What would make me get off the couch, restart my weight loss journey, lace up my sneakers, and train to complete a half marathon again?
Kids. Kids with sick parents. Kids with limited support systems because their parents are unable to fully provide the emotional or physical support they need due to their own illnesses. Watching my mother suffer for so many years, this hits so close to home. Last year, I started this journey in honor of my mother, Cheryl and ended it in memory. This year, I chose to run again, and honor my mothers memory and continue to raise money for Penina's Helping Hand.
PENINA'S HELPING HAND (PHH) is a division of Chai Lifeline that was started in the memory of Penina Rubinoff. She was an exemplary Toronto mother of four whose compassion and generosity were experienced far beyond the realm of her private family unit. Despite the pain and challenges she experienced throughout her ordeal, chesed (good deeds) and tzedaka (charity) remained not just values that she idealized, but areas in which she completely immersed herself and remained active. Although it was often difficult and even painful, she always tried to maintain a normal family life. To her, family was everything.
PENINA’S HELPING HAND is a fitting tribute to Penina Rubinoff, an extraordinary woman who will always be remembered for her love, compassion, and tzedaka (charity). Penina’s Helping Hand offers year-round programs, services, and social support to over 250 children dealing with the loss of a parent or a severely ill parent. The Annual Disney Trip, case management, counselling, holiday gifts, tutoring, gala holiday parties, family retreats, big brother/big sister programming, and crisis intervention services bring help and hope to these children, and their families.
Many of you know the ups and downs I've faced over the past 20+ years with the declining health of my mother, before her passing on 11/27/18. While my mother had always been a warrior and did her best not to show the immense pain she was in or how quickly she was declining - I remember little things that seemed like nothing as a teenager - but now I know just how much my Ima was sacrificing so we did not know what was going on. I knew at 18, that I was my mother's health care proxy. I knew her wishes. But it was not until 2007 when I faced my mother in the ICU with the doctors telling me it was life or death for them to amputate her legs, and all I heard in the back of my mind was my mother begging me to make sure that no doctor ever takes her limbs. It was the first of many that "health care proxy" actually meant that I would have to make a very difficult decision that could take my mother's life - and leaving it all in God's hands. Hashem (God) did not leave this final decision to me.
Because I believe so strongly in Penina's Helping hand, a division of Chai Lifeline’s work, I’ve decided to join Team Lifeline. I plan to raise over $5,000 and I hope you will help me reach this goal by making a tax-deductible donation. Your support is a critical part of this effort and I know that together we can make a difference to these families. All donations are 100% tax-deductible and Team Lifeline website make donations quick, easy, and secure.
You can also send a check, made payable to Chai Lifeline, to me at my office at 3001 West 37th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11224. If your company has a matching gift program, your gift may be doubled or tripled. If you send the paperwork to me with your check, Chai Lifeline will complete the form and send it to your employer.
I look forward to keeping you informed of my progress as a runner.