When a 20 year old son, once a rugged IDF soldier, repeatedly asks his mother, “Am I going to die?” what can she possibly answer?
About a year ago, generous donors to Milka’s Fund reached out to help David A. of Beitar, a 19-year-old IDF soldier from a family of 11, who was stricken with GBM, a type of brain cancer. Doctors were not at all optimistic. The situation in David’s home fell into chaos as his family (his mother, especially) stopped everything to take care of his every need. Thankfully, our goal was quickly raised for the A. family and we were able to provide them with coverage of some of their most urgent expenses. This was a tremendous help to the family.
Over this past year, despite all the odds stacked against him, medications David was given stalled the cancer growth. Incredibly, he was beating those odds and actually showing signs of improvement, taking small, slow, shaky steps with the help of a walker and physical support from aides. He could express himself in limited words. His neuro oncologist couldn’t believe it. He said that David’s improvement was “above nature” and felt there was no explanation for it except for tfillos said on his behalf. A few weeks ago, when severe weakness in David’s legs prompted doctors to run new MRIs and CT scans they revealed metastases. David is once again undergoing chemotherapy.
As David’s father brings in a minimal salary and his mother Shoshana hasn’t worked this past year whatsoever (she has been all-consumed with taking care of her son 24/7) their funds are few, and their needs are many.
When asked what David would like most, what would make him happy, his mother answers that he has requested that an adaptation to be made to the family bathroom. The single bathtub in the home doesn’t allow for him to use it without significant assistance from others. He wishes he could be wheeled into a shower which would allow him to bathe in a more dignified way. Shoshana also expresses that David has asked to see a psychologist, to help him deal with severe depression he has been battling since the start of his illness.
David’s sister is due to get married this week, but sadly, no one was available to help prepare for the wedding, and there was no money to fund any of the expenses. Thankfully, several donors who heard about the situation stepped in last minute and are covering most of them. Upon hearing this, Shoshana said: “Only Hashem knows how much happiness this has brought us during this sorrowful time, this assistance has sweetened the Din.”
We need to help David and his family, by adapting their bathroom, bringing him vital therapy and offsetting some of the additional wedding expenses.
Your crucial donations can assist with all of these needs, for a family enduring great suffering.
As an IDF soldier, David was ready to give his life for Am Yisrael. We must do our best to improve his.
Will you please help?
David A. is one of eleven children in a close knit, happy family living in Beitar. Shortly after he began his army service as a paratrooper, he started to feel nauseous and began vomiting. He was sent to the doctor, with most people assuming he was simply dehydrated and would need extra fluids and some rest-a common condition that happens to soldiers during training. After running some tests though, an unthinkable diagnosis was made: David had GBM, one of the deadliest types of brain cancer.
David and his family were floored by this news, which hit them hard and from out of nowhere.
Who could have thought that such a young, healthy man in his prime, could be stricken with a fatal disease?
GBM attacks rapidly and aggressively. Though David underwent chemotherapy and radiation treatments, neither could stop the cancer or slow it down. Once the doctors determined that there was nothing else they could do for him, there was no choice-he went into hospice.
Shoshana and Yaakov, David’s parents are devastated. Shoshana made the decision that the only place for their son to live out his remaining time is at home, surrounded by family. In order to take care of him she left her job as an art teacher so she can be there for him every hour of every day. This took a big bite out of the family’s finances, but she feels that as David’s mother there is nothing else she can be doing with her time.
David’s siblings are completely dedicated to him as well. They spend as much time as possible with him, talking to him and keeping him entertained. At this point he can hear but can no longer speak. He can’t eat regular food and he can’t move any part of his body on his own. He needs so much care that two of his siblings left their jobs and studies respectively, to help out at home.
Understandably the atmosphere in the home is one of desperation and despondency. The family life has broken down, as everything revolves around David’s situation. Shoshana is especially suffering from her son’s deterioration as she spends every minute taking care of him and sees his decline from moment to moment. Due to her loss of income there is no food in the refrigerator. Her youngest son is almost 13 and should be in the middle of planning for his Bar Mitzvah during Sukkot. But as there is no money, time or frame of mind for it, no Bar Mitzvah is being planned.
The circumstances in this story are so dire and we need to help David ben Shoshana’s family as soon as possible. Please help us collect $5,400 for them, which will go towards:
-Pain medications for David
-Basic household needs to alleviate some of the chaos in the home
-Yom Tov expenses
The motto of the Paratroopers Brigade is “Acharai!” (follow me!). Help us show David’s family that we are behind them and that we will do our best to help during this tragic time.