Posts Tagged ‘yarden’

My Wife Has Cancer — And I’m Going for a Bike Ride

Friday, October 12th, 2012

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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.”

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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.

Thank you.

Yarden Frankl, Neve Daniel

 

Night Run

Friday, August 3rd, 2012

Starting last night around midnight, a group of us ran from Bet Shemesh to the Kotel, a total of almost 39 kilometers. We got there just as dawn was breaking and were able to daven (pray) as the sun came up.

A night run is a completely different experience than running during the day. Often, with just a flashlight mounted on a band around your head, all you can see is a couple of meters ahead of you. You can be running fine and feeling great.

Then all of a sudden, the trail turns upward, and you may have no idea how long the climb will be. But you keep running. Or you could stumble over a rock that you had not seen, and you use your arms to try and catch your balance so that you don’t end up getting a mouthful of trail.

Since most of you are familiar with my writing, you know what comes next. I try and tell all of you to live and enjoy life like a night run. You never know when all of a sudden, the pleasant run becomes tougher and you’re not sure when the tough part will end. Or something comes up out of nowhere, and you need to find a way to stay upright and continue on.

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Liveblogging the Ride

Thursday, November 10th, 2011

Yarden is on the road riding to raise money for families in Gush Etzion who are dealing with illnesses.

6:05PM – Rav Matanya Ben Shachar, rav of Neve Daniel, spoke briefly to inaugurate the ride. Yarden’s message to Stella was “I’ll let the riding speak for me.” He did one lap, came back to find Stella in the crowd, kissed her, and was off.

Cumulative time
Cumulative kilometers
Cumulative pledges
Last GPS Location

 

0 hr
0km
₪0

6:15PM – Yarden is off and riding.. He’s lapping the main roads in the yishuv with a few dozen kids in tow.

2 ¼ hr
44km
₪9,939

8:27PM – Yarden is leaving Neve Daniel now and heading into the Gush Eztion circuit of Alon Shevut / Rosh Tzurim / Efrat.

3 hr
64.5km
₪14,201
Efrat Darom

9:15PM – Yarden’s making a second lap into Efrat. The follow car (Josh & Avi) were pulled over by the cops for blocking traffic. They had an ishur (permit).

3 ¾hr
83km
₪18,250
Alon Shevut

9:59PM – Yarden’s heading out of Alon Shevut, listening to AC/DC.

10:12PM – the follow car cracked open the popcorn.

4 ½hr
100km
₪21,966
Gush Etzion Regional Council

10:40PM – We reached the 100km mark. Yarden’s changing his shirt and heading back up to Efrat on his fourth circuit in Gush Etzion.

11:00PM – David Bender (http://www.davebrianbender.com/) joined Yarden for the ride. Yarden is riding at a little over 22km/h. He’s wearing a black shirt (and a reflective vest, and has tons of lights on him).

11:16PM Latitude: 31° 39′ 3.58172”, Longitude: 35° 7′ 43.7543”, Speed: 9 m/s, Bearing: 172°, Altitude: 970.4 meters. Also, a course adjustment because Alon Shevut isn’t The City That Never Sleeps… they shut the gate.

5 ¼hr
118km
₪25,844
Efrat Southern Entrance

11:32PM – Yarden’s finishing up his circuits in Gush Etzion. Stay tuned for a live video update: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/longingforthedawn

5 ¾hr
125km
₪27,615
Efrat

12:00AM – Heading into Yerushalayim. Reached the halfway mark for the ride. Stay tuned for a live video update: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/longingforthedawn

12:12AM – Video technical malfunction. Our crack team of experts is on the case… even though it’s past their bedtime.

12:21AM We are meeting up with the bet shemesh crew [Yarden’s bike club from Beit Shemesh. Ed.]

12:45AM Midnight Madness!! Crazy awake Neve Daniel friends came out to greet Yarden and his biking crew on the road to Jerusalem. It’s a crystal clear night, cool and dry. Speed: 12 m/s
Bearing: 36°

6 ½hr
139km
₪31,654
Tunnel Road

12:55AM – Heading into the tunnels on 60 on the way to Jerusalem.

1:06AM – Just entered Jerusalem …should be at Kotel in 25 minutes or so.

7hr
153km
₪34,645
Old City

1:29AM – Latitude: 31° 46′ 26.7244” Longitude: 35° 13′ 59.7021” Speed: 3 m/s Bearing: 70° – In the Old City of Jerusalem.
2:12AM – Latitude: 31° 43′ 50.5409” Longitude: 35° 12′ 19.9625” Speed: 10 m/s Bearing: 199° – heading down Derech Chevron to Kever Rachel.

8hr
165km
₪37,940
Tunnel Road

2:17AM – Heading back to the Gush.

9hr
180km
₪41,739
Tunnel Road

3:10AM – Back in Efrat.

Final Amount
₪80,518

How to Join Me

Sunday, November 6th, 2011

I have gotten several e-mails that say something like this:

Yarden,

I would like to join you for your ride although I am not in shape and have not ridden a bicycle in over ten years. In fact, I am not sure where my bike is or if it has wheels. But I want to be part of your ride.

Hmm…

Let me make a better suggestion.

Stella and I would like nothing more than for all those who have been following our situation to go take a walk on the night of the ride (Thursday, November 10 through Friday, November 11). It makes no difference if you live in Neve Daniel, Maryland, Oklahoma, Ireland, or wherever. Go out for a walk with your spouse, child, friend, or anyone you love.

Don’t talk about work, errands, Mazkirut elections, or so forth. Just focus on how amazing it is to love someone and be loved. Don’t think about the future or the past, for this walk —  just focus on how good the present can be. If you happen to live here, wave when I go by. That would mean much more to me than trying to kill yourself keeping up with a ride that you may not be prepared for.

None of us knows what tomorrow may bring. So let’s take advantage of what we have.

Leave the pedaling to me.

Yarden

We have raised over 50,000 62,000 [Ed.] shekels so far. Thank you. These funds will go to the Gush Etzion Health Fund to help families which are experiencing serious illness here in Gush Etzion. You can still pledge per kilometer, per hour, or make a total pledge by clicking here.

The Ride of Hope

Friday, October 28th, 2011

First, if you are new to this blog, let me catch you up.

My name is Yarden Frankl and six years ago I moved from Potomac, Maryland to Neve Daniel, Israel with my wife Stella and our four kids. For six years we have had an amazing life filled with equal loads of satisfaction and pride for our choice to make Aliyah, as well as a whole bunch of fun. As a hobby, I started riding bikes and running really far. Everything was really as good as could be, until…

At the beginning of the Summer, Stella felt a pain in her stomach. A few days later, our worst nightmare became our reality when she was diagnosed with late stage stomach cancer. Since then, our lives have been turned upside down as Stella struggles with cycle after cycle of chemotherapy.

While Stella battles the illness and the chemo as best as she can, I have been left sitting helpless while I watch from the sidelines. Wanting to get up and do something, and also concerned about medical expenses, I decided that I would ride my bike through the night and raise money for the Gush Etzion Foundation’s fund for families like ours struggling with serious illness. More on my decision if you read this post.

So now, what began as a late night thought, as turned into a major campaign. People from all over are pledging their support, and Stella and I cannot thank you enough. Really, we see every pledge that comes in, from close friends to those we have never met. It is extremely moving and even if I said THANK YOU a million times over, it would not be enough. I wrote a form thank you letter but it really cannot describe how moved we are each and every time we see a pledge.

Now, with the ride less than two weeks away, it is time to plan the details.

So here are some of them:

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