UPDATE: (Tuesday, July 12th) Milka’s Fund would like to personally thank each one of you for the overwhelming response in helping us surpass our goal of $18k and help Shlomo S. repay debts from the nearly two years of his wife’s illness, and help him marry off his daughter this coming Thursday.
We could not have done it without you.
Shlomo was tremendously grateful and relieved that the community raised such a significant sum to help his family. When we told him that we had raised over $18k and that there were more than 300 donations he was moved to tears. The immediate dangers of having his home repossessed and his daughter’s wedding postponed have been alleviated, but the family still has a long road ahead. The sum that we raised will cover about half of his debt, but there are still many expenses ahead as it takes a whole team to stand in for one loving mother. Therefore the campaign on ‘Milka’s Fund’ is still active and all donations will be transferred directly to the family.
In working on helping this family I was so impressed by everything that I heard from them and about them: their unwavering faith, their focus on doing the right thing and staying positive in the face of illness and struggle, and their ability to rise to the occasion and get through the crises. Their loss was truly heartbreaking, and has touched many people’s lives, including ours, the staff of Milka’s Fund.
This coming Thursday night their daughter will stand under the chuppah in what will surely be a very emotional and bittersweet occasion. Chana will not be by her daughter’s side, but she will know that she is not alone – thousands of people from around the world have stepped up to be her ‘family’.
UPDATE: Tragedy has struck. Chana just passed away, Baruch Dayan Emes. The funeral was TODAY (Thursday July 7th), and her daughters wedding is one week from tonight, only moments after the family gets up from Shiva. We MUST help this bride get to the wedding. The family is buried in a mountain of bills and heartache. Please share this heartbreaking story and give as generously as you can.
Chana passed away at 4:15 in the afternoon, only a week before her daughters scheduled wedding. The Rabbis insisted that she be buried promptly, before sunset, so that the wedding can proceed as scheduled. The funeral was absolutely heartbreaking. The endless tears of a young bride who has lost her mother when she needs her most. Five and seven year old little boys who are saying Kaddish for a mother who will not be there to share the milestones of their lives. A little baby who will grow up never having known their mother, and Shlomo the heartbroken widower who spent the last year and a half of his life doing everything that he possibly could to save the life of his beloved wife, only to be left with unfathomable debt.
Shlomo and Chana S had a beautiful and full life together with their family. Shlomo kept a very full schedule juggling three teaching jobs. Chana cared for the children and ran a daycare in her home. They both worked hard, but they had a lot of nachas from their 8 children. They lived frugally, and were careful to set aside a sum each month as a savings to marry off their older children.
A year and a half ago their lives were turned upside down when Chana was diagnosed with cancer. At the time of the diagnosis Chana was 22 weeks pregnant. She underwent surgery to deliver the baby as soon as it was safe to do so, and soon after underwent an additional surgery after that to remove the tumor. A rigorous round of treatments followed, including more surgeries and expensive experimental drugs, but nothing was able to defend Chana’s health from the terrible illness.
In the meantime Chana and Shlomo’s second daughter became engaged to a fine young man. Chana was unable to take her daughter shopping or do anything to prepare for the wedding. All she could do was hope and pray that she would live to see her daughter to her chuppa.
Chana is not able to work, in fact she is unable to care even for her own basic needs, and a private nurse has been employed for her care. Her prognosis is unclear and she has had some very close calls. Just a few weeks ago Chana passed out late at night. The emergency workers came to transfer her to the hospital and based on their grim faces, Shlomo said a tearful goodbye for what might have been the last time. He stayed with the small children at home, spending the night deep in prayer, as the nurse accompanied Chana to the hospital. His surprise and excitement knew no bounds when he got a call from her in the morning and heard her voice on the line.
Chana refuses to give up. She has overcome many challenges in her life, and believes that this too shall pass. She focuses her limited energy on her healing and her children. Shlomo has cut down on his work hours to care for the family, and has had the daunting task of financing the cost of Chana’s treatments, her nurse, and the extra expenses of childcare, and cooking and cleaning help for the older children. Another nurse has been hired to care for the newborn, who hardly knows his mother. As they do not own a car, they have already spent thousands of shekels just on taxis to and from the hospital. All of the money that they had set aside for their daughter’s wedding is long gone, and they are now straddled with an 80,000 shekel bank loan that they took out to cover the seemingly endless expenses. If that wasn’t enough, they haven’t been able to pay their mortgage, and the bank is threatening to foreclose on their home. As Chana is lying unable to move, and her daughter is preparing for her upcoming wedding, hotza’a la’poal – the loan officers are coming to their home and threatening to foreclose on their home and confiscate their belongings.
Throughout it all, Shlomo focuses only on what he needs to do next to keep the family afloat. When he came to the offices of Yad Eliezer to ask for help, he did not complain at all about his troubles, only asked for that we help him keep a roof over his family’s head, and help him go forward with his daughter’s wedding, which is scheduled to take place July 14th. The doctors are recommending that the wedding not be postponed so that the mother will be able to attend.
This perfectly normal and successful family stands to lose everything and be left without a roof over their heads.
We need to raise $20k to get this family back on their feet as they continue to pay for Chana’s care, and to allow their daughter a modest wedding celebration. A generous donor has pledged to match $10k, and we are turning to you now to raise the other $10k. Time is of the essence. Please donate generously and share this story. Let’s allow the S family to celebrate their daughter’s wedding with joy in their hearts, and keep their spirits up as they continue to fight for Chana’s life.