In Hadassah’s outpatient clinic, I sit near my wife on a chair,
Along with many patients who’ve come from far and near.
Each one is hooked up to IV, getting chemo to cure his disease
Perhaps the powerful drugs will alleviate and ease.
As I sit there, my stomach rumbling, I wonder - what will be???
As an escort, I get no hospital meal, and I’m ravenously hungry…
Just then, in walk some women, their bags bulging and cheery
With food in all shapes and size – pareve, meat, and dairy.
For those who want something lighter, there’s a fresh and luscious roll.
I choose the tray of pareve food – it revives me, body and soul!
I thought of the chessed you do with love that’s sincere and real.
Thank you, Ezer Mizion, for the tasty and heartwarming meal!
Ezer Mizion serves so many different populations with a variety of needs and in so many different ways. With practical assistance, empowerment and emotional support this wonderful organization helps people who are facing health challenges. Their staf is highly professional and their volunteers are compassionate responsible people.
Ezer Mizion is one of the largest health support organizations is Israel. Any time I need any sort of medical assistance, they are the address for me.
On a fine, hot summer afternoon, during a routine blood test that I did in the middle of an ordinary work day, the sky fell on me. This time - it was me.
I was all alone.
True, family members and friends encircled me and tried to give me their support, but still - I felt alone. On the way home, I was shocked to discover that life was going on as if nothing had happened. Traffic jams, drivers honking, impatience - business as usual. The loneliness intensified.
Very soon, I found myself spending more time in the hospital than at home. There I first become familiar with the Ezer Mizion representative, who introduced herself and the fantastic organization she represents.
The opening words are somewhat hesitant. She did not want to bother me or to be a nuisance. But at the same time, she persisted, with determination and perseverance, time after time, encounter after encounter - until I understood that she was here to stay. She was there for me, appearing like a guardian angel at my low moments and high points, in tears and in laughter, like an unshakeable anchor.
With time, I also become aware of all the programs Ezer Mizion has to offer: Activities, holiday events, trips, getaways and of course, the piéce de resistance -summer camp for the whole family.
I want to tell you that throughout this summer camp experience, I cried a lot. They were not tears of sadness or of fear or worry. This time, the choked up throat and teary eyes were the result of deep emotion.
I was profoundly moved by the fact that in such a cold, cynical world, there are warm people who care, people who are willing to give of their time and energy, people who are willing to do for others.
Ezer Mizion's summer camp has brought me and my family tremendous pleasure. It was a desperately needed "breather," filled to the gills with wonderful, exciting experiences. But most of all, it was a week that taught me about genuine caring.
For that - I thank you. Thank you for thinking of us. Thank you for the smiles, for the marvelous patience of the staff and volunteers. Thank you for the unbelievable organization, logistics, coordinating to perfection every minute detail, for all the surprises, for the great joy. Thank you for the encouragement . And most important - thank you for the love.
With all my heart,
I want to thank you for the wonderful chag we enjoyed thanks to you, for the absolutely perfect Seder night meal, for the yomtov and chol ha'mo'ed meals, for the warm heart that was evident in every box we opened...
For five months, we have been in and out of hospitals with a child who became ill with the dreaded disease, cancer. For five months, our home has maintained a minimal semblance of sanity, only thanks to Ezer Mizion's remarkable volunteers. Five months during which your staff has served as a listening ear, a guiding hand, and a boundless heart that gives and gives and gives some more...
"Making Pesach" is not a simple task in any home, and it gets much more complex in a home that has not been functioning normally for five months running and is still doing shifts at the oncology ward 24 hours a day.
We didn't know where to start. We never dreamed that there would be a Seder here this year. When we received your confirmation that food was "on you," a huge stone rolled off our hearts. We knew that whatever is in your hands will be done the best way possible.
And that is exactly what happened! The abundance, the taste, the variety, the freshness (in the middle of the week, we received another fresh delivery of food). Above all, we felt the dedication invested into every single item so lovingly and esthetically packaged.
So many volunteers are partners in this mitzvah that we thought the best way to reach them all is through thanking you publicly in this newspaper public opinion section. We want to personally thank all the volunteers who cooked in their homes, all the volunteers at the central kitchen, and all the drivers who brought the cartons laden with all the delicacies to our doorstep.
May you be blessed with an abundance of health and nachat, and may Hashem fulfill all your heart's desires for the good, Amen!
heard this recount of a typical day of an Ezer Mizion employee: A patient lies helpless in a hospital bed. His family surrounds him. The room is filled with tension. He has one chance to live. A bone marrow transplant can save his life but a genetically matching donor is needed.
Ezer Mizion's Bone Marrow Registry searches. They search further...further... Success!
Initial testing done at time of registration indicates a very good match. The contact number is dialed. It rings but the potential donor is not at home.
When will he arrive? Not for several weeks. He is at camp. Somewhere out in California. Miles away from civilization. Miles away from a phlebotomist who can draw the blood for further testing. Miles away from life for the patient whose condition may deteriorate over the interim.
Ezer Mizion's NY office is contacted. Mapquest joins Ezer Mizion's NY office in its search for the nearest city. No accommodating lab in that city on Ezer Mizion's list. Google and Whitepages.com rush to assist, providing a list of doctors, clinics, phlebotomists, labs--- any entity which may be able to draw the blood and ship it to one of Ezer Mizion's labs to be further tested asap.
Calls are made. Five o'clock comes and goes. Out to lunch...on vacation...please leave a message and we will get back to you as soon as possible...sorry, we do not draw blood...sorry, we cannot be of service...
Keep dialing...next one on the list...yes, we'll be happy to help. Relieved sigh. Paperwork emailed. Close office. Home. Another life saved.
Organization created a fantastic event with a success story as its highlight. A sixteen year old boy appeared center stage and met the bone marrow donor who saved his life for the first time. The cliche of 'there wasn't a dry eye...' was certainly true at this event!
Role Reversal from Donor to Recipient
The lab told me: “Maybe you should see a doctor…”
My doctors told me that they were looking for a match. I was praying: “G-d, make them find a donor!”
Yael: “If I am allowed to know who the donor is, that means everything is all right.”
My donor is my personal miracle…
“You probably don’t remember Omri, the boy with cancer that they once collected blood samples for at Ezer Mizion for their bone marrow registry… I remember him well.
I was 32 years old then. I worked as a producer. That day at work, they came around to collect samples for Omri. I registered with Ezer Mizion’s Bone Marrow Donor Registry as a potential donor.
I was thrilled to hear that I was found to be a match for a patient and was doing the pre-donation blood tests. That’s when, in a simple blood test, the lab saw that something was wrong. They told me, ‘Instead of donating your stem cells, you’d better see a doctor.’
I went to a doctor, who sent me straight to the hospital where I stayed for three days until the results came: ‘Yael, you have leukemia!’ In one moment, I turned from a potential donor for a transplant candidate into the patient seeking a matching stem cell donor…
At first I underwent aggressive chemotherapy treatments. When the treatments did not help and the doctors realized that my body was unable to produce healthy cells, they started searching all the registries for a compatible donor. One donor, with a certain degree of compatibility, was located in Germany.
Then, my doctors suddenly informed me that a donor was found here in Israel in Ezer Mizion’s Registry’ — the world’s largest Jewish registry. The donor had just joined the registry and was my match! He was slated just then to travel abroad for a long period of time. Because of the transplant, he put off his flight. This person also signed up with Ezer Mizion’s Registry during the donor recruitment drive to save Omri. In the end, he was the one who saved me…
Three months elapsed from the time I took the simple blood test that revealed my leukemia until the transplant — three months that seemed to me an eternity! I was shattered and drained by the chemotherapy and I was on edge waiting for the matching stem cell donor to turn up…
I remember how my husband, my mother and I sat in the hospital room and laughed at the little bag of blood. There we were, waiting for a dramatic, life-saving “something”, and all of a sudden, the doctor walks in with this little bag of blood and says: ‘Here’s the donation’… At that moment, you can’t even absorb and understand what is really happening, certainly not to appreciate the meaning of that little bag.
