Yumi, the angel that hovers over every nook and cranny at Schneiders Oncology Ward, was there for us, and hundreds of other families like us, from the day that our precious, little Maoz was brought in. As a representative of Ezer Mizion, he is the welcomed rainbow amid the stark medical-ness of the hospital. He is the kids’ hero and, we all admit it, the hero of the parents also. His ambulance appears to us all like a fairytale chariot, housing all the treats he brings with him for the children. Like every other kid at Schneiders, our tiny champion longed for a ride in Yumi’s ambulance, complete with screaming siren. If a smile would appear on his little face as he sleeps, we just knew he must be dreaming of the rapturous thrill of flying through the streets of his neighborhood with Yumi, his hero.
Life was hard, even for a ’champion’. His hospitalization was over. He was just getting back to normal life with his friends at his pre-school class. His conversation centered on his arts ‘n’ crafts of the day instead of scary IV’s. On the surface, things looked normal but not really. The simple symptoms of a virus would send us scurrying to the ER. It was on one of those times that my champion crumbled. We were told that he would need antibiotics given intravenously. As much as he hated the taste of liquid antibiotics, this was far worse. It meant a daily trip to the out-patient department and back to the horrors of a frightening needle that appeared monstrous in size to my no-longer-a-champion pre-schooler. And to me. The walls reverberated with his mantra-like screaming: Ima, I don’t want a needle. Ima, I don’t want a needle. Ima, I…And me? The pillar that he wanted to lean on? I totally fell apart. It was so hard to remain strong in the hospital. Now that we are past that stage, every change in routine throws me into a panic. And panic I did. It was all I could do to refrain from kicking and screaming like a small child. Ima, I don’t want a needle. Ima, I don’t want a needle. Ima, I…
And suddenly, there was Yumi. His very presence infused us both with strength. Then he made his announcement: “OK, champ! You can do this. You’re made of strong stuff. It’ll soon be over and then you and me—we’re going home together. In the ambulance.”
My tiny son was a champion once again…a champion that let out the loudest whoop you ever did hear. His mile-long grin lit up his face as bright as the lights that Yumi later made flash on the ambulance. The siren screamed, “Victory!” all the way home. As Maoz triumphantly held the ambulance mike, I wanted to grab it from him to shout to the world in ecstasy, “Here in this magic chariot ride two heroes (and one wiped out mother).” Instead, I sat there quietly, offering a silent prayer for the well-being of every one of the Ezer Mizion family.
For further info: www.ezermizion.org