Medicinal Dream Vacation

Singer Dana International with one of the visiting children Photo by Orly Halevy
Singer Dana International with one of the visiting childrenPhoto by Orly Halevy

They come to Southern California for two weeks of fun in order to forget, to get away from their painful reality, to set aside the pain they live with, to smile and simply be happy. Who are they?

Israeli children struck by the ominous cancer disease. Who allowed them this luxurious healing vacation? The generosity of the supporters of the Larger Than Life Organization, its cause is to improve the quality of life of Israeli children – of all faiths- sick with cancer and their families.

Founded in 2000 by parents of sick children, Larger Than Life’s focus is on the happiness, health and hope of these children.

In the past seven years the organization’s CEO in Israel is Lior Shmueli who arrived this year with the largest group of children, 40 in total who the doctors saw fit to travel; Shay Diamant is the current Chairman and Rakefet Aharon is the current President of Larger Than Life L.A Family chapter. Thus far, since the tradition begun, 250 kids have had the privilege to experience the time of their young life while visiting Southern California. They have parties to welcome them, helicopter ride to carry them high, Disney Land rides and Sea World fun, just to name a few of their two weeks congested vacation’s program activities.

From L Rakefet Aharon Honoree Margo Barber Shay Diamant Photo by Orly Halevy
From LRakefet Aharon, Honoree Margo Barber, Shay Diamant-Photo by Orly Halevy

The crescendo of the visit, the annual gala, this year at the Beverly Hills Hilton Hotel, with the opening words by David Segal, Israel’s Consul General, where over 1000 supporters came to honor the Woman of Valor and Philanthropist Margo Barber – by her side her devoted partner to life Eyal Izik and his son Naor – and have fun with the young visitors till midnight.

From R Yair Gavrieli Board member Eyal Izik Rakefet Aharon President Honoree Margo Barber Naor Izik and a guest Photo by Orly Halevy
From RYair Gavrieli Board member, Eyal Izik, Rakefet Aharon President, Honoree Margo Barber, Naor Izik and a guest-Photo by Orly Halevy

With budget of $3 million the organization has opened the first in the world sterile preschool daycare center in Ramat Gan; it pays for a week recovery vacation for children and their family in Eilat, for summer camps and trips all year long, contributes to cancer research, sees to the immediate needs of the children, from transportation to the hospital and back home to buying medicine, but most important is to provide family support, support groups and psychological treatment, among other activities and services.

Singer Dana International appearing Photo by Orly Halevy
Singer Dana International appearingPhoto by Orly Halevy

The comedian Modi was the gala master of ceremony, Israeli singers Roni Daloomi and Idan Amedi entertained the guests and un her appearance the famous Israeli singer Dana International sang the song ‘Viva’, which means, long live; and so we wish the kids long and healthy life:

During the 2006 second Lebanon War, Nurit Greenger, referenced then as the “Accidental Reporter” felt compelled to become an activist. Being an ‘out-of-the-box thinker, Nurit is a passionately committed advocate for Jews, Israel, the United States, and the Free World in general. From Southern California, Nurit serves as a “one-woman Hasbarah army” for Israel who believes that if you stand for nothing, you will fall for anything.

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