Posts Tagged ‘Alyn’

The Sky is the Limit!

Monday, March 27th, 2017

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Over the last few years, Gilly, my kids and I have biked, run, and swam for a variety of charities. (Next year we will get mudded up — but that’s another post.)

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Combined, we have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars and shekels. We have helped schools for special needs children, renovated a chemo unit, and supported a summer camp for kids who have lost a parent or a brother or sister.

I was so inspired by the idea of activity-based fund-raising, that I came to work for the ALYN Children’s Hospital — known world-wide for the Wheels of Love ride (which might just be the best charity bike ride in the world).

But ALYN doesn’t just have great sports events for people to raise money — it’s also an amazing place that I don’t think I can accurately describe.

But I’ll try.

The other day my ankle was hurting from a run the night before. I was feeling grumpy as I struggled up the stairs to my office. And coming down the stairs was a therapist teaching an 8 year old boy how to go down stairs with his new prosthetic leg.

Kinda hard to complain about your self-inflicted running injury when you see that.

Yet despite the fact that it looked really hard, the therapist was making the boy smile. He had turned the step exercise into a game. I even heard a laugh at one point.

That’s what happens all the time here.

The therapists teach the kids to shoot baskets, and bake cookies, plant flowers, even play with puppies! The kids don’t even realize that these activities are therapies to help strengthen their muscles and their balance — and their emotions. They just want to do the same fun stuff that all children can do. Why should it matter that they need a motorized wheelchair or a ventilator?

These are kids first — not just “patients”.

I could go on, but the point is every time I walk through the doors and see these kids, I think: “Thank G-d there is a place like ALYN.

So of course, I know you are expecting me to announce that I am riding my bike to the moon or something and ask for donations for ALYN.

But I’m not. Not this time.

This time my wife Gilly and my son Yedidya will be the participants. And even though neither can run a marathon (yet), we have an event that requires more mental than physical strength.

On April 13, they will both jump out of an airplane 3,000 meters up. The rest of the family and I will be waiting on the ground for them (this is definitely NOT on my bucket list).

Please click here to support them. I have covered all the costs for the event, so that every dollar, shekel, and Swiss Kronar you give will go to help the kids here at the hospital. (If you would like to raise money yourself and join them on the jump, let me know.)

The Frankl Family is very grateful that we are physically able to push the limits with everything we do. Please help us help those for whom pushing the limits means walking down stairs with an artificial leg.

Thank you.

Yarden, Gilly, Yedidya and the rest of the Frankl Family.


Saved by the Yellow Jerseys of Alyn

Tuesday, July 19th, 2016

31423_1387729867555_3978911_nI’ve been doing a lot of mountain biking lately. Usually, I find myself on beautiful, desolate trails and ride up into the hills as the sun sets. (Yes, it does get dark and that can lead to problems, but that’s for another post.)

Yesterday morning, for some reason unknown to me at the time, I grabbed one of my old Alyn Jerseys and threw it in my bag.

The Alyn Hospital is a children’s rehabilitation hospital. They provide all different types of treatment for kids who have survived terrible car accidents, terror attacks, and other traumatic events, as well as kids born with severe challenges. (They actually do a whole lot more, so click on the link above.)

They do great amazing work with these kids. But that costs a lot of money. So every year, people come from around the world to participate in their 5 day bike ride to raise money to help these kids. Good people get to go on a great ride and kids can get the treatment they need. It’s a win-win.

Before Stella got sick, I went on the ride 5 years in a row. I loved every minute and saw more of this country than most Israelis. We road up hills, through valleys, in the rain and the sun, and I got to know a great bunch of riders.

I also collected a lot of yellow Alyn jerseys, most of which sit in my closet. But yesterday, without thinking, I took one with me.

After work, I was eager to get right on the bike. So even though I noticed the back tyre (that’s an Australian spelling BTW) was a little low, I decided just to ignore it. Yeah, I know. Like riding after the sun goes down with sunglasses. (Again — that’s another post.)

Twelve kilometers from your car is not where you want to have any problems that make your bike unrideable. Of course, that’s where I decided to put some more air in the tire (I can’t help it, back to American spelling. I am a patriot) using an old pump that had not been used in years. BTW — the purpose of a bicycle pump is to add air into a tire.

