Ezer Mizion Canada

Kobi’s Love

A Special Feature by Kobi Arieli
Kobi – that’s me, Yaakov. Pleased to meet you.
Two decades ago, I was first exposed to Ezer Mizion, an organization that was over ten years old at the time. Ever since then, I have been following it with love and with great awe – with love because of the “what” and with awe because of the “how.”pr Chananya Chollak
One day, a little over thirty years ago, a good-hearted young man in Bnei Brak suddenly had the idea that something ought to be done to help the people around him. He himself was confronted with a family medical problem and discovered a number of related problems that could be resolved. He and his wife went home, recruited a few friends and neighbors, prepared a few meals, went to the hospital, helped some families cope, and cheered a few hearts. Since he had a big head and an even bigger heart, things didn’t stop there. They continued to snowball, to gain momentum, to become established, and to expand.
Today, some thirty-plus years later, you cannot look at life in Israel without seeing Ezer Mizion. This beautiful organization, which earned public recognition in the form of the Israel Prize awarded to it a few years back, has become an integral part of the Israeli experience: Food for the needy, medical equipment, transport of patients and their families, medical counseling, support for cancer patients, services for special children, care and support for the elderly, a mental health division, community social services, and above all – the biggest interpersonal lifesaving enterprise in human history: Ezer Mizion’s International Bone Marrow Donor Registry.
What exactly happened here?
What happened was that a civilian, social force entered a vacuum that was left unoccupied by the public authorities and filled it totally. Every citizen in Israel knows that when a medical or social service problem crops up, there is an address. Yes, thanks to the vision and revolutionary thinking of individuals who swept the masses after them, the face of society has changed. That is how you build a model society.
I got to know this story from up close, through volunteering and working for Ezer Mizion. I had the chance to share a car with a patient whose life, for over a decade, would not be livable without Ezer Mizion; to look in the eyes of motherless children when volunteers come to their house to play with and care for them; to take part in and photograph the first encounter between a bone marrow donor and the one whose life was saved thanks to him; to see from up close men and women for whom this organization stands between their life-hungry smile and a paralyzing fear of the unknown; and above all, to lovingly get to know the precious people who are responsible for all this.
I’ve taken upon myself to tell you here the magnificent story of Ezer Mizion. It’s not really “a story,” but rather a chain of stories. At the heart of each one of them will be a man or woman, a boy or girl, whose life story is intricately interwoven with the story of Ezer Mizion.
I’m Kobi. This is the first story.

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