are battling cancer needed an emotional outlet.  Emotions are funny things. They don’t always make sense.  The children have a powerful need to give. But what can they give? It must be something meaningful.  A frustrated need brings bitterness. A need properly channeled can bring fulfillment and positivity into the family relationship. And so the children were taught the rudiments of carpentry and produced planters, each filled with seedlings of love, watered by a tearful prayer for a speedy cure.  Can one begin to imagine the joy of the child presenting the gift to his mother, her joy at receiving a ‘piece of his heart’ both culminating in an overflow of family togetherness!

It’s catchy, that feeling of giving. At age 15, Moshe Israeli was diagnosed with bone cancer.
During those incredibly trying times, Ezer Mizion was there to help Moshe and his family with food deliveries, medicine runs, hospital visits and so much more! Fast forward almost 30 years and Moshe now manages Ezer Mizion’s Petach Tikveh branch.

Due to COVID-19, many high risk patients are left with no support or help for their everyday needs. Moshe has organized some 2,800 volunteers to help the elderly, the immuno-compromised and those in desperate need as the pandemic continues its disruptive path.
Food has been packaged, medicine has been delivered so those in need can receive practical support as well as equally important emotional support, all from a distance.

It’s all about giving.

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Because of You!

DNABONE MARROW DONOR REGISTRY ACTIVITY SUMMARY

In
July 2020:
30 transplants, 25 of these from donor pools
3,664 total transplants
1,883 new members this month
1,036,689 total members in registry Continue reading Because of You!Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

When Words and Tomatoes Join Together to Create One Big Hug

inboxShe could have been living down the block from us but no one knew. She was a victim of terror with psychological wounds that never healed. Physically she was not in good shape either. She had been diagnosed in February with a severe lung infection and was extremely weak. Alone in Israel and helpless, she turned to the only address she knew. And that was how an Ezer Mizion director found a heartrending email in her inbox. Continue reading When Words and Tomatoes Join Together to Create One Big HugFacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail