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 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!
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.
I have a good imagination. Sometimes I read about something and I can actually imagine that I am there, like the time I read about some kids spending the day at the beach. I could almost feel the waves and smell the air even though I haven’t been to the beach since I was a tiny child. I don’t get to go to too many places besides school. It’s really hard for my parents to take me. You see, I have cerebral palsy. I can’t walk. Books are great. They ‘take’ me all over but even my imagination---and I have a really good one---can’t come anywhere near to the real thing. And, guess what? I got the real thing! It was all thanks to Ezer Mizion. They have a club for kids with CP. It’s called Matan Club and every year they take us on a special trip. This year we went to Shavei Zion, a place on the seaside. Usually when I am on a bus, I’m crowded and can’t see out the window. Ezer Mizion got us a wheelchair bus and each one of us had plenty of space and could enjoy the ride and watch the scenery. Boy, was I excited when I finally saw the water. I would have loved to jump out of the bus and run down the sand to slide into the water but…well, I can’t do any of those things. I can’t jump or run or slide. But I’m very lucky. I have a great attendant. He brought me all the way down to the water and then lowered me out of my wheelchair onto the sand. I can’t even begin to describe what that felt like. Then we were brought to the hotel which was set up perfectly for the handicapped. We got ready for Shabbat. The prayers were full of song; it was very beautiful and moving. There was a lot of singing at the Shabbat meals, too, as well as divrei Torah with learning groups after the morning meal. For me, Mincha was the best. I got called up to the Torah. Can you imagine what that felt like? Receiving an aliyah! Being like everyone else, like a regular Jew! Even the ‘walk’ around the beach after Mincha didn’t rival that aliyah.
Sunday was fantastic. We received hats and tee-shirts as a gift and off we went on an ATV. I had never been on one of those before. On Monday, we went to an Air Force Camp in Ramat David. They took us to the runway. We were right there next to the roar of those fighter planes as they took off. That was some experience.
I want to thank every single person at Ezer Mizion who helped to put together this terrific trip, especially my attendant who made it especially wonderful for me.
Until next time - see you!
Ezer Mizion has been there for me and my family since our arrival in Israel 12 years ago. Wether we needed medical equipment loans, medical advice, a hot meal after 12 hours in the emergency room, advice for early intervention, daily home visits to measure blood pressure for me elderly mother visiting from the States, hydrotherapy as tool to treat ADHD, there is no limit to their caring and concern. If there's a way to help, Ezer Mizon does it.
Our grandson was born at the Rabin Medical Center in Petach Tikvah, to our great joy and to the joy of the entire family.
Three days after his birth, our daughter-in-law's condition deteriorated rapidly and she was rushed to Intensive Care for emergency treatment. Tragically, despite the medical treatment, our fervent prayers, and our hopes, she returned her pure soul to her Creator at the age of 23, leaving behind a young husband, two young orphans - age two years and a baby of less than three weeks - and a shocked and grieving family.
As soon as our daughter-in-law entered Intensive Care, we contacted Ezer Mizion for guidance and assistance in choosing the right doctors, to ensure that she received the best medical attention possible.
A representative of Ezer Mizion got in touch with us and for two entire weeks, day and night, he would call us, get an update, and speak to the medical staff. He was there for us constantly during this entire difficult period.
Furthermore, as a result of the baby's low weight, the brith milah had to be postponed. It was only on the third day of Chol Hamoed Sukkot, at 12:20 PM, that we were informed that it would be possible to hold the brith milah that day (and it was not advisable to put it off to the next day because his mother was in critical condition ...). The mohel set the time for 2:00 PM.
Within an hour and 40 minutes we had to organize an entire brith - including a festive meal, clothing for the baby, etc. When we called Ezer Mizion to consult with them, we were advised that they would arrange everything. Just one hour later, a representative arrived with generous portions of rolls, salads, cold cuts, drinks, etc. as well as dishes, cutlery, etc.
