Eyal Rubenfeld, just 13 years old, is dealing with cancer. After undergoing a successful bone marrow transplant, he donated his Nintendo to another patient. This simple act of kindness brought great joy to both children.
The Joan & Sanford Weil Division of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology cares for children from birth to 20 years of age suffering a range of cancers and/or blood diseases. Located in the Ruth Rappaport Children’s Hospital at Rambam Health Care Campus, the division also performs bone marrow transplants. Each week, one to two new children are diagnosed and treated in the department.
More than 30 children have been treated there – a milestone that was recently celebrated by entertaining the hospitalized children with balloons, fun activities, music, and light refreshments.
Thirteen-year-old Eyal Rubenfeld from Kibbutz Degania is one of those children. Diagnosed with cancer when he was 5 years old, Eyal was treated with chemotherapy, a drug-treatment used to kill cancer cells. Chemotherapy forced him to spend a long time in the hospital – 4 weeks of which were in isolation.
As part of the department’s celebration, “Nintendo Israel” the local division of Nintendo Co., Ltd. a Japanese multinational video game company headquartered in Kyoto, Japan gave Eyal a new Nintendo video game console together with a selection of games.
Upon completion of his treatment, Eyal donated his Nintendo console and game-pack to a 10-year-old boy from Kfar Kanna who was undergoing the same treatment in The Joan & Sanford Weil Division of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology. Unfortunately, being in isolation meant that the boys could not meet. However, they were able to pass greetings on to one another.
After donating the Nintendo, Eyal was very happy. He said, “In the last 6 weeks I always felt nauseous and wanted to go home. My dream is to work at Legoland Park in Denmark. I wish everyone in The Joan & Sanford Weil Division of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology good health and hope that no-one suffers.”
At the celebration, Dr. Roni Geffen, attending physician in the Reiner-Shudi Bone Marrow Transplant Unit and coordinator of Rambam’s pediatric bone marrow research made mention of the fact that although all the children had been through a very difficult, life-threatening time, their bone marrow transplants now made them able to celebrate their lives. Geffen thanked the parents for the faith they had in the treatment, that they had put their trust in the hospital staff to care for their children and together, hand-in-hand, they navigated many challenges and dangers involved.
Dr. Shifra Ash, Director of the Division of Pediatric Hematology & Oncology said; “The Reiner-Shudi Bone Marrow Transplant Unit treats all children from Israel’s northern region, from Hadera northwards. We treat children from the Palestinian Authority as well as other nationalities, religious beliefs, race, and gender from abroad in The Department of International Medicine. Children from birth to 20 years of age are treated in the Unit – some even longer, for follow-up. Eyal’s action towards another patient, a complete stranger, proves how important it is to engulf young patients with kindness and love for their fellow man.”
The Reiner Shudi Bone Marrow Transplant Unit performs all types of bone marrow transplants on children including autologous transplants, using the patient’s own blood-forming stem cells, transplants from a family member, from an unrelated donor, and even from umbilical cord blood. The unit's foreign donor pool (donors unrelated to the potential recipient) relies on Israel's donor database and is backed by international databases from Europe, the USA, Australia, and South America.
Read the original article (in Hebrew) from Israel HaYom