Yaeli Efrat is a real hero. She battled cancer already at age 5! The chemo treatments she received were effective and the cancer went into remission. But three weeks ago Yaeli’s amazing mother was told that the cancer came back. Her mother wrote an emotional post on her daughter Yaeli’s page describing her feelings:
‘2 weeks ago we were told the cancer is back and Yaeli will need to go back to the incomprehensible situation of hospitalizations and difficult chemotherapy treatments to win against this aggressive cancer. We started the chemo and the side effects hit her immediately.’
‘I will happy if people pray for her recovery but parallel with that, it is important for me to share with you that specifically in these days when everyone talks of light and heroism- I learned from our personal journey that fighting cancer is war in the full meaning of the word; a hard war being fought on 2 fronts.’ The war to live in which the staff at Schneider’s Children’s Hospital is doing with extraordinary dedication and the war for quality of life that I as a single mother am forced to deal with. I raise my daughters alone and face serious financial difficulties.
My whole life I fought that my daughters would have firstly, good health and, that they wouldn’t lack anything.’
I cannot work because of the illnesses of my 2 daughters since even on good days when they feel a drop better we go to intensive para-medical appointments and everything we can so Yaeli Efrat can return to school like any other girl. The dream didn’t happen and the cancer returned.
‘People are talking about great warriors and great light and courage. (3 weeks ago was Chanukah time). But when you come back to the oncology ward a second time, that light is mixed with a lot of darkness. The true heroes are my children who won’t go jump from “festigal” to “festigal” (a Chanukah special with singers and actors) because they’re connected to chemo tubes that will save their lives. Courage- my sharing this with you is the greatest courage as far as I’m concerned.’
“I hope this time her new curly hair that just grew in doesn’t fall out”
It all started when Yaeli Efrat was 5 when her hair was long and well-kept but already in the first round of chemo she lost all of it. ‘Last night I dreamt that your hair fell out again’ Yaeli’s mother wrote in the post. ‘It was scary and I got up to check that it was only a dream. It reminded me of when you first got sick. When you were a sweet little 5 years old with long beautiful hair. You loved that hair so much but you lost all of it already in the first round of chemo- within 3 days.’
So I looked at you again, sleeping so delicately and fragile. I found a few hairs on your pillow. I took a deep breath and hoped that this is just regular shedding of hair of a regular person and not the hair loss from chemotherapy. I said to myself “perhaps this time it will be a bit easier and I hope your new curly hair that just grew in doesn’t fall out. Perhaps this time between treatments you’ll be able to play as hopefully the side effects won’t be a terrible as last time.”
‘It was astounding that I opened up your Facebook page today and saw that same picture from 2 years ago; A beautiful girl with a sweet face and a bald head. Everyone saw your picture on billboards flyers and on the web. I promise you my precious one that I’ll find the best treatment possible even if it’s on the other side of the world! I promise you that I will give you anything that will make it easier to undergo the awful treatments that you go through. And this time also, we have to win but this time to win forever.’
‘I don’t know who has more pain, you who are so scared or me that I feel so bad for you. You are only 8 but you behave like an adult. After a deep discussion about fear you agree to take the tests you needed. Mommy’s hero! Now you sleep calmly and peacefully. Sleep my daughter, fill up with strength. The path is long and difficult but also in this war we will win!’