At the end of the event, I asked him how much I owed him for this feast. He was insulted by the question, and responded that there was no charge - not a single penny - everything was purely as a good deed.
Dear Rabbi Chollak!
It is for good reason that the great Torah sage Rav Chaim Kanievsky said, "Ezer Mizion are my emissaries. . . ."
Continue to glorify the name of Heaven through your important and holy enterprise and may the Holy One Blessed be He always be of aid to you.
I would like to take this opportunity to express my heartfelt thanks for the help I received form Ezer Mizion recently.
The volunteers who took me five times a week to and from Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital for several weeks made these treatments so much easier for me. Meeting these dedicated people was inspiring. It is a great chesed you perform and in the future I would like to be among your volunteers.
Special thanks to the people who help make the arrangements everyday!
My name is Yaffa. I am an intelligent woman with a lucrative profession, and
I am employed in a prestigious position. I like esthetics, cooking, art,
music, and most of all - I love children.
A few days after our sixth child, Efrat, was born, I was not the same
person. It was like somebody else had come to inhabit my skin. I was always
upbeat and capable of handling all the household crises that crop up daily.
Suddenly, I felt frightened, unsteady. Fragile. Like a crumpled leaf to be
crushed into dust at the gentlest wind. I cried without stop. I was very
confused, angry at everyone around me. I was living in a nightmare and my
family had joined me in my horrific dream.
When Efrat was three weeks old, my husband knew that we urgently needed
counseling. The house was on wheels, the atmosphere was poisoned with the
nasty remarks that were not mine but were coming out of my mouth.
I wasn't communicating normally. I wasn't caring for the baby and certainly
not for the older children. It was my body, but the real me was a million
miles away. My husband understood that something very serious was happening,
something that required the help of a professional. But who??? The very fact
that we needed help precluded our asking for help. How could we ask friends
or family? It had to be kept quiet. Nobody should know, no one should
talk...We couldn't let it continue. Yet we couldn't do anything to stop it.
For ten days, my husband went around trying to pretend that all is well,
deluding himself that any minute, it would pass, covering things up from the
children, and even more so, from himself. One day, he passed by the big Ezer
Mizion building. He didn't let himself think. He closed his mind to the
ever-present worry that people will find out. In seconds, he found himself
standing in front of the receptionist's desk and blurted out, "Who can I
talk to on the subject of post-partum depression?"
From that moment on we were no longer alone. We had someone to consult,
someone with whom we could share our feelings and our pain. And Ezer Mizion
was the ultimate in discretion. Hot meals began to arrive at our home and
devoted volunteers took the children to the park in the afternoon. They
immediately sent me a wonderful companion, who gave me support and helped me
get organized with the simplest, most basic things.
I underwent a rehabilitation process at Ezer Mizion, in a framework adapted
just for me. I made beautiful progress, and Ezer Mizion celebrated every
step forward along with us.
A few months later, I was already able to return to my job and care for my
home and family. Ezer Mizion continued to help me in every imaginable way
for a long time, until I was functioning at full capacity. Gradually, Ezer
Mizion receded from our lives, as normal life concurrently reentered. And
no, no one ever discovered our secret.
Review from Guidestar
Dear bone marrow donor,
Since we cannot know who you are and tell you personally all that we would like to say, we shall do the best we can and express our feelings through this anonymous letter.
Our entire family and all our friends and the many people who are concerned for the health of our loved one send the greatest thank you that it is possible to transmit. Giving of your time, effort and pain as you did, for someone you don't even know, and at no profit for yourself - is not something that is self-understood.
No matter what the results of the transplant will prove to be, you can mark off to your credit the priceless merit of saving a life, as we are told: "When a person saves one soul, it is as if he saved an entire world."
Your donation has struck an emotional chord in each of us and has planted hope in our hearts - both for our loved one's health and for life in general - the refreshing knowledge that people like you exist who are willing to do anything for another person, a stranger, just in order to save life.
