Countless families are living under the horrific tension of dealing with the life-threatening disease that we don’t even like to mention. The occasional relief of tension does wonders for their psyche and revives the spirit enabling it to partner with the body in its battle for life. To provide emotional relief from the tension of cancer, periodic retreats are scheduled where the whole family can re-bond in a convivial, upbeat atmosphere.
This Chanukah was one of those heavenly holidays. The families arrived and were treated like royalty. The pervading attitude of staff and volunteers was : What else can we do to make your day? Were there activities? Let’s peek inside a bit. Over here is a father holding his son’s hand as they fly across the ice skating rink finishing off with a fanciful figure eight. Over there? A family is ecstatic with joy when Little Brother got a strike at his first attempt at bowling. Downstairs the pre-schoolers appear airborne as they bounce high (!), high(!!), high (!!!) on the trampoline while upstairs their older siblings gasp in wonder at the scenes of the IMAX film. Now everyone seems to be leaving their activities and heading in the same direction. They look excited. Where they are going? Ohhh, a magic show by the renowned Shimbala! Some grab snacks on the way. There are yummy goodies available all day long and the most lavish meals, fit for VIP’s, which our heroes certainly are.
In recent months, it has been a challenge to provide great entertainment in compliance with covid regulations but Ezer Mizion did not give up. Creative juices flowed at full speed and each family was treated to a desperately needed ‘vacation from cancer’ in a 100% safe environment.
An excerpt from the diary of Nechama Spielman, a cancer patient: I begin to see how enough emotional energy can carry you but when you run out, you can’t go further. Ezer Mizion has known that secret for years. They know how ‘keeping up the spirits’ is not just a phrase. It’s the building blocks of living in the planet called Cancer. It’s the vitamin that’s added to every ride to the hospital as the driver dispenses his ‘pills’: the blue one is sympathy, the green encouragement. Those same vitamins are tucked into each meal delivered to me at the hospital by caring Ezer Mizion angels. Fun trips for the family, a day of pampering with every extra to remind us what it feels like to laugh, to be happy…Ezer Mizion doesn’t miss a beat.
We’ve met wonderful people at Ezer Mizion. Hashem (G-d) is holding our hand and sending us such beautiful shlichim (messengers). We’ve become so close to Hakodesh Boruch Hu (G-d) and we’ve learned what life is really about. Our Father, our King, You sent us to this world so that we would grow in it and from it. Help us be written in the Book of Good Life. Not just “Life,” but a “Good Life.” Because man can live in this world and entire lifetime, without ever really living.