My connection with Jacob Hershkowitz started 8 or 9 years ago, while I lost a close friend, whose will was “you have to talk to Jacob, believe me, you won’t regret it”. At first I only did it because Dudu asked me, or made me. I called a person I never even met, and he never met me, and we talked for almost 3 hours… I don’t know how it happened. Getting to know Jacob was the best thing that ever happened to me. I can say that he (and a couple of other good friends) are “my cancer gift”.
About a year ago, Jacob started a new Association called Mehubarim
Plus At first, I thought he can’t surprise us, we are too old to be excited by these things, we don’t have the energy, we are too weak… all these thoughts. I don’t know how it happens, but this Association answers all our needs in a precise manner! These could be our physical needs, our social needs, and most importantly, our mental needs.
Jacob is accompanied by a large team of angels, who put it all out there to make things better for us. This is their only goal! This team is made of married people who have very important jobs, but they drop everything to attend meetings and just to be with us. These amazing people come with us to the hospital, on important tests, they visit us in our houses and call, all the time, to maintain a tight contact with us. Each group meeting is like oxygen…
I don’t have the words to thank Jacob and his incredible team for what they are doing for me and for my friends. I hope this group continues its amazing work for many years to come.
If a guest comes to watch this group, he will probably not be able to tell how come the name Mehubarim Plus is so fit…
When I was offered to join the Mehubarim Plus group, I had no high expectations. The opposite was true, after the great storm of cancer, I mostly became accustomed to fears. A new place, more strangers who ask about my illness, and want to know what happened to me, etc…
However, together with all these fears, was the great need and the thirst for “a feeling of belonging and understanding”.
G-d bless me, I am surrounded with a loving and supportive family, and with friends who proved their friendship in this insane state of illness, but these were not enough. Even with the people closest to me I couldn’t really feel understanding and true empathy.
It’s not easy to be a single woman of 30, in the peak of her search for love, in the beginning of my professional way, blossoming in so many ways, and thrown to cancer in a single moment, including all the added “benefits” of treatments.
This was the amazing change that Mehubarim Plus made in my life.
I suddenly felt “at home”! I met new friends, but not just any friends, friends who understand the feelings and thoughts of this crazy journey, who are on the same page with me.
These friends could know exactly how I feel with every vein and limb (both physically and mentally), following the chemotherapy.
I didn’t need to paint a pretty picture of reality in front of them. It was unnecessary to relax and seem healthy and joyful. This is not always an easy task, after all.
Even if there are differences of gender, age, religion, I feel that every individual in this group is connected to me, with a thin, imaginary chain (I sometimes visualize vein-flows connecting us together). This link was supposedly coerced upon us, when each of us became a cancer patient, but it is so powerful, and so good.
This is not just a connection, it is a connection with all the plus sides.
This connection for me is my gift.
I believed I passed the via dolorosa of illness in order to become connected with the group. The support, the warmth and the love of the group, crosses all aspects of life, without any cynicism or hypocritical thought that exists in the “outside world”.
Besides people healing from cancer, the group includes many volunteers, for which the page is too narrow.
For the great love and powers they give, for the investment and the treats they make for us, and for the wide smile they care to bring, for each and every one of us, in the meetings and in any other chance they get. It is impossible to thank them enough for all this… This is endless giving.
Mehubarim Plus became one of the points of (great) light in my life, and I thank for its existence from the depth of my heart.
The moment they told me I was sick was the most difficult moment in my life, like a blow to the stomach, which left me unable to breath.
The time that followed was dark and confused. I tried to understand what was going to happen to me, from within the hug and great love I received from my family and friends. Still, something was missing.
I felt alone. I felt like no one can understand me.
I mentally “survived” the first treatments and after many thoughts, agreed to meet with a young group of patients, also suffering from cancer.
This moment changed my life. That group became my second family, that goes through the same things I do, that always supports and listens. This group is made of patients and a team of “angels” who care to make it good for us, every month, in meetings that energize me. The Mehubarim Plus group is my safe place today. Here I can talk about everything, without explaining or pretending.
