Attn campers, staff, and parents: We LOVE hearing from you! If you have something to say, e-mail your blog post to firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Chai Lifeline,
When you have a kid with a lifelong medical and physical condition there are
many trying moments. Hospital visits, doctor appointments, therapies and
missing school are just part of your normal life. You dream of the
milestones and hope your child reaches them. Friends are hard to come by.
Most people shy away from our kids. They are scared of the wheelchair,
medical equipment and afraid to attach themselves to someone with a life
threatening condition. But not at Chai lifeline and Camp Simcha! You love
our kids unconditionally.
All year Adam waits for camp. He knows during those two weeks he is free to
be a kid. He is accepted for who he is as a person. He is regarded as the
fun, wild crazy kid not the kid in the wheelchair. At camp Simcha he forgets
about his disabilities and discovers his abilities. I mean he swims, boats,
does a ropes course, archery, flies in a helicopter, dances and the list
goes on. Last summer was by far his best summer at camp to date. It was
EPIC! He was so sad to leave and come home. These guys are not just his
friends but his brothers. We can count on them all year long. We live across
the country but somehow these guys are able to lift Adam’s spirits and keep
him going through e-mails, text messages, skyping, phone calls and facebook.
Last February Adam had surgery and he was fortunate to have two guys from
the east coast here for all his pre-op appointments, Shlomo and Foxy, they
came with us to the hospital and held Adam’s hand through the icky stuff.
They made him laugh and kept him distracted. Then they took him to
Disneyland and treated him to an amazing day with some of his siblings!
Shlomo accompanied Adam the morning of surgery in pre-op and all the way
until the OR. I cannot tell you what a difference it makes in our lives to
have a Chai Lifeline volunteer by our sides during these emotional scary
medical moments. Adam needed to have his counselor there by his side holding
his hand as they put in his IV and prepared him for surgery and even better
when he came out and saw Shlomo in post-op. Shlomo sat next to his hospital
bed and held his hand and that made his pain go away! When Adam had to have
another emergency surgery in May although there was no way to get his
counselor there in time, We had davening taking place all over as the word
got out that a CLL kiddo was not doing well. This is what CLL is all about.
Three weeks ago was an amazing time for our family as Adam became a Bar
Mitzvah along with his quadruplet siblings. This was a milestone we never
thought he would make. The doctors original prognosis at birth was grim and
life at 13 seemed a fantasy. Yet he made it and we celebrated that proud
We live in Southern California, that means there are like no guys around. We
knew that Adam would not have the usual Camp Simcha style Bar Mitzvah
celebration with all the guys and party like crazy costumes and dancing. I
had prepared Adam that he would not have his counselor there either.
Understandably we live too far and these guys are all in school. Then to our
complete shock in walked Adams absolutely crazy amazing counselor, Shlomo.
It was like a dream. We couldn’t speak. There are no words to describe the
happiness in our hearts and the smile on Adam’s face. You see if Shlomo
would not have shown up I am not sure who he would have hung out with.
Shlomo danced with Adam on his shoulders and treated him to a Camp Simcha
Style night better than we could have imagined. Ok so it was only one guy
but he ROCKED it Epic camp simcha style!
This past weekend we got to experience some more of the Chai lifeline’s Love
as we participated in TEAM LIFELINE and ran the Miami Marathon for Chai
Lifeline. There we were with over 300 runners running for the Chai lifeline
kids. I was absolutely blown away by the love and energy oozing from these
people. I was even more inspired to run after meeting people that were
running for CLL kids and had no connection whatsoever other than they wanted
to help our kids. Adam was able to spend the whole weekend with over 20 camp
simcha staff. They treated him like a king. The boys carried his wheelchair
across the sand of the Miami Beach and took him in the ocean. They played
ping pong, took him swimming ,and hung out with him all weekend long. These
boys were on vacation they did not have to take any of their time to be with
Adam, yet they did! Then on marathon day Adam’s counselor along with many
guys by his side pushed Adam in a wheelchair the entire half marathon and at
the end lifted him out of the chair and carried him on his shoulders to
cross the finish line, It was so touching. If that wasn’t enough, after
running 13.1 miles Shlomo made sure to help Adam with tefilla by assisting
him in putting his tefillin on for davening. Then carried Adam onto the bus
to go back to the hotel.
This is the love and magic of the Chai lifeline volunteers.
What can I say to you, thank you is not enough. The gift that you give our
kids and our family is priceless. We could not imagine going through life
without the love and support of Chai lifeline. Your volunteers are the most
incredible, selfless, loving people ever. These are young men and women that
could be doing countless other things in their lives and yet choose to spend
their time helping our sick kids. My heart is filled with joy and
Just as we were leaving Miami, Adam mentioned to a girl volunteer from LA
that he will be in the hospital in two weeks and she said,” What day? I will
spend the day with you there !” They had just met for the first time over
the weekend! That’s CLL. These people are amazing.
Thank you for all you do. You give our kids and our families the love,
support and inspiration to keep going even when it seems too tough.
Everything you do is a kiddush hashem!
With Deep Appreciation and Gratitude,
( Adam’s mom)