They’re Everywhere

Bunny Joins Ezer Mizion in Cancer Support

Many people can hardly say the word. It’s so scary. It’s a word that reminds us that we are mortal. That someday life will be over. If we do say the word, we often add the phrase, ‘You shouldn’t know from it.’ But what if they do know? What if they hear the word countless times a day said by medical personnel with very serious faces? What if they have crossed the road from ‘not knowing’ to that word taking over their lives? And what if they are facing the dread…the terror…the horror…all alone?

That’s where Ezer Mizion comes in. Trained staff and volunteers are there to hold their hands when all they want is to run away from the nightmare but can’t. Ezer Mizion is everywhere. They are in the hospital room with a warm hug while you cry and cry. They’re back again every day with a hot meal, attractively served, as you sit by the bedside of your precious child. They’re in your home doing homework with your other kids. They’re in the stationary store with your son who needs school supplies so he can be a kid like all the other kids, at least in school. Where else do you find them? They’re in the clothing store with your daughter who needs a new dress for a school function. They’re on the phone coordinating the Bar Mitzvah for your son who thought he might not have one. You’ll find them on the road driving family members to and from the hospital for shifts and you’ll find many of them at Oranit offering psychological therapy for those who find it so difficult to cope. Many are in Oranit’s Petting Zoo providing Animal Therapy, or the Music Room of the Crafts Room or organizing trips and birthday parties. Yes, they are really everywhere.

Roni and her family have met many of them. Roni was so disappointed when she was told that the upcoming trip to Dubai for a group of cancer patients was not going to include her. Her medical condition would not allow it. It was necessary for her to remain in Israel. Missing the trip?!  After everything she had gone through?! Roni was inconsolable…until an Ezer Mizion volunteer put a smile back on her face. “You’ll have your own trip, Roni. Right here in Israel. You didn’t think we’d allow you to be left out, did you?!” For two days, she was pampered with breakfast and dinner in restaurants, ATVs, horseback riding, ninja, climbing walls and lots and lots of love.

Ezer Mizion: We’re there when it hurts.

Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

I Love Her with All My Heart

A stem cell transplant saved my life! L-R Debra and Zohar

I hadn’t been feeling well and decided that a visit to my doctor was the right thing to do. Picking up the blood results was just one of the things on my long list of Things To Do that day. It would be a long, long time till I could get back to that list.

There I sat in the chair opposite him as he perused the first page of the blood work. “Hmmm. Looks ok….” Then he turned the page. His face changed color. His muscles tensed. “I can’t understand how you are sitting here in front of me! You belong in a hospital!” he fairly shouted. An ambulance was called. My list was forgotten and I found myself on a hospital bed receiving an emergency blood transfusion.

And that was just the beginning. Next in line, in our battle against the monster named Cancer, was chemotherapy. My body had been weakened and there were some very scary moments there. My husband was terrified, my mother devastated. “For them! For them I have to get better! I just have to!” I cried inside myself.

The words of a highly insensitive nurse were not encouraging, to say the least: “I hope you have all your business affairs in order.”

“Why is she saying that to me?” I screamed in silence. “I’m not going anywhere!” 

Soon we were down to playing our last card. I was told that a stem cell transplant was my last chance to survive. Unlike medication, a transplant cannot be procured at the pharmacy. It must come from a genetically matching donor. And at that time, there was none…

But there was hope. The registries were searching. Perhaps soon one will be found. Before it’s too late. 

And then came the day that will live forever in my heart. The phone rang. I could hear the bubbling joy in the voice of the caller. A tiny flutter of hope began to well up within me. “I’m calling from Ezer Mizion Bone Marrow Registry. We found a match!”

Tears of joy streamed down my face. A match! Life! Who is this angel who is willing to do this for a stranger she has never met?!

Due to legalities, I had to wait at least a year to meet Zohar. The angel who gave me another chance at life. I lived in Florida and she lived in Israel and so we got to know each other via email. When she finished her stint in the Israeli army, she took a job as a guide in a zoo introducing children and adults to the wonders of the animal world. It was In Israel that she received the call from Ezer Mizion notifying her that she was the only one in the world that could save a life. My life. 

