A Friend in Need
Perhaps I’m not the best of friends. I don’t write or call very often. I don’t keep up with people on Facebook. Most of my friends from college I see at alumni events, or more likely, at weddings and the like. This does not mean that I don’t care about them, especially when I have a friend in need.
Late last night I found out that I one of my friends is in need. I received an e-mail from another friend that simply said “Did you know about this? http://www.nydailynews.com/nyc-family-raising-money-sick-son-article-1.1383540#bmb=1” Although it was way past my go-to-sleep-time I clicked the link and read that my friend Akiva‘s son is terribly ill.
I’m not one for sob stories. I’m not one for wailing and gnashing of teeth. My German heritage wouldn’t allow for such things. I’m also not the kind of person who’s swayed by a picture of a happy family and a beautiful baby who need your support, but in this case…
I met Akiva when we were attending Columbia University’s School of General Studies. we were both involved in campus life in our own ways and scheduled to be in the same graduating class, but one semester Akiva disappeared. After a trip home to Israel he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. There was not a doctor in New York City, or even on the East Coast who wanted to operate on the growth that was inside his brain stem. Akiva eventually found a doctor in Arizona who would remove the tumor that was causing difficulty with seeing, feeling and speaking. Akiva was lucky the surgery was a success. There was a difficult recovery, and he still wears an eye-patch, but he is a healthy, funny and optimistic man.
While at Columbia, Akiva also met the love of his life: Amanda. After college they married and a year ago had a son: Idan. Akiva’s recovery, getting married and starting a family was the beginning of a new era, and all seemed well, until last April. The Daily News reports Amanda saying “We rushed him to the ER one time, and he was diagnosed with PCP pneumonia, which was made famous in the AIDS era in the 80s… It only causes pneumonia in people without healthy immune systems.” The article goes on to say “Idan was tested for AIDS, but was eventually diagnosed with Hyper IgM. The genetic disorder affects only two in a million.” “Idan needs a stem cell transplant to have the best chance at a long, healthy life, but the surgery comes with a 10% to 15% mortality rate, coming from infections, bad reactions to the necessary chemotherapy ahead of the operation, and graft vs. host.”
The costs of this are beyond the reach of Akiva and Amanda. However they have set up a page on YouCaring.com on which one can make a donation. They are looking to raise $250000 and as of today (July 2nd 2013) they have $86583. I have no compelling reason for anyone who reads this to give any of your money for this child you don’t know other than:
Beare ye one anothers burthens, and so fulfill the Law of Christ.