If only we had enough words to thank you for your selfless donation.
We wish you and your family much health and success in all that you do.
With love -
From the appreciative family
The retreat for diabetics was unbelievable. You can't imagine how energizing it is to spend a whole Shabbat with peers you can talk to, to be yourself, to know that you're not the only one dealing with this challenge, day in and day out. These retreats are the real injections that keep us going the whole year around!
I graduated from college with honors, and ended up with a successful career as VP of sales for a marketing company.
I had started not feeling well in 2002, mostly gastro issues. The doctors assumed I had an infection – there were lots of tests, but no answers.
Then the answer came. And when it did, I wished it hadn’t. I’ll never forget the look in my parents’ eyes when they heard. It wasn’t a stubborn stomach virus. It was cancer.
How does a mother face the possibility of losing the child she gave birth to? My mother cried. My father stood there stoic, clenching his fists. He was the rock of our family but the rock was trembling.
In the summer of 2009, Dr. Rai explained that since no treatments were effective for me I would need a stem-cell transplant. This was the last stop. There was nothing else. I felt like my world was coming to an end. That was my only option. I needed a donor who matched my genetics. If there was one, the transplant would take place. If not, …My sister was tested but she was not a match. So Dr. Rai sent a search request to Ezer Mizion. At that point I knew my life depended on two things, finding a donor and time. My race for life began.
I was 42 when I had my stem cell transplant and I just celebrated my 45th birthday. Every day is a blessing. I thank my donor many times every day!
I’m excited for the future. I have a lot more life to live and because of Ezer Mizion and my donor I am ALIVE and ready!
After years of a protracted struggle against lymphoma, my remaining option was the possibility of a transplant from an unrelated donor. Thanks to you and to the remarkable enterprise established by Ezer Mizion, a compatible donor was located for me. During the course of the treatments I underwent, two additional donations were required. You mobilized the effort to save my life and did whatever was necessary to cure me. You did everything willingly and graciously, but also with determination stemming from the mission you voluntarily undertook.
Words do not suffice to express what I feel these days, now that I am liberated from a prolonged period of hospitalization. During this time there were more than a few difficult moments, and the bone marrow donations you organized for me with a willing heart, within a very short time framework, enabled me to recover.
I still have a long way to go, but I feel strengthened and hopeful about the success of the process. This is in large measure due to your exceptional generosity and kind-heartedness, and to all the good people who helped - and first and foremost, you.
It is wonderful to know that there are still good people like you, who volunteer day and night, for the purpose of literally saving lives. May such good deeds increase and may a cure be found for all those in need of one.
I wanted to thank you for the Sweet Retreat that strengthened, enriched, pampered.
Thank you for all the activities, both for mothers and daughters, giving us all a chance to rest a bit from our day to day occupation and to see that, in essence, we are all the same. We all share the same challenges, with our children always around us and in our hearts, and dependent on our constant care.
We could see that you thought of everything, and that it was all meticulously planned.
May Hashem give you all your well deserved reward. Thank you, and best wishes for good health for all.
To my great sorrow, my acquaintance with Ezer Mizion in recent years stems from my wife's serious illness. In the recent past, she has undergone difficult At the time, she recovered. Unfortunately, during this past year, she had to resume treatments.
This is not the place to describe all the trials and tribulations we are going through but to share our gratitude for giving us a precious gift called "life."
Our everyday life in this world is filled with non-stop challenges – day after day and hour after hour of endless running, aggravations, fears, anxieties and doubts, without a moment's rest. From Ezer Mizion, we receive peace, tranquility, happiness and… life.
At these very moments, my wife is getting ready to go to a hotel in Nir Etzion. I heard her this morning getting up with a song on her lips and singing to the children as she got them up to go to school and kindergarten (and this after yesterday's treatment…) She was so excited that a trip was in the offing to grant her life.