We, my family and I, wanted very much to meet the donor and thank him, but it took time. The donor and recipient can’t meet or know anything about one another for at least a year after the transplant. When the medical team sees that the transplant took and that there is no rejection, the contact the registry to ask the donor for his approval, and only then enable him to meet with the recipient.
About a year after the transplant, the brightest moment in my life arrived, the most powerful moment, as far as I am concerned — my encounter with the donor. It was a closure in a double sense: Donor and recipient, and recipient who came to give a donation and ended up receiving it.
The meeting took place in a conference room at Ezer Mizion’s cancer patient guest home. I think there were a lot of people in the room. I myself was floating… I sat with my husband, my mother, nurses from the ward at Ichilov Hospital where I was treated, representatives from Ezer Mizion, and the donor. Words cannot describe this moment! It was too moving and powerful to convert into words.
I sat there and did not know what to think first. The fact that they allowed me to meet the donor proved that the transplant was well received. It worked! It was then that I realized that I am a kind of a survivor. ‘If I am allowed to meet my donor, it means that everything is all right…’ That was one of the thoughts that went through my mind then. ‘I’m healthy! I’ve recovered. I am really healthy!’
G-d, thank you! Thank you, thank you, and again — thank you! Thank you that the transplant worked, thank you for restoring me to life…! Thank you for sending me your agents to save me!
Thank you for Ezer Mizion that set up and run this amazing registry. Thank you for planting compassion in the heart of my donor to wanted to join the registry. Thank you for all the caring people who make this possible by financially supporting this great work.
About two and a half years ago, I had a baby boy. As soon as he was born, I knew what we would call him. We named him Uri – the name of the donor. He was born on Chanukah, so it was a fitting name, too, from the word “Or” — light, but the truth is that we had decided to call him that without any connection to the time of year.
Every summer, I celebrate anew. I have two birthdays a year, and the more important of the two, at least to me, is my summer “birthday” — the date of the transplant. On that day, I was born again. I exchanged my entire immune system. With every year that goes by, I feel more and more that his story is behind me, and I am overjoyed anew.
That’s it. That’s my story. I don’t know if I did a good enough job conveying my feelings. And I don’t know what it will do to you in your heart when you read it. For me — it changed my life.
If my moment can give you a new appreciation of the so-called “routine” moments in your everyday life, and move you to thank the Creator again and again for moments that you used to take for granted, then that one moment of thanks on your part for the blessed routine of your life makes the whole story of ‘my moment’ worthwhile.
Ezer mizion is the greatest place!!
i was a volunteer in the summer day camp for Children with special needs, and it was amazing to see how much they help everyone and any one that needs!!
My elderly parents went to live in Israel in 1998. They were looking forward to their retirement there, but sadly only two and a half years later my father had to have a hip replacement. This did not go well and he had a very deep infection in his thigh bone that refused to heal. My mother and sister did not know where to find advice and help, especially as neither knew much medical Hebrew. Ezer Mizion was where they were referred to. They gave them medical advice so that they understood what was going on and could find treatments that were available. They gave referrals to doctors to find the best place for surgery. The Ezer Mizion ambulance transport facility to and from the nursing home and hospital meant that those issues were taken care of and this helped my mother greatly. When my mother, sister or other carer was staying in the hospital, Ezer Mizion ensured that there was always food in the hospital for them too so that no one was hungry. In short, I fell that the support given by Ezer Mizion to my family during this difficult period was exemplary and demonstrates that they deserve every support and encouragement to continue in their vital work.