“Wow! This was the most exciting news I ever received. My cousin had gone through a bout with cancer. This was my chance to pay it back and save another person,” Zohar relives the moment of that exhilarating call.  

Then began the next phase of her life: moving to New Jersey and, shortly afterwards, marriage. New Jersey is closer than Israel to Florida but not close enough to actually meet. It wasn’t until a major Ezer Mizion event, the Fireworks concert of 2022, that the two met onstage in front of thousands of people. There were tears. There were hugs. And the walls of the theater trembled with emotion. “I love her with all my heart,” cries Debra.

Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

BECAUSE OF YOU!

Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

The Other Side     part two

A volunteer makes sure each child has a great time, wheelchair or not!

Recap: They were there. They lay in the hospital beds, or sat next to family members for long hospitalizations. They know exactly what it feels like — the paralyzing fear, the loneliness, and the helplessness.

They know the importance of a sister’s outstretched hand, accompanied by a genuine sense of partnership and the knowledge that even though you walk in the darkness — you are not walking alone.

We turned to five volunteers who had been on the other side, on the dark, painful side, and who promised that the moment they were able to, they’d help others — and then carried out their promise.

S. Tovi, 21, had cancer four years ago.

Continue reading The Other Side     part twoFacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

The Other Side part one

A hospital stay: Loneliness, helplessness, fear

They were there. They lay in the hospital beds, or sat next to family members for long hospitalizations. They know exactly what it feels like — the paralyzing fear, the loneliness, and the helplessness.

They know the importance of a sister’s outstretched hand, accompanied by a genuine sense of partnership and the knowledge that even though you walk in the darkness — you are not walking alone.

We turned to five volunteers who had been on the other side, on the dark, painful side, and who promised that the moment they were able to, they’d help others — and then carried out their promise. We asked them to explain why it is so important to them to pay back everything they received.

Reut Hershko, 40, had cancer six years ago.

Continue reading The Other Side part oneFacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

But I Feel Fine…

Giving

I felt fine but noticed a strange enlargement. I wasn’t worried. My brother had survived cancer and I knew what it was like. He had been sick. Really sick. And I felt fine.

I had a long list of things that any busy mother of five can relate to.    Trying to get it checked off my list so I can go on with life, I stopped by the doctor on my way to my other errands.  . One foot out the door, I waited for him to laugh and say it’s nothing. But he didn’t.  Instead he sent me for blood tests. I still thought it was nothing. After all, I felt fine. But when he saw the test results, I was quickly dispatched to the ER.I started to absorb the fact that this was serious. Until now, my life had been calm and routine. Suddenly, the earth was pulled out from beneath my feet.

. You can go crazy from the sense of helplessness, alone, with a million thoughts and fears. That’s when I made my first acquaintance with Ezer Mizion. A representative approached me and. gave me a clarity and an understanding of what was going on. I vividly remember the feeling that she gave me — how she cheered me up and encouraged me. She told me about Oranit, which eventually became a second home — the hotel-like accommodations, the clubs, the trips, the retreats. She said that we should be in touch and, I’ll enjoy everything that Oranit has to offer — and that is really what happened.”

Ezer Mizion became our anchor, the supporting pillar, more than I could ever capture in words. My heart explodes when I recall and relive it. I especially enjoyed the clubs they run. It is very strengthening to meet people who are going through the same emotional experiences. The children also enjoyed the craft clubs, story hour, the music room and the Petting Zoo.

Ezer Mizion’s Oranit Home for Cancer Support

Ezer Mizion was there all the time, at every treatment, with a smiling face, available 24/7. Last summer, there was a retreat for families, and it was so heartwarming, with powerful, moving experiences and unending treats. It took us a month to fully grasp what we’d gotten there — it was a dream! Shortly afterwards, the trip to Italy — 30 women for five days — an offer I couldn’t refuse.

Ezer Mizion’s Oranit Home for Cancer Support
Ezer Mizion’s Oranit Home for Cancer Support

Then came the sad news – The disease had come back to my 49-year-old brother, this time, aggressively. “It was a shock. I wrote to him in humor: ‘What’s going on? I stole the attention from you? I’ll gladly give it back…’ But this time, the disease was stubborn. Our dedicated parents were coping with two children with cancer.

