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Kids who grow up in Israel on the border with the Gaza Strip, learn to live with different challenges than most. From the time they can walk, they learn that the words “Code Red” (signaling incoming rockets from Gaza) need to be taken seriously. Hearing loud explosions in the middle of the night. Growing up in fear that terrorists could pop up from a hole in the ground. Periodic evacuations of their homes, for unlimited time, because their front yard has turned into a landing pad for exploding Hamas rockets.
Today, however, I want to tell you about a kid who has had to grow up with all that, and gets to deal with cancer as well. Twice, in fact. And he’s only 13.
His name is Eitan. He goes to the school I work at. I have met him, but only perfunctorily, as the “son of” a friend who was part of a citizens’ protest group down here in the south.
His mom’s name is Gefen, and I got to know her at the demos protesting government laxidasiality regarding the conditions in which we live in the Western Negev aka the Gaza Envelope. She would come, with her kids in tow. They even camped out with us in the overnight tent city in the heart of Tel Aviv. She did it out of caring about our lives here on the border. Being a citizen activist means making your voice heard while putting aside the usual demands on moms with young kids. At the same time, she was serving as a role model for her children, by bringing them with her, providing a real life, boots-on-the-ground education in being a responsible citizen and patriot. That is the beauty of this country, and especially our region, where life threatening challenges have us all looking after each others’ backs.
Now, she needs my help. She needs OUR help.
I do not usually ask for help, but this time it’s personal. One of “mine”. One of the magical things that comes out of living here is that we really care for each other. Which is why I have joined the ranks of “Eitan’s Soldiers” to help raise money to send this kid to Houston, Texas to undergo an experimental treatment available nowhere else in the world, and is Eitan’s only chance for survival.
We are out to raise NIS 4 million to enable the family to relocate temporarily to Texas, to give Eitan a fighting chance.
Please go into the fundraising site to read more. And as you light your Hannuka candles tonight, please think of Eitan, Gefen and their family and open your hearts and your wallets. Any amount, even a small donation, will help us help Eitan and his family on their way to victory. Please help us provide light, hope and a way towards another miracle this Hannuka 2021.
Thank you. Wishing all my readers a joyous, healthy Holiday of Lights. Chag Urim Sameach.