My pump worked on a completely different principle. That pump actually took all the air out of the tire. Maybe that would have come in handy if I had found my tires had a bit too much air in them and wanted to take some out.

But that was not the case. So after using this wonderful pump, I found that I no longer had a bike that was hard to ride. I now had a bike that was impossible to ride. (And a pump that was not going to make the situation any better.)

But I tried anyway and was not making much progress when I turned the corner and to my surprise, I met up with about a dozen folks wearing the Alyn yellow jerseys. (Remember those?) A few of them were old friends I hadn’t seen since I “retired” from riding. In no time at all, we had pumped up my tire, and I joined them for a fun ride.

Even more amazing, this was a group that was made up of local riders and young people who had been treated at Alyn. One young woman I rode with had been hit by a car four years ago. She had a traumatic brain injury and needed extensive therapy. At the time, the idea of her riding a mountain bike was simply not realistic. But she, and the rest of the riders did just great.

I know what it’s like to have to dig really really deep to find strength. I have been there — in the middle of the night when your hope is sapped and you feel the darkness closing in. I know what it’s like to want to quit — more than anything else. I have been on ultra marathons when my legs felt like giving out. And I have had to face the prospect of raising my children without their mother.

You know, I really feel sorry for people who have never been placed (or placed themselves) in situations where the only thing they can rely on is that buried reserve of strength that we all have deep down.

When Max completed his three day try-out for an elite Army unit, I was very proud not just that he had accomplished the ordeal, but that he now had an experience he can fall back on whenever life seems to get hard — or even impossible.

But when someone suffers serious injuries that prevent them from walking, talking, eating, etc — that ordeal is every day — every single day. You don’t get to cross the finish line and relax when every day life gives you more fences to climb, more kilometers to pass.

So for me to see a group of people who should not have even been walking — riding mountain bikes in the Judean Hills — it was truly remarkable.

Yes, Alyn riders helped me out with a little thing like a flat tire. But what Alyn riders really do is help kids with really big problems get the care that they need.

And I would take my hat off to them, except my hat is a helmet and it’s a really bad idea to take your helmet off while mountain biking.

Yarden Frankl, Neve Daniel

It’s Hot. It’s Really, Really Hot

Thursday, November 8th, 2007

2007-11-08aI’m riding my bike and am only halfway up a seven and a half kilometer climb from the Kineret. My lungs are burning. I can feel my heart thumping and my legs are on fire. The sun is scorching my skin as I make my way up this beast of a hill. It’s only the second day of the International Bike Ride for Alyn Children’s Hospital. I’m having the time of my life.

For five days, over 500 riders rode through the north of Israel gradually making our way towards the hospital in Jerusalem. Every time we thought the hardest part was over, we rounded the corner into even greater challenges. We would climb into the sun and then descend at incredible speeds over rocky footpaths. We rode on pavement, gravel, rocks, and mud. When the terrain flattened out, we shifted to the big gears and rode like the wind. When we finished for the day, we were covered in dust and sweat. At night, we would shower, eat three or four dinners, and crawl into bed. The next day we woke at 5:00 A.M., ready to do it again.

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Let’s Roll!

Thursday, November 1st, 2007
Wheel of Love

Wheel of Love

I am writing on Friday right before Shabbat. Tomorrow night I leave for Tiveria to join the Alyn Charity Bike ride. About 500 men and women will be riding bikes from the North of Israel to Jerusalem. One week with nothing to do but ride. Talk about the ultimate vacation.

As much fun as these rides are, I have to remind myself why we are doing it. After all, the fact that 500 people get a break from work, family, and e-mail is nice, but it is only really significant for those of us who are riding. Of far greater significance are the kids at the Alyn hospital who are the beneficiaries of about $3,000,000 that we will raise from this ride.

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Friday, November 3rd, 2006

Courage. What does the word mean? Some might say that to take on the Alyn Hospital Bike Ride is an act of courage, riding a bicycle from Jerusalem to Eilat. But that would not be correct. By the time you are reading this, I will hopefully be finishing the ride (and will write about the experience next week), and will have many positive things to say, but I doubt the word “courage” will be in there.

Some have told us that making Aliyah, or living in the “West Bank” is an act of courage. But no, while there are many positive ways to describe life here, I am reserving the word “courage.”

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