We have not yet gotten over the Chanukah event that you organized for the children at the farm, which gave all of us a boost of joy and vitality. We still bask in the memories of past events that brought us joy and…life.
At moments of tension, of medical tests, of thoughts about things that we fear to say in words, we recall these exciting events, picture the smiles on the faces of our happy children – and thanks to you, we receive life.
These moments of "joy and life" are worth a fortune to us. If we could, we would keep those moments alive forever. If we could, we would stop the "film" and remain suspended in this state of joy and life without returning to our challenges, but…
At present, all we can do is, at the very least, to say – thank you for everything, and to express our deep appreciation for your tremendous life-giving enterprise.
Dear Tehilla, Avital and Orit,
There are sweet little kids, hardly noticed at all
And bigger kids that everyone always recalls.
These children are stars that twinkle so bright,
Illuminating the world each day with their light.
But if they are the stars, then you are the sun
Kindling the glow in each and every one.
Darkness and pain, from them you release -
Illuminating their path with softness and peace.
Like the sun in the sky, you shower your light
And make sure that for them, everything's just right.
You work with these souls the whole year, throughout
Their deep, hidden feelings, you gently draw out.
And then after a year, when they grow and they learn,
Comes the great summer camp for which all year they yearn.
Tehilla and Avital, the summer camp coordinate,
Planning and arranging a program that's great.
Orit organizes the line-ups - simply amazing,
A smile on her face, her mouth always praising.
Thank you all for the love that you lend,
And the faith and hope that in Naomi you extend.
Thanks for all you do to take such good care,
Keeping her happy and occupied the entire year.
Special thanks for everything!
Naomi's big sister,
Dear Children's Division of Ezer Mizion,
We want to express our feelings about the beautiful time we spent with you. I never thought that a speech therapy session could be such a positive experience. You would think that it would pose difficulties for a family – but for us it was simply a pleasure. Every day, the child asked – when are we going to Miriam?
The warmth, patience and tranquility that Miriam Tzarfati radiated to the child (and to me, when I accompanied him) was something special. Today, a half year after starting therapy, you can hardly recognize him as the same child. His speech has improved fantastically. His calmness and control have also shown marked improvement.
The entire staff of the Children's Division was just wonderful – smiling Shosha, gentle Re'ut, and Rachel from the game room, who came up with the wonderful idea of sending games home with us – in short, everybody!
May you be blessed in all your endeavors,
With our deepest appreciation,
The M. family and little David
To my dear teacher
Words cannot express my thanks for your wonderful therapy.
Every minute was an experience, every moment was filled with enjoyment.
For the marvelous attitude, the heaps of patience and understanding, and for helping me progress and learn happily –
May Hashem bless you and may you succeed in all your endeavors!
At the conclusion of the first half year of its operation, we want to thank Ezer Mizion for the marvelous afternoon program for special children in Elad. Words cannot describe the devotion, dedicated care and tremendous love which our children receive there every single day. We are constantly amazed by the creative projects, the nutritious meals, and the amazing work of the outstanding, warm staff, which invests all its energy in boundless giving!
We sing the praises of the one conducting this remarkable "symphony," Ms. Sarah Susan (Susie), an exceptional director who dedicates all her time and her entire soul for the benefit of these special children. Our heartfelt thanks also go to the devoted workers Estie Rozhin, Bosmat Chalfon, Leah Kaufman and Malkie Hoffman.
In these few months, our children have progressed unbelievably in speech, motor skills, life skills, and more … The calmness, smile, and beaming joy that illuminates their face when they get home at 6:00 (!!) in the evening is our greatest feedback that they are enjoying this afternoon program very, very much. And, of course, we are given the opportunity to rest and devote time to the children's siblings.
With Hashem's help, may we together merit seeing our special children's education and growth. May you be Divinely blessed, and may we all enjoy nachat from all of our offspring!
Wishing you boundless blessings from Above"
The Y., F., A. and T. families