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Letter by Andrea and David Garber from Hadassah Hospital

In the last year and a half, since my husband was diagnosed with ALS, we have learned that there is more required to sustain life than love, sustenance, and shelter.  The other essential ingredient is hope. Without hope living becomes merely existing, an endless cycle of responding to physical needs and keeping despair at bay.  Since his diagnosis, David has been infused with optimism and hope.  Although we were told that there is "no hope" of recovery for patients with ALS, David was determined to find the magic.  We believe that that magic is brewing at Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem. We heard, through very respected channels, that the research there was good, sound, and exciting.  The neurologists at Hadassah were developing a new protocol for stem cell therapy that had the potential to control many neuro-degenerative disorders, including ALS.  The research was not yet ready for "prime time", and the trials were not yet underway - but the knowledge that they were on to something allowed my husband to continue to live in the fullest sense.

Hadassah Hospital represents to us all that is vibrant about hope, optimism, and a determination to continue to live. David's body is getting weaker, and it is possible that the technology at Hadassah will not mature in time for him.  Yet because of Hadassah we continue to believe that we have a future, and that we are living a full and rewarding life.  We thank Hadassah and the brilliant doctors at Hadassah Hospital for giving us hope, allowing us to enjoy living, and a way to move forward.

Below is a letter, written by our daughters, seeking support for this wonderful research. 

Our father, David Garber, was diagnosed with ALS in the spring of 2009.  Despite the enormous difficulties ALS brings, our parents have been able to maintain a vibrant and positive life. After the diagnosis they began an exhaustive search to find the best hope for a cure. After months of reading and discussing trials with experts, they came to the conclusion that our dad's best hope to find something truly magical and astonishing was at Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem. 

Hadassah's neurology department provides the institutional base for the work of Professor Dmitrios Karussis, a pioneer in state of the art stem cell research.  Our parents feel that he is one of the people most likely to discover a cure for ALS.  He and his research team were willing to treat our father in the early stages of the disease, on an experimental basis, long before the official trial was ready for prime time.  Having hope for a cure has allowed our dad to continue his optimistic, humor-filled outlook.  In our father's typical fashion, he describes himself as a guinea pig who will become a Mighty Mouse.

We are so grateful for what Hadassah has done for our family and we know it's incumbent upon us to give back, and so we are organizing this fund raiser.  We would like to help Hadassah's talented team to provide hope to others who also face this life-changing challenge.  Towards that goal, we are asking you to consider making a contribution to this research. We know that what is really important in life are the intangibles such as love, family, and friends.  But sometimes it is just plain old money that is needed.  We are appreciative of your generosity, in honor of our father, towards this special organization.

•   If you choose to support stem cell research for ALS at Hadassah Hospital, you simply need to make out a check in whatever amount you choose to "Hadassah". Make sure that you write "stem cell research for ALS" in the memo line, and mail the check to the Garber family at 136 Bay Shore Drive, North Falmouth, Massachusetts, 02556. We will gather all of the contributions and forward them to the New England office of Hadassah which will make sure that the funds are forwarded to Professor Karussis' team.

All donations are tax deductible, and official tax receipts and acknowledgements will be sent to you by Hadassah.

We are very grateful for any help that you feel able to give. Experiencing terrible illness so close to us has been a tremendous challenge, but it has also taught us much about what is important, and we find that the opportunity to help is extremely comforting. Please pass this letter on to anyone who you think might be interested!

Thanking you in advance,

Ari and Shoshanah Garber

TO DONATE TO HADASSAH HOSPITAL:   Make check payable to HADASSAH and write "stem cell research for ALS" in the memo line. Mail to:

The Garber Family 136 Bay Shore Drive North Falmouth, MA.  02556

Hadassah Hospital Responds to Terror Attack 

At six in the morning the hospital is very peaceful and quiet. The long corridors are empty, and most lights are still off. Only a handful of cleaning people and security guards are seen. In the family rooms, relatives of patients are still sleeping. The CEM is calm – only few nurses stand by the door and speak in a low voice. At the coffee cart in the main lobby, two young residents share their experiences from the recent night shift.

Only 5 wounded of yesterday's terror attack are still hospitalized, all of them in Ein-Kerem. All other 33 wounded who were taken to our two hospitals were released during the night.

A 14 years old girl is in a very severe condition in ICU. She suffers from a massive head injury and was operated on for several hours last night. looking at her x-ray, the physicians saw that in addition to her head injury, there was a small marble shape object in her stomach, but they couldn't find any entrance opening. This object turned out to be one of the balls that were put into the explosive device, and the most logical conclusion was that apparently she swallowed it.

A 17 years old boy is also in ICU. His condition is severe but stable. He suffered from multiple injuries in his kidney, stomach and other organs, and will probably be ok.

Two teenagers are hospitalized in the orthopedic department in light condition. A 19 years old girl had a shrapnel removed from behind her knee, and a 14 years old boy had a broken fibula.

The last patient has the most dramatic story. David Amoyal, is the owner of a small kiosk opposite the Jerusalem international conference center. Yesterday, a few minutes after 3 PM, he noticed a briefcase that was left next to the bus stop near his kiosk. He called 911 and started to report the suspicious briefcase. His voice was suddenly cut by a very loud explosion noise, followed by screamings of people who were hit by the blast. The recording of this spine-tingling conversation was broadcasted numerous times last night on every radio and TV station in Israel. He is now in the ICU in moderate condition.

The lights inside the hospital are on now. The morning shift has already arrived and the night shift is on its way home.

Have a good and quiet day.


Ron Krumer

Director, External Relations
Hadassah Medical Organization

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