web analytics
December 26, 2014 / 4 Tevet, 5775
 
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
8000 meals Celebrate Eight Days of Chanukah – With 8,000 Free Meals Daily to Israel’s Poor

Join Meir Panim’s campaign to “light up” Chanukah for families in need.



Yitzchaka Jackson: Marathon For Avi Mekonen


“In all the years that I have been involved with helping Avi Mekonen, I could never look at his face directly because of how badly disfigured he was. I always found a way to avoid looking at him straight in the face. Over the last few years, when Avi’s treatment became very intensive, I pretended to myself that Avi is simply wearing a mask that one day will come off. This made it easier for me in my interpersonal relationship with him,” Yitzchaka Jackson discloses with deep feeling. Then, her spirit rising, she declares with conviction: “I truly believe that with people’s help, we will be able to give Avi a normal life. I hope that one day he will be able to walk proud, with his head high, and not feel ashamed or embarrassed in the company of others.”

Who is this Avi and what is his tragic story? Avi Mekonen was three years old, living in his native Gondar, in Ethiopia, when he fell, face down into a flaming open pit. As a result the little boy’s face became a mass of scarred and distorted tissue, with a missing eye, nose and ear.

Shortly thereafter, the Mekonen family was airlifted to Israel in the historic “Operation Shlomo.” Yitzchaka’s husband, Dr. Steve Jackson, at the time an officer in the Israel Air Force 669Search and Rescue Unit, took part in this mission – he and Avi were on the same plane.

Despite his shocking appearance Avi’s sweet and charming demeanor helped him adjust to life in Israel, as did wearing a woolen hat that covered half of his face. Initially turned down for military service, Avi fought tenaciously and was eventually allowed to volunteer in the Israel Defense Forces where his superior officers found him to be an excellent soldier and an inspiration to others.

After Avi completed his IDF service, Yitzchaka and Steve Jackson committed themselves to giving this valiant young man a second chance at life. Sparing no effort, in 2004 Yitzchaka flew to Boston with Avi, so he could be examined by the world’s leading reconstructive plastic surgeon. This surgeon recommended, and eventually performed major surgery on Avi, generously waiving his fee, while the local Jewish community helped pay for the hospital stay!

The surgery was successful and paved the way for subsequent surgical procedures that Avi has undergone in Israel. These prepared him for a custom-fit state of the art prosthetic eye and ear, which Avi received in Memphis, Tennessee. Yitzchaka and Steve Jackson were delighted with the results, which allow Avi Mekonen to walk freely without a cap, unselfconscious about his looks.

So far this remarkable couple have devoted nineteen years of caring for Avi – searching for expert medical advice, traveling, raising funds, providing emotional and physical support. But the work is far from over. The results thus far are not perfect .The prosthetic apparatus requires maintenance and there are still surgical procedures to be performed.

To cover the cost of all foreseeable expenses, a brilliant and formidable method of fund-raising occurred to Yitzchaka Jackson. A former pediatric head nurse, a hard-working lawyer and a busy wife and mother, she decided to run in the New York Marathon this coming November 6th under the slogan “I Run For Avi!” (See her T-shirt in the picture).

Please help Yitzchaka help Avi by sponsoring this crucial run. Her goal is to raise $42,000 ($1,000 for each of the 42 kilometers that she will be running in the marathon.) For more information on how to participate in this incredible mitzvah visit http://www.irunforavi.com/how-to-donate.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Yitzchaka Jackson: Marathon For Avi Mekonen”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Ayala Shapira, 11, is fighting for her life after suffering burn wounds when an Arab terrorist threw a Molotov cocktail at the car in which she was riding.
‘Slight Improvement’ in Life-threatening Condition of Firebomb Victim
Latest Sections Stories
Collecting-History-logo

An incredible child protégé and a world chess champion, Boris Spassky (1937- ), best known for his “Match of the Century” loss in Reykjavík to Fischer, will always be inexorably tied to the latter.

book-super-secret-diary

Who hasn’t experienced how hard it can be to fit in?

In our times, most of us when we pray, our minds are on something else-it is hard to focus all the time.

The participants discussed the rich Jewish-Hungarian heritage, including that two-thirds of the fourteen Hungarian Nobel Prize winners have Jewish origin.

Today’s smiles are in the merit of my friend and I made a conscious effort to smile throughout the day.

When someone with a fixed mindset has a negative interaction with a friend or loved one, he or she immediately projects that rejection onto him or herself saying: “I’m unlovable.”

How many potential shidduchim are not coming about because we, the mothers, are not allowing them to go through?

Is the Torah offering nechama by subtly hinting that death brings reunion with loved ones who preceded you?

She approached Holofernes and, with a sword concealed under her robe, severed his head.

Here are examples of games that need to be played by more than one person and an added bonus: they’re all Shabbos-friendly.

The incident was completely unforeseeable. The only term to describe the set of circumstances surrounding it is “freak occurrence.”

The first Chabad Center in Broward County, Chabad of South Broward, now runs nearly fifty programs and agencies. T

More Articles from Prof. Livia Bitton-Jackson
LBJ-112114

“Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples shall divide within you.”

Michal had never been away from home. And now, she was going so far away, for so long – an entire year!

Over the years there has been no shortage of reporting about Devorah Halberstam, Ari’s mother. Even in Israel, thousands of miles from the Halberstam home, there have been frequent references in the media to Ari’s mother. Do you know why?

When Hitler entered Prague in March 1939, many Czech Jews managed to escape to Palestine, including Alice’s twin Mariane and her families.

Hannah believed that one must learn about the evils of the past so that they aren’t repeated.

Who is Rachel Azaria? Would you have guessed that this dynamo is a religious, 35-year-old woman, mother of four children, ranging in ages from ten years to eight months?

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/jewess-press/impact-women-history/yitzchaka-jackson-marathon-for-avi-mekonen-2/2011/10/26/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: