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January 19, 2017 / 21 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Leah’

Chantel, Loving Mother and Wife, Cancer Diagnosis….

Thursday, December 15th, 2016

A family moves from France to Israel, the parents hoping to make a better Jewish life for their children. For 14 years they do the best they can, their mother leading the family, working day and night to take care of everyone. Who will step in if something happens to her? Chantal C. is the eternal optimist. From the day she and her husband Yaakov landed in Israel and moved to their Beit Shemesh home her hope, her plan, was that they would raise their children here in happiness. They would handle any hurdle or obstacle that came their way. But despite her optimism, it wasn’t to be. Yaakov’s disability and breathing problems prevented him from holding down a full time job. Chantal worked for hours on end at low paying jobs, barely able to cover their bills.

The family lived in poor conditions, struggling to buy food, unable to provide their children with new clothing, but always with hope that at some point because of her work and determination things would improve. Steadily, despite Chantal’s hard work, perseverance and bright outlook their debt continued to grow. Chantal never despaired, though. She never gave up hope that things would improve and she never gave up, period. Determined to do the best she could to keep her family afloat, she kept working as hard as possible, employed full time as a dishwasher for a caterer, often starting at 5:00 a.m. and continuing until late hours of the day. Sometimes she even worked at night, too. It wasn’t until this past September that she was forced to stop. Right before Rosh Hashana Chantal began having odd pains in her side and other strange health issues. At first she hesitated to visit the doctor, as that would take her away from work, away from doing her best to care for her family. But once the pains lingered and intensified, she went for her appointment. The grim CT results showed tumors, many of them, in her lungs, in her liver and in her intestines. Chantal had apparently been sick for quite some time without knowing it. Never one to complain, even had she suffered discomfort she would not have mentioned it to anyone. She was not daunted by her news, however. After an initial hospitalization (which she dreaded because it took her away from her job) radiation and chemotherapy appointments were scheduled. Ever the optimist, she accepts they are just one more thing she will have to deal with and she has started the sessions. Unfortunately the already dire situation in her home has now grown worse. The poverty is compounded by Chantal’s days of lost income. Though he takes every opportunity to bring in income for his family, Yaakov can’t hold a job for more than about two weeks, as employers he’s had won’t keep someone who isn’t physically stable and can barely get up a few steps to get to work. The debt is overwhelming and the poverty is unimaginable to most people: Chantal can’t afford to travel to her chemotherapy appointments. She has reluctantly had to borrow money from a friend for transportation, but doesn’t know for how much longer she will be able to do so. Her 14 year old daughter hasn’t gone to school in months-not because she is incapable of learning but because her parents owe too much money to the school. The living conditions in the home are frightening-there are no doors on any of the rooms. Most people would not use their bathroom. There is one jar of olives in the refrigerator and on a recent Shabbos their meal consisted of tuna from a can.

But if you speak to Chantal (Simcha bat Chava), if you spend time with her, you will only see a bright-eyed woman full of life, strength and joy (as she is aptly named). Someone who must keep moving forward. The situation in the home is alarming, her health is in grave danger, yet Chantal’s main worry right now is once again not for herself, but for her children, including getting her daughter back in school. She wants so badly to provide for her family’s most basic necessities but without her small income her situation is worse than ever.

We could not hear about Chantal’s heartbreaking story without trying to help her and her family. As we don’t know what her future holds, we must collect $7,200 as soon as possible. With it we can allay some of her worry by getting her daughter back in school, putting proper food on the family’s Shabbos table and covering transportation costs so she can continue her chemotherapy treatments.

Though Chantal’s prognosis is grim, her inner strength and optimistic outlook drive her to work through her illness. She says “Thank G-d I have optimism, I don’t own a lot, but my optimism? No one can take that from me.”

Milkas Fund, founded and managed by Yad Eliezer is a safe and secure way of donating money to help individuals with compassion and enable them to live a life with their problems solved.

Jewish Press Staff

18-Month-Old Sara Leah was Diagnosed with Cancer [video]

Sunday, December 11th, 2016

As you navigate the impossibly narrow streets of Jerusalem and Safed, you get to meet people who are usually hidden from our view and living lives of real deprivation and pain.

Jerusalem, and the rest of Israel is filled with grandeur and beauty and some of the most wonderful individuals in the world.

But, there is another side to Israel, the side that walks into Yad Eliezer’s office daily, asking for food and help with their troubles.

Welcome to Milka’s world.   Milka Benziman sits at the front desk of Yad Eliezer.  She negotiates with beggars, dries the tears of people who struggle to get by each day, and advises, comforts and visits with our neediest.   She gives out food coupons to those who need them, coats and blankets for those who are cold, a shoulder to cry on for those who are alone, and baby formula for hungry babies.

But there is so much more that she/we can do.

Milka’s Fund is here to introduce you to her world. To a place where need is a constant.  But it is also a place where goodness and kindness can surmount these challenges.  We will introduce you to the real individuals who inhabit Mika’s world.  These are people whose needs extend beyond our regular programs…

Meet Sara Leah, an adorable, smiling toddler. At one and a half years old, she loves to do the things that most babies do: play with toys, scribble with a crayon, explore her surroundings on little feet that have just discovered the miracle of walking…

About two weeks ago, instead of exploring in her family’s makeshift apartment, she learned to explore the hallways of the hospital.

Sara Leah lives with her parents Peretz and Zelda R., and her three older siblings in a Jerusalem home that would not be considered average by any definition. The place they call home is actually just an underground storage room, and the family of five has gotten used to living in the shabby, cramped, freezing cold space, as this is the most they can afford.

To try and get an idea of what their home is like, see if you can picture the following, Zelda has no oven, so heats up whatever food she can in a toaster oven they received years ago. When the children want to see what’s going on outside, they take turns looking out the one window that was hastily installed at some point. When the rain leaks in, Peretz does his best to creatively devise ways to keep it out. But despite his efforts, the frigid water gets through, drenching the floor and saturating the walls and ceiling. The mold is everywhere, and the result is a mildewy, dark, wet and arctic home in which to raise a family.

Even though the R. family has accepted their living quarters as “livable” they have never been acceptable by any means (the conditions would shock most people) and for Sara Leah the home is now life-threatening. Just two weeks ago she was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma (a cancer occurring most often in infants and young children) and any form of mold or germ is a lethal danger to this very sick child.

The doctors made the startling diagnosis after a month of Sara Leah’s recurring high fevers and other symptoms. Until that point Peretz and Zelda found themselves constantly dropping their other children off at their grandparents’ home at a moment’s notice, to rush Sara Leah to the hospital to get some care for their sick baby.

By the time the disease was detected, it had already spread to multiple locations throughout her little body, so five sessions of aggressive chemotherapy were scheduled to begin right away. Each round lasts 3 days, during which Peretz and Zelda take turns staying with Sara Leah in the hospital. This is in addition to the spontaneous hospitalizations and antibiotics she needs the minute her temperature rises above 100 degrees. A port was surgically inserted into her chest to administer medications. Zelda and Peretz themselves have become experts at doing this too, as they are required to give Sara Leah separate injections of antibiotics twice a week and an immune system booster.

One must try to imagine the chaos this situation has thrown the family into. Despite their ambitious efforts to support themselves (Zelda has a part time job and Peretz gets whatever work he can, including tutoring and washing the shul floors) the R. family was already severely struggling, financially. But now there is no home life at all, as it has turned into a whirlwind of appointments and hospitalizations. Neither parent has been able to go back to work. The living space, already run down, is in worse condition than ever. The older children rarely see their parents or baby sister. If they are lucky to get a day or two together, the minute someone coughs or sneezes, they must separate immediately.

Doctors do not know what Sara Leah’s prognosis will be. They hope the chemotherapy treatments will attack the main mass of the cancer, and subsequent surgeries will remove the “roots”. They don’t yet know if her bone marrow has been affected but if it were (G-d forbid), a transplant would be required.

This is a heartbreaking story on several levels so we are turning to you with a request for your urgent, generous help. Getting the R. family out of their terrible apartment is paramount, and though we have found an appropriate place for them to move to, we can’t get them out until we raise the funds for moving expenses. With $10,000 we will cover costs of the move, the difference in monthly rental fees for a year, and basic appliances for the home. Their high transportation costs and last minute taxis to emergency hospital visits are overwhelming the family, so money raised will help with that, too. With your donation, we can take care of all of these, doing our best to save this child’s life.

There is one more thing, an additional request: Please say a tefilla for the family of Zelda and Peretz, and of course, for sweet Sara Leah bat Zelda.

Please ClLick: Milkas Fund, founded and managed by Yad Eliezer is a safe and secure way of donating money to help individuals with compassion and enable them to live a life with their problems solved.

Jewish Press Staff

Hebron Advocate Shares Hundreds of Articles on Real Life, Love of Gritty Biblical City

Sunday, December 23rd, 2012

Hundreds of articles detailing the real life and passionate fight of the Jewish community of Hebron to maintain their historic and modern claims to the city purchased by the Jewish patriarch Abraham have been published online.

David Wilder, the spokesperson for The Committee of the Jewish Community of Hebron, has made available almost 20 years worth of writings, revealing the personal, local, and national struggle to preserve the Jewish presence in the hotly contested city, sharing the setbacks, successes, heartbreak and hope – and most of all, the unswerving determination of the Hebron faithful.

Wilder, who has lived for the past 30 years in Hebron and neighboring Kiryat Arba, was born in New Jersey, and speaks around the world on behalf of Hebron, raising funds to develop the community and welcome guests who come to visit the Tomb of the Patriarchs – resting place of Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebecca, Jacob and Leah – and the Tomb of Ruth and Jesse.

Malkah Fleisher

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/hebron-advocate-shares-hundreds-of-articles-on-real-life-love-of-gritty-biblical-city/2012/12/23/

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