Amanda’s sister Elisabeth says, “I have always admired Amanda’s fortitude and patience, and in the last three months, watching her and Akiva go to the ends of the earth to help Idan, she’s only proven her interminable strength. My sister will never stop fighting, and when she tires, she revives herself by leaning on Akiva. I’ve also seen Amanda in moments of deep sadness, and the strength and happiness she derives from all the well-wishers around the world who have donated to Idan’s fund and written messages of support.”
With much of the press the Zablockis have been afforded focusing on medical and insurance issues, Elisabeth also reminds everyone that at the center of this is Idan, who is in pain much of the time but still retains his joyous and, at times, mischievous nature.
“He likes to dance to music and has long conversations, albeit in a language I don’t quite understand yet, and he can get frustrated when he tries to stand and can’t because he set his expectations too high,” she says. “He makes me laugh with his antics, he’s willing to try any food, and he loves being told a story or sung to. He is only one, but he is a little person who has likes and dislikes, and he is going to have to endure pain no one should ever experience.”
The surgery, which is scheduled for September, requires six month of intensive aftercare and normal childhood vaccinations in Seattle before Idan and his parents can think of returning home.
“We’re a close-knit family, and we feel powerless because there’s little that we can actually do to help,” comments another of Amanda’s sisters, Sabrina. “There’s a hole in our lives because we miss Idan terribly, and he won’t be able to share in our annual Chanukah bash or join us at the Seder table this year because he will be recovering from his surgery. We’re a Jewish home missing an integral part of our family. The words of Rosh Hashanah will haunt me even more than usual this year: ‘On Rosh Hashanah it is written, on Yom Kippur it is sealed, who shall live and who shall die.’ ”
Idan’s full Hebrew name is Idan Yarden ben Esther. You can donate to his medical fund by visiting www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/help-fight-for-idan/63532.