While his friends are busy with their matriculation exams, 16-year-old Leor Gershon wakes up every morning in Ichilov hospital to a lesson on survival, as he fights the cancer that is ravaging his body.
A year and a half ago, Leor, a sports champion, was diagnosed with cancer. Since then, he has been undergoing grueling treatments and the doctors had to amputate his leg. He needs a prosthesis to meet his unique needs, but his mother Rinat, a single parent of four children, cannot manage the staggering cost – more than a half million NIS.
For two and a half months, Leor has been stuck in the hospital, and it is a year and a half since he has attended school. Leor is nervous about going back to school but he misses his friends. So his mother arranged a trip with Ezer Mizion to visit his friends in school
Frail and wheelchair bound, Leor had to be transported by ambulance to visit his friends at school. His mother called Ezer Mizion to coordinate the trip, which is part of Ezer Mizion’s “Make a Wish” project of fulfilling dreams for the sick and elderly. THE HUBERFELD AMBULANCE was the vehicle that was privileged to do this very special transport.
The morning of his visit, when he got ready for the visit, Leor felt uncomfortable and was in pain. “I’m a little tense. I haven’t been out of the hospital for two months. I’m all worked up. They haven’t seen me yet like this, without the leg. We’ll see how they receive me.”
“All the kids donated from their allowance”
What Leor did not know is that his friends at school decided to help raise money for him and organized a fund-raising fair at school: One made popcorn, another prepared pizza. They sold to each other, with all the money earmarked to help Leor get the prosthesis.
“Everyone gave something, even from their own personal savings and pocket money,” related Achinoam Alelof, a fellow student. “It was really exciting, and warmed our hearts.”
Right in the middle of the big recess, Leor’s ambulance pulled up. “I’m too worked up,” said Leor before he was taken out of the ambulance.
A year and a half after he was there last, he returned to meet his friends at high school in Omer once again, and he was received there with applause and hugs. “Of course you’re emotional. Can I give you a hug? How wonderful it is to have you with us,” said his teachers.
After smothering embraces from the teachers, the principal, and the head of the city council, who came to greet him on his return, he went back to his old classroom and to the schoolyard. Surrounded by friends, Leor smiled for the first time in ages, and let loose the balloons they presented to him.
“I’ll Come Back Here as a Regular Student”
“We all give you a hug and want you to be back here with us soon,” said the principal to Leor. “Promise me that you’re coming back.” Leor added emotionally: “This is a message to everyone that you can’t give up. I am in shock, moved to the core, I never expected this,” he admitted.
“This is so good – suddenly I feel high, in the clouds,” said Leor with a sense of relief. “It helps me keep going and gives me resolve and strength to get better, besides giving a me and my mother such a good feeling. It really helps physically. Before, I was nauseous, and now that I see everyone, I feel better. It’s amazing!”
“I’ll come back here like everyone, like a regular student. That’s what I wish and hope for, and now I feel that I’ll get there.”