The friends from Mehubarim are the first I consult with over medical and mental things, the first I share everyday life with.
I thank G-d, destiny and dear Jacob Hershkowitz for this united group, lessening the weight of coping with cancer on a daily basis, making it not so horrible and even nice at times.
I want to share my experience with Mehubarim Plus.
First, I want to mention that as far as I know, this is the only association which provides an answer to cancer patients of these ages.
The Association has fascinating meetings in which we find ourselves stronger than ever, in our daily coping with the disease.
The group forms great friendships, that accompany us also out of the group, in our daily lives.
We create bonds with people who experience the exact same side effects from the treatments.
We found a place where we can share, grow stronger, and take “comfort” in an understanding that we are not the only ones that suffer from the disease, physically, socially and especially emotionally.
Our conversations encourage us to keep on fighting with the disease with all our might.
The very fact that some of the group members are already healed, proves the point and gives us hope, that no one who never experienced such a disease will ever get.
The events are diverse and interesting. Sometimes we meet with renowned singers and musicians. We had a special, fascinating meeting with Tal, who crossed America from the East Coast to the west. He took the trip alone and told us about the challenges that were a part of this journey.
Another meeting was a laughter workshop with the incredible Yuval Semo! In this meeting we learned to let go, and mostly to laugh.
The meetings are conducted in a social, family atmosphere. Each meeting is accompanied with great food, and especially good people who do all they can to make us feel good. This is all done voluntarily and from the depth of their souls.
The Saturday we spent in Ein Gedi Inn was the peak for me.
This day allowed us all the time in the world to talk with each other, rest, laugh and get better. The Association organized good food, snacks, great activities and everything to make us enjoy ourselves.
I have to mention also the warm and loving attitude from the group manager, Jacob Hershkowitz. He works days and nights to organize meetings for all cancer patients, and thinks how to make each meeting more meaningful for us. Jacob is always there for us.
I feel the group is giving me knowledge and plenty of power to keep fighting my illness. It directs me how to handle my relationship and immensely improves the quality of my life.
I wish health to all the patients of Israel. If you are coping with such a disease, I recommend linking with Mehubarim. Being a part of the best, most supportive group ever.
Different stories all around
I never considered cancer as something fun or positive, I never seen it as a gift, or something like that.
I never chose cancer. It chose me. When it did, I never showed enthusiasm.
Two months after my diagnosis I receive a call from someone who offers me to fly to The Netherlands with guys “like me”, for a special experience with a medical team and other luxuries. I didn’t go, I couldn’t go. But this conversation changed my life, and my perspective on cancer altogether.
This “someone” was Jacob Hershkowitz and the reason he changed my life, is the group he made me a part of (still, I have a golden ticket, Leukemia).
This group was an island of sanity. A monthly meeting with these incredible people who experience the same problems, the same frustrations, the same exact feelings.
They say the army is the strongest melting pot ever. I say this group is my own personal melting pot.
Cancer chooses people arbitrarily (some luck) and meeting the people of Mehubarim Plus creates a heterogenic group of people, not necessarily linked to each other, but sharing a common goal, survival.
Beyond this highly important goal, the group makes you feel things you will never get anywhere else, the love, the personal attitude, the safety, knowing that you are important to the people around you, understanding you can endure more than you thought, that you are never alone.
These feelings are received from a group of people, simply angels, and this is not a cliché. Each of them gives you their heart and soul. This is not trivial at all.
The team is lead by Jacob Hershkowitz, a super-angel, who came to Earth to provide ease to the people chosen arbitrarily, and he does so with such joy, and such good will. He REALLY is a super-angel.
I have to admit. I am a very busy person. At this point of my life, it is not easy for me to find the time for these meetings, but I will never miss a single one of them. Mehubarim Plus gave me moments no other occupation will ever give me. The people I met in the group are not only partners for the way, they are also friends, friends you carry for a lifetime.
I am not a cliché person, I never was. This group changed my life, and I will forever be grateful for it, and for the people who guide it. Thank you.