H.O.P.E. Program Update #1 for Parents
Posted on May 20, 2014
Crossposted on the Yeshivat Noam blog
In our last session on Friday, we were thrilled to welcome CB Neugroschl from Shirat Devorah, and Rochel Mendlowitz from Chai Lifeline, accompanied by Dena, a volunteer, and Malki, a ‘Cancer Warrior.’
Mrs. Neugroschl helped the H.O.P.E. participants understand what it could feel like for someone to have difficulty speaking, as often happens at the onset of ALS by having a couple students try speaking after stuffing their mouths with marshmallows. She shared about starting Shirat Devorah after the diagnosis of her sister in law. In the first year of their founding, they have raised $250,000.00 and spent $100,000.00 supporting families with ALS and research. They hope the funds from H.O.P.E. will continue to further their reach.
Mrs. Mendlowitz from Chai Lifeline spoke about the reach of Chai Lifeline in New Jersey, and the detail that they pay to those they help. They are much more than just visiting people in the hospital- for example, they helped siblings of a child with cancer shop for Purim costumes and deliver Mishloach manot on Purim. The Kidz Konnect program for which they are seeking funding helps siblings of children with life threatening illnesses in a unique after school program, allowing kids experiencing similar personal events to spend time together having dinner, creating art, and just being together.
Dena, the volunteer who came for Chai Lifeline, shared how much she gets out of volunteering- she runs the Chanukah Toy Drive, visits people in the hospital, and tutors Malki at home as she is still immunosuppressed after her fight with Leukemia. Malki, just celebrating her 5th birthday the day before, gave a poised and poignant presentation about her experience with Chai Lifeline, sharing with us photos of herself when she had no hair due to her chemotherapy. We sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to Malki!
The H.O.P.E. participants were very engaged by both presentations, and know they have a tough decision in front of them!
Founder & Director