Art Therapy Joins with Chemotherapy

Cancer. It depletes the body’s strength but it does so much more. It invades the very soul. The terror and helplessness destroy the self-assurance of its victims, leaving them floundering like a shaky, fearful rag doll. The spirit, a vital partner with chemotherapy in healing, is weakened.

Ezer Mizion has many methods of invigorating that vulnerable spirit with positive vibes. Art Therapy is a favorite.  Each year the Cancer Support Division’s Art Workshop presents an exhibit for the public in which cancer patients have expressed their innermost thoughts via visual art. The program empowers the patient to create and regain the self-respect he has lost in the bewildering maze of fear and horror. Below is one of the submissions:

Cancer Support with Art Therapy

Life is full of choices! What’s inside is already too far inside. It’s called habit. The easy line of thought.

In the project, I chose an image of myself, the mainstay of the family, in a state of 360 degrees. Question marks hang on every thought. Did I make the right decision? Say it right? And I ask myself again and again, “When will I learn to choose right?”

And another:

Cancer Support with Art Therapy

The broken and cracked shells symbolize the long journey. Every piece has meaning like a wave and another wave coming to the shore. So one piece and then another piece of me came apart with pain and tears. And from this place I want to grow, to blossom anew. Now I am picking up the pieces, the cracks. One piece and another, I try to join together, to rehabilitate with self-love and compassion. To be in a whole place. Not perfect, but whole. Like the whole egg which seems to have been built anew from the broken pieces that enveloped it. 

We look forward to sharing more submissions with you next week. May Hashem bentsh each one of these women with refuas hanefesh, refuas haguf. 

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 You Cared

Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

BECAUSE OF YOU!

Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

Saluting our Linked to Life Members

Would you mind picking up…?

They’re on the way from here to there and suddenly receive a request to detour. “Can you pick up something, or perhaps someone, from ‘not too far from here’  and bring it to ‘not too far from there’? Let’s be honest. What is the reaction of the average person? Annoyance? Resentment? But our Linked to Life volunteers are special. Some of them do this every day. And some of them, whenever possible, make the trip even when they had not intended to go. Just to help out another person. It may be a family member of a cancer patient who needs a ride to the hospital. Or perhaps some specialized medical equipment urgently needed or test tubes that must reach the lab asap.

Linked to Life is a whatsapp network run by Ezer Mizion where those dealing with illness can always call for help. Just like they would call a family member. Because we’re all family. Often a response arrives within seconds and our volunteers will bend over backwards to do it right…with kindness, with creativity and with a warm smile.

Yoni is just one of the Linked to Life members. He and his wife originally planned a vacation for this summer but when they weighed the enjoyment they would have touring vacation sites against the deep joy and satisfaction of their Linked to Life activities, the latter won by a mile. During the year, their time is limited but vacation days are completely free. And so the Linked to Life vacation became a reality. Each morning, Yoni used his vacation money to purchase gas and then it was Ready, Set, Go. Their days were filled with driving family members to and from hospitals, picking up urgently needed meds. Requests kept pouring in and Yoni with his wife were there to fill them smiling at each other, their hearts filled with joy.   Yoni is just one of our devoted Linked to Life members.

And that is why we at Ezer Mizion decided that an Evening of Recognition is so well deserved. It was a fantastic evening that included swimming, games and great food. The camaraderie was tangible as hundreds shared an evening of fun.

And the highlight? The icing on the cake of this very special evening was the opportunity to join the Ezer Mizion Bone Marrow Registry. Their data will remain on the database for decades available for any cancer patient in need of a stem cell transplant and someday they will hear those electrifying words: You have saved a life!

Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

Connecting the Dots

Remember doing Connect the Dots when you were a kid? If you did it correctly, you were rewarded with a picture. As adults, we sometimes are also called on to connect the dots but the reward is so much greater. Sometime it can be saving a life!

To Israel
From Germany
  • Here we are at #1, the starting point: a hospital in Israel. We have a cancer patient whose only chance to survive is a stem cell transplant.  He needs stem cells from a donor whose DNA matches his. Very hard to find but we think we have one. We just have to do some further testing.  Problem. The lab is in Petach Tikvah, Israel. The donor is in Germany. Give up? Of course not! With caring contacts everywhere, Ezer Mizion began to ‘follow the numbers’.
  • 2. We asked Yossi Beinhacker, VP of the Rabbinical Center of Europe if he has any contact in Germany who would be willing to help.
  • 3. Lord Shmuel Aharon Brodman, rabbi of a community in Munich was his choice
  • 4. Lord Shmuel Aharon Brodman put us in touch with Dr. Brown who was happy to draw blood
  • 5. Ezer Mizion immense Linked to Life (a whatsapp network) was alerted to find a volunteer to take the test tubes from Germany to Israel
  • 6. Gadi Cohen answered the call. He will be traveling from Germany to Tel Aviv and will be thrilled to take the test tubes with him but he will not be anywhere near Petach Tikva where they are needed.
  • 7. Second volunteer will be traveling from Tel Aviv to Petach Tikvah. Picture completed! Another Ezer Mizion success story.

More than one life per day is saved by the Ezer Mizion Bone Marrow Registry. Many of these are young parents battling cancer who had been terrified at leaving their children to grow up as orphans. Others are small children who will now mature and raise families of their own. Genetic testing is expensive and it is your generosity that has enabled Ezer Mizion to facilitate stem cell transplants, thus saving so many lives around the globe.

Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

Because of You!

Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

Ezer Mizion Summer Camps

Ezer Mizion Summer Camp for Special Children: Counselors stopping at snack bar to get cool treats for their charges and shouldn’t these 24/7 heroines get one for themselves, too?
Ezer Mizion Summer Camp for Cancer Patients and their Families: a vacation from cancer
Ezer Mizion Summer Camp for Cancer Patients and their Families: a vacation from cancer
Ezer Mizion Summer Camp for Cancer Patients and their Families: a vacation from cancer
Ezer Mizion Summer Camp for Cancer Patients and their Families: a vacation from cancer
Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

Because of You!

Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail