On June 24th of this year, my life changed in the most unimaginable way. My life as a pediatric oncology nurse changed. My life as a Chai Lifeline nurse changed. But most of all, my life as a sister and aunt changed. My passion for pediatric oncology became ironic. My job as the Head Nurse of Camp Simcha became confusing. My role as a sister and aunt became extremely different. On June 24th 2016, my 11 year old nephew Ilan Eisenberger, my sister’s middle child, was diagnosed with the most common pediatric brain tumor – Medulloblastoma. Within days he was quickly thrown into the life of an oncology patient – surgery, radiation, chemotherapy. His childhood was quickly torn away from him. This year, on January 29th 2017, I will be running the Miami Half Marathon for Ilan – and all of the children of Chai Lifeline.
As many of you know, I have spent the past 16 summers as a nurse in Camp Simcha, and countless weekends, trips, and visits to the hospital with these special children during the year. Chai Lifeline is an amazing organization, that words alone cannot adequately describe. They provide year-round emotional, social, and financial support for more than 3,000 children with illness, and their families. It is an organization that I can truly say I am honored and privileged to be a part of. It is a family, to which I have now welcomed my own.
From the moment I ran into the Emergency Room that Friday evening, Chai Lifeline was there. It wasn’t in a way I would have imagined, and at that second it was the farthest thing from my mind. As my brother-in-law escorted me to my sister and nephew, I turned to my right and saw a Chai Lifeline volunteer caring for a Chai Lifeline client, as they waited to be admitted to the hospital. My mind went racing as I saw her. Confused by the thought that my own nephew was now a client too. Lost in this new role I was facing. Scared, knowing what lay ahead. But once the dust settled, and Shabbos quickly approached, I went to the volunteer for the guidance I knew she could provide. When I asked her where I could find some food for Shabbos, she handed us over her own bag of food with a complete Shabbos meal. It was a small gesture, but a meaningful one. A gesture that made me realize that Chai Lifeline would be there to support MY family, the same way it has helped thousands of families in the past. Ilan was fortunate enough to attend Camp Simcha this summer for just a few days. While there, he continued to face the many challenges of oncologic treatments, and struggled with the many deficits he has endured. But when he returned home after those few short days, I received a text from my sister: “He is in the best mood he has been in since we started this journey! He said he is definitely going back next year!!”
Please help me to make life better for children like Ilan. Please help me to raise over $3600. LAST YEAR I WAS FORTUNATE TO RAISE ALMOST $14,000 ON BEHALF OF CHAI LIFELINE. Your donations are 100% tax-deductible, and the smiles it will put on the faces of our camper’s will be 100% worth every penny.
Thank you in advance,