In Yoee’s last days, my mother had Corona. She wanted to come hug him, to give him a kiss but she wasn’t allowed to. All the siblings had planned to be with him for Shabbat and Ezer Mizion offered to arrange the food and all the logistics. Nothing was impossible for Ezer Mizion. They always found a way. In the end, he passed away on Friday morning, leaving a wife and four children. And, yes, my mother had a chance to give him a hug and a kiss.”

Ezer Mizion was there for us in our grief as they had been in happier times. There is nothing more stirring that seeing these people who just want to do good for others.”

Today I am in the recovery stage, baruch Hashem. We have emunah and that makes it a lot easier — knowing that there is Someone directing us from Above.

Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

Now They Hear the Cheers

Disabled? Yes. But Capable? Absolutely!

Self-esteem. A vital component to day to day functioning. At least as vital as the proteins and vitamins we consume, perhaps more. Some of us are blessed with a hefty dose embedded in our natural psyche. Some of us develop it by a series of successes in academics, in sports, or music or drama. Any area will do as long as we can hear the cheers from our imaginary audience. And then there are some that don’t. From early childhood on, they were the ones who couldn’t. Couldn’t do sports due to their physical disability. Failed academically due to feeling different than the rest of the class.  And didn’t feel confident to even try to succeed in any area.

Continue reading Now They Hear the CheersFacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

Thank You to Our CFC Friends

11583

Life has been difficult for all of us these past months as we strive to deal with the aftermath of covid and it has been especially grueling for the ill and the elderly.  Your friendship and support via CFC have eased the plight of hundreds of thousands who find themselves unable to cope with life’s challenges. On behalf of all those that have benefited from your generosity, we’d like to say

Thank you for caring!

A young boy who, at the age of eleven when nothing could be hidden from him, was forced to deal with the possibility of his life ending before he reached twelve. Because you cared, he is now looking forward to adulthood after a stem cell transplant which your generosity helped to fund.

Because you cared, families dealing with the terrors of cancer are licking ice cream cones at Ezer Mizion’s Summer Camp where they can relax on a ‘vacation from cancer’.

Because you cared, Louisa, a holocaust survivor was given a gift for her 102nd birthday: a trip to the Western Wall with all the logistics it entailed.

Because you cared, a young disabled woman was given a place at Ezer Mizion’s Empowerment Center where she enjoys social contact and learns important skills like 3-D printing. At the annual fair, she gained much confidence as guests clamored to purchase her creations.

Because you cared, Ezer Mizion’s Ambulance Division is able to bring hundreds of the elderly daily to clinics and treatment centers. A slot was even found to bring together nine elderly siblings who had not seen each other for so long.

Because you cared, a five year old is talking to his mother non-stop, his every question beginning with ‘why’. As draining as it is, his mother is enjoying it because as of only a year ago, his whole vocabulary consisted of ten words. Ezer Mizion’s hi-tech communication devices did the trick and he is now fully verbal.   

Ezer Mizion is fueled by the gifts of concerned, responsible people like you.

For further info on our many divisions, we invite you to visit us at www.ezermizion.org

We urge you to continue your support via CFC and sign up once again choosing Ezer Mizion-CFC #11583– as one of your charity choices.

Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

We’re Proud of You, Rina!

As Director of the Geriatric Surgery Department at Emek Medical Center in Afula, Rina Cohen’s days are full. Her side position in the Oncology Department accompanying, treating and supporting women undergoing  treatment for breast cancer fills up any empty spaces in a very long day. But Rina’s compassion doesn’t allow her to stop there. Using her extensive medical knowledge combined with her sensitivity, she volunteers to escort Ezer Mizion stem cell donors who are anxious to save a life but understandably apprehensive regarding the process.

Rina was chosen as an outstanding contributor to the city of Afula and has been awarded the Annual Afula Citizen Prize in recognition of her work. No doubt the best choice – Rina, we are proud  that you are part of the Ezer Mizion family!

Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail