Shahar patted her hair. She wanted to look especially nice. The hair was new. It has just grown to normal length. Last year, she didn’t have any at all. Last year she had been fighting for her life. She brushed a lock from her forehead, trying to brush away the memories of the nightmare last year at the same time. It was all over now. She had a bone marrow transplant. She was one of the lucky ones. Ezer Mizion’s Bone Marrow Registry had a perfect genetic match for her. And now she was about to meet him-the one who saved her life.
She ran a comb through her precious hair once again as the door opened. He entered. He was young. Only twenty two. There he stood in his khaki uniform and red beret. He had registered with Ezer Mizion when he was inducted into the IDF, never thinking that he would really have the opportunity to save a life. Like one person, they all stood up—Shahar’s twin sister, her older brother, her parents, her grandmother. Her father ran to meet him and the two men hugged and cried. Words? What can you say to the person who had saved your daughter’s life?
Grandma Geulah goes up to S., places her hands over his head, blesses him, and presents him with a gift. “How I waited to see you,” she whispers in a trembling voice. “I just had to meet this good soul.”
It all started in May 2010, when seven-year-old Shahar, was playing with her friends and came home with a black-and-blue mark. “I thought she just got a bang while playing,” relates Arlene. “But the next morning, her entire body was full of suspicious black-and-blue marks. After some tests at the Emergency Room, we received the diagnosis: Shahar had aplastic anemia, a disease in which the bone marrow does not produce enough blood cells. The condition can lead to collapse of the immune system …and to death.”
“Shahar understood that that she had a serious illness and had to take care of herself, but sometimes she had moments of crisis. We bought her this kind of secret pillow with a pocket where she could put pages and then close it with a zipper and a lock. She would sometimes go to her room, write something and put it inside. To this day, she doesn’t let us look at what she has there.”
On December 20, 2011, the first night of Chanukah, the new, healthy stem cells were injected into Shahar’s little body.
And now she presented her gift to the young soldier who had given her the greatest gift possible-a drawing straight from her young, innocent heart.
Shahar’s parents tell S. that their eldest son, Segev, was drafted into the IDF a month before. “I hope that the sample he gave in at the Induction Center will be a good match for someone,” says Arlene. “If that happens, I’ll feel that we closed the circle.”