I used to be normal. Just a regular guy with a wife and kids. Helping out with the shopping, a family trip to the park to play ball—these were everyday events, hardly a blip on my radar screen. Then everything changed. At the age of 34, I discovered I had M.S. Like a thief in the night, the M.S. stole my happiness. I went from a healthy adult who can walk on his own feet to a cripple in a wheelchair. A cripple who cannot do anything for himself.
Every act, even the simplest, became a complex challenge. It is not easy to be a young, disabled person. The challenge is tremendous and is with you day after day, moment after moment. For me, the hardest thing was to hear my two little boys asking me, “Abba, please play soccer with us,” “Abba, come with us to the park.” How many times pre-M.S. did I refuse because I just wasn’t in the mood, because I wanted to read the newspaper instead. Now I cry for those missed opportunities. I would give anything to toss a ball over to my sons and hear their gleeful shout as it landed right in their mitt. What I wouldn’t give just to walk down to the corner with them for an ice cream cone. I see their sad, disappointed faces. It hurts. A lot. I can’t walk and I know I’ll never do those things again.
I feel like I am living in a black hole. There is one glimmer of light that helps me – Ezer Mizion.
Ezer Mizion is my “legs.” Thanks to Ezer Mizion’s ambulance services, I can get to the treatments I have to undergo at Hadassah or Shaarei Zedek Hospital. Without them, I would not receive the medical care I need when I need it. And, once in awhile, they even have a slot for a ‘dream trip’.
Beyond the practical help, they support me and encourage me a great deal. They make me feel that I am still a respectable human being. They treat me with the utmost dignity. Respect and dignity—that’s their trademark. Every day, I tell them ‘thank you’ a million times. They deserve a giant pat on the back. each day that I am driven by one of the Ezer Mizion staff members, I whisper inside myself, “One day I’ll pay you back, I promise!”
Soon, I am hoping to receive a specialized vehicle that I can drive with my hands alone.it will open doors for me and enable me to do so much more. But most important, it will allow me to give. I hope to be able to pay back Ezer Mizion, at least to some small extent, and serve as a volunteer driver for other patients who need transport. I , too, will treat everyone with dignity and respect. I will be an Ezer Mizion driver in every sense. In this way, I will be able to pass on a bit of Ezer Mizion’s good to others.