Hi, I’m Shmuel, a four-year-old boy who loves to play, laugh, and learn. But lately, things have been really different. I’ve been feeling very sick and I don’t understand why. My mommy and Tatty tell me that I need to be brave because I have to fight a big, scary monster named Cancer.
I’m really trying to be brave. I see my parents crying sometimes, and I want to make them smile again. But the truth is, I’m scared too. I don’t like the hospital and I miss playing with my friends.
My doctors say that I need to go to a place called Germany for a special operation. I don’t know much about this, but mommy says it’s our only chance to defeat this monster. The problem is, it costs a lot of money that we don’t have.
So, I’m asking for your help. If you can, please help my mommy and Tatty send me to Germany for this operation. I promise I will fight as hard as I can.
Thank you for reading my letter,
Shmuel Ben Rochel Miriam
Chaim Herman was instantly killed 7 months ago. Now, his wife was diagnosed with cancer.
They say lightning doesn’t strike twice.
But it just did.
7 months ago, a terrible car accident occured in Modiin Illat.
Chaim Herman a”h, a young father of 11 children instantly passed away. At the age of 44, his life was taken.
The family was shocked and traumatized at the sudden loss. Chaim Herman a”h left behind a 43 year old widow to care for her 11 children.
Mrs. Chana Herman and her 11 children ranging from 17 to 1 years old sat shivah in their home. Family and friends came to comfort them, but they were inconsolable. They had lost their loving father, and they never said goodbye.
They thought it couldn’t get worse.
But then, it did.
The fresh widow, Mrs. Chana Herman, was just diagnosed with cancer. The family’s pain is indescribable. Her home is once again turned over. She needs treatment around the clock, and her children are suffering.
In Mrs. Herman’s words
“I just came home from the surgery extremely weak. I can barely lift a cup of water to my lips. Yet, I cannot bear to see my family suffering like this. My home is a mess, and nobody is taking care of my children. My little ones go to sleep hungry, but the cupboards are bare. Their homework doesn’t get done, and their clothes are dirty.
We lost our breadwinner, my dear husband a”h 7 months ago, and now, I cannot work either. I don’t have the funds to get my family through this crisis.”
Out of desperation, the family set up a campaign on Chesedtoday.com, and are turning to you, readers, to get them out of the crisis they are in.
The oncology ward is cold.
Sterile curtains line the hallways, a heartbreaking story behind each one. Doctors in white coats walk the ward, disappearing behind these white curtains. Bald children with huge terrified eyes whimper as the machines pump treatment into their frail arms. Nurses rush to beeping machines from time to time. Pain and worry fill the walls.
Yisroel Weingarten A”H, founder of Darchei Miriam, knew chemo. When his wife was sick, the family suffered tremendously, as the medical bills piled up and the family fell apart. Yisroel had a mission. He believes that families battling cancer should not fall apart. And so, he did everything possible to ease the pain of the patient and family members.
When sitting in the hospital at his sick wife’s bedside for days on end, Yisroel needed a break. He headed to the hospital’s kitchen, but to his disappointment, it was bare. The coffee containers were empty, and there were no cups. The kitchen was messy and unappealing.
It was then that Yisroel made up his mind. Cancer patient’s parents would have an inviting fully stocked kitchen available to them at all times.
But in a little corner, there’s warmth brewing.
Welcome to Pinah Chamah- a warm corner by Darchei Miriam, where little kitchens become havens of comfort and hope for families fighting against the odds.
These kitchens are stocked with drinks and snacks, so that Cancer patient’s families sitting by their bedside day and night can find respite.
Parents sip cups of coffee that are not merely a caffeine boost. They are a cup of warmth, love, and support.
In 2005, Darchei Miriam established their first successful Pinah Chamah. And Pinah Chamahs have been warming thousands since. In 2013, when Yisroel Weingarted A”H passed away, his son, Ahrele, continued his fathers mission.
Pinah Chamahs in numbers:
How you can help
Pinah Chamahs are impacting thousands of families every day. And you can help continue the impact. Sponsoring a Pinah Chamah in a hospital for a year, a month, or even a day is providing support and love to so many cancer patients and their families. Donate now to sponsor a Pinah Chamah!
In Their Words:
Yaffi Schwartz, the mother of 5 year old Cancer patient, Naftoli, describes:
“The months of sitting by my little Naftoli’s bedside in the Oncology ward were draining. I woke up before sunrise to care for the rest of my children, and arrived to the hospital to face a full day of treatment. I spent all day trying to distract Naftoli and ease his pain. It was the Pinah Chamah by Darchei Miriam that kept me going.
I would sit there for a couple of minutes sipping my steaming cup of coffee. It warmed my outsides and insides. I couldn’t help but notice the relief on the faces of the other parents as they sat in the Kitchen. I always came back to Naftoli’s room with a little treat from the kitchen. I wish Darchei Miriam volunteers would be there to see that bright smile overtake his pale face.”
Help Is On The Line
“Darchei Miriam, how can we help you?”
Just a standard opening to a phone conversation that is anything but ordinary. Darchei Miriam is the flagship organization for cancer patient support in Israel. Darchei Miriam was founded in 2002 by Rabbi Yisrael Weingarten z”l in memory of his wife, Miriam a”h, who passed away after a difficult battle with cancer.
Rabbi Weingarten personally experienced the myriad difficulties faced by Israeli families when a loved one is sick with cancer. In a demographic milieu where few own cars, buses and trains make just getting to the hospital for treatment an ordeal. Keeping a clean home and providing the children with a hot dinner every night is next to impossible. Navigating the complex world of Israeli bureaucracy and health insurance is usually futile without expert assistance.
Darchei Miriam endeavors to provide a complete envelope of support for cancer patients in Israel with creative solutions to all of the above. Whether with a nationwide network of 2,500 volunteer drivers, providing free cleaning help, or advice about health insurance coverage – Darchei Miriam is there on the other side of the phone.
A Cancer Patient’s Pesach Prep
“I’m Sari, the oldest in a family of 6. I’m exhausted. I’ve just finished cleaning the kitchen for Pesach. The stovetop is shining, the counters are clean, and the fridge is gleaming. Even without Mommy – who is in the hospital undergoing radiation therapy – I’ve managed to clean the kitchen all by myself. Soon, Tatty will come home with all the groceries that we were able to buy, all thanks to Darchei Miriam.”
Now, before Pesach Darchei Miriam is gearing up for its annual distribution of Kimcha D’Pischa grocery vouchers. Sari and her family are one of over 400 cancer patients who are relying on the funds that they will receive from Darchei Miriam to buy food for Yom Tov.
Their mother may be recovering from surgery, their father may be undergoing chemo, but Darchei Miriam is there to provide them with food for true Simchas Yom Tov.
How You Can Help
Each family receives at least 2000 shekel in grocery vouchers to purchase food for Yom Tov (about $555). This is a significant sum that can relieve the financial stress of families battling cancer this Pesach. You can be a part of providing cancer patients and their families with the means to buy food for Yom Tov, by donating here.
Sari, and so many others like her, are counting on you.
This Isn’t Just Charity,