All across the US and Israel, children of cancer and stroke victims were able to put their worries and stress aside this past summer thanks to Chai4ever, a new organization that provides practical and emotional support to families where a parent is critically or chronically ill.
In Israel, more than 100 children attended a traveling camp with activities and programs geared to bringing happiness and normalcy back into their lives. In addition, Chai4ever provided respite vacations to dozens of families with seriously ill parents, a majority of whom live in southern Israel and had their personal trauma compounded by missile attacks on their homes.
In cities throughout the US, Chai4ever underwrote and negotiated camp expenses for children under the financial constraints of parental illness.
Since its formation, Chai4ever has become the premier address for families undergoing the crisis of a parent with such catastrophic illnesses as cancer, heart and lung disease and strokes. With the goal of mitigating the long-term damage to the family, Chai4ever’s comprehensive year-round services include housekeeping assistance, homework help, transportation, crisis and bereavement counseling, school collaboration, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, meal delivery, insurance advocacy and navigation, family retreats and recreational events.
Samuel Zaks, Chai4ever’s Executive Vice President said, “We established this organization with a recognition of the tremendous void in resources to help maintain the stability and functionality of the rest of the family when the foundation is uprooted by parental illness. Patients all over the world have rapidly identified us as their bastion of hope for keeping their families intact.”
One parent wrote Chai4ever, “By restoring the smile to my child’s face, you enabled me to smile again too.”
Mr. Zaks said, “Knowing that their children are able to maintain routines and that family life is preserved to the extent possible allows parents to focus their energy on treatment and hopefully, recovery.”