Dear Friends, 2022, once again an RCCS campaign, once again I write this letter, as once again hundreds of Lakewood patients are calling out for help. The pain of golus is resounding.
In the past 12 months, 343 Lakewood families have reached out to RCCS. With greater need comes the demand for growth. It takes mammoth efforts keep up. With a Lakewood budget $2.9 Million, we need to pull every stop and expansion is a must. For this reason, we are proud to announce the addition of the latest member to our team, R’ Chezky Gershbaum, who has joined our development office and will lead our efforts here in Lakewood. R’ Chezky comes with years of experience guiding and assisting local organizations, and his joining is a giant step forward. We wish him much hatzlalchah!
Allow me to share a brief incident, which happened to me personally.
I was aboard a flight to Eretz Yisroel for a recent event and met a Lakewood yungerman with his ten-year-old son. The man struck up a conversation with me, asking where I was headed. I explained that my coworkers and I were traveling to Eretz Yisroel for an RCCS event. When the yungerman heard the word “RCCS”, he became visibly moved, and went on with the following story:
“I had recently moved to Eretz Yisrael with my family. All was well, and we were settling in, b”h. That is, until that time-stopping moment when my Shimmy was diagnosed with retinoblastoma (a form of eye cancer). The doctors we visited strongly urged us to have Shimmy’s eye removed – immediately! They emphasized that it was a matter of pikuach nefesh, to stop the cancer from spreading. Our world came crashing down. The shock and indescribable fear was almost paralyzing, yet we knew we had to act quickly.
Completely at a loss, we called RCCS, who reviewed the case with the top staff at Sloan Kettering in record time. The oncologist at Sloan Kettering told RCCS, “I can save this child. Get him to me right away!” RCCS got to work, and by the time my son and I had returned to New York, and arrived at the hospital, everything was in order; appointments with oncologists, translation of records (from Hebrew to English), even insurance approvals for payment. After carefully examining Shimmy, the specialists prescribed a complex treatment plan. It would require a close collaboration between Sloan & Cornell. RCCS had anticipated a complicated treatment plan, and were prepared to expedite the authorization for treatment, which they submitted immediately. Treatment commenced
B”H, every subsequent scan indicated that the cancer was shrinking, and eventually it was gone completely. After many months, our family returned home to Israel. Our current trip was a post-treatment checkup which has confirmed that Shimmy’s recovery is proceeding well. Chasdei Hashem!!!”
Yidden, there are thousands of families who can share similar stories, hundreds of them living in our very own communities. Please open your hearts and donate generously. And with our combined zechusim, may we merit that in 2023, RCCS no longer be needed!
Yours truly, Aron Steier