We moved to Israel seven years ago to “live the dream” of a better life for ourselves and our children. And for six years, with fulfilling jobs and a wonderful community, our lives did indeed feel dreamlike.
And then the dream went dark.
It all started when the Doctor said: “It’s definitely cancer.”
My wife Stella was diagnosed with late stage stomach cancer last year. In fifteen months, we have faced chemo, operations, and more unpleasantness than I could ever have imagined. Yet Stella has never stopped smiling.
From her childhood in Ithaca, New York to our college days at Colgate University to our first real community in Potomac, Maryland to our current home in Neve Daniel, Israel, Stella has touched the lives of thousands of people.
If you look up kindness in the dictionary, you will see Stella’s picture. If you look up modesty, there she is again. And if you look up compassion — once again it’s Stella. Just ask anyone who knows her and they will tell you that she is simply amazing. I basically won the lottery to have such a wife.
And so many of these people are now desperate to try and help Stella as she struggles with what feels like a non-stop fight against a deadly disease. People are demanding to “do something” to try and help. And of all those people, I am at the top of the list of those who just need to do something to try and help her.
Stella doesn’t like making trouble. She doesn’t speak badly of anyone. The only one she has an issue with is the Waze lady. (Sorry but Ms. Waze IS a better navigator.) She is always willing to back off to preserve peace. She offers an amazing smile to everyone she meets.
But that’s not me. Not even close.
I get mad. I get pissed off. Someone zings me, despite the best efforts of my Rav, I want to zing them back. And nothing has pissed me off more than the cancer that is attacking my wife.
So what can I do? If I could cure cancer, I would. But I don’t have enough time to go to medical school and spend decades in a lab trying to create a new drug.
I ride a bike. That’s what I do.
So now, I am going to ride a bike to raise money for Stella’s care and all the other cancer patients at Shaare Zedek. I have picked the most audacious route I can think of so I can hopefully raise the most amount of money to help.
The route is in blue
Around midnight on November 9, I will climb on my bike at Mount Hermon and then ride home. It’s 260KM and goes from the highest point in Israel to the lowest point in the world and then back up to the second highest spot in Israel. If you want to do something to help Stella, please consider clicking on this link to make a donation.
Besides the practical issue that the hospital will have more resources, there is a philosophical idea. In Judaism, it is believed that people giving to charity can reverse a terrible situation. And I’m no expert, but I doubt very much that this concept is unique to Judaism.
Even if everyone just gives a small amount, thousands of people giving in Stella’s name has to count for something, right?
I welcome all donations, no matter the size. Because I know that every single donation, every cent and every shekel, is someone reaching out to help Stella.
And we need all the help we can get right now.
So make a donation and please say a prayer for Stella. Doesn’t matter what language or what faith you are.
I need to move the Earth through prayers and charity from around the world.
I WILL NOT LET CANCER WIN.
And if I can do that, then riding 260 kilometers will be a piece of cake.
Yarden Frankl, Neve Daniel