Please meet Itamar, a very special child living in northern Israel. He and his family have new hope after finding their therapist, Dena.
Itamar was born with multiple congenital anomalies including heart and corneal defects. He is fed through a tube and has severe developmental delays. He cannot hold up his head, and lies on his back all day. A few tries at a rehabilitation day center failed because of his complicated situation. Itamar stayed at home, lying in bed all day and with no therapist to address his needs.
Then in December 2016, Itamar was admitted to the Malki Foundation’s Therapists on Wheels program.
Now, thanks to the resources we have put into the program, Itamar is visited weekly by a qualified and highly experienced therapist who is helping him learn to use the specialized stander that gets him upright and, in addition, helps improve his breathing, develop balance and build bone mass. The therapist is also teaching the family how to meet Itamar’s many needs at home and how to do specific exercises that will meaningfully help his continued physical and mental development.
Itamar’s parents are thrilled with the support and involvement of Dena, Itamar’s therapist. Though their journey is undoubtedly a difficult one, it has become much easier to face with the Malki Foundation’s support.
Shalom is an energetic teenager, full of smiles and is actually excited to go to school. But he wasn’t always this way.Read More about Shalom
As a young boy, Shalom was left severely disabled by a car accident. He had a specialized walker that would support his upper body and allow him to move around at home, but his parents couldn’t afford one for school.
His mother describes Shalom’s situation:
“Shalom would sit all day in his wheel chair and he was frustrated and hurt. The school did not have the ability to get him an appropriate walker because of the high price and the fact that he was the only one who needed it. Everyone would go out to their therapies and he would stay in the classroom because he didn’t have the right equipment. And so he would sit in the same position and in the same space all day.”
When word got out to the community that Shalom’s parents could not afford this life-changing piece of equipment, they reached out to the Malki Foundation and together we mounted a brief and focused campaign. The response and generosity was overwhelming and within a week the sum raised was beyond all expectations.
By combining the funds with another bequest, we were able to immediately purchase two walkers – one that went straight to Shalom and the other, to another teenager on our waiting list.
Here’s how Shalom’s mother describes how the specialized walker changed his life.
“As soon as the walker arrived, his whole mood changed completely. Suddenly, he could stand and talk with people at their eye-level…he could move around with his walker. There are no words to describe his excitement and the drastic change in his desire to go to school – it brought life to his body and his soul. It gave him so much energy…Shalom’s smile says everything!”
Ahuva was born with Down's syndrome and has severe mental and physical delays.Read More about Ahuva
Her parents knew she needed special therapies in order to help her develop, but the only clinic with infant therapists was in a distant city, and the family doesn't have a car or the funds to get there. As a result, Ahuva did not receive any treatments.
That was until they contacted the Malki Foundation, which covered and continues to cover 100% of the costs of a specialized therapist to come to their house and work with Ahuva. With the therapist's help, Ahuva was able to walk at 2 years old and now her mother reports that "Thanks to the intensive work with the therapist [made possible by funds from Keren Malki] next school year Ahuva will be mainstreamed [go to a regular pre-school]".
Noa, a 4 year old girl, has a severe development delay with no clear diagnosis.Read More about Noa
She lives with her family in the northern town of Maalot Tarchisha and thanks to the Malki Foundation receives physiotherapy once a week at home. When they started a year ago Noa could crawl and understand basic instructions. Her mother recently wrote us the following unsolicited email (translated):
“I wanted to thank you from the bottom of my heart for the help you give us with my daughter Noa’s physiotherapy over the last year. She is improving all the time, and in the last couple of days, even manages to stand for a few seconds by herself. With the intense physical therapy she receives, Noa will continue improving. Thank you very much and please continue helping children that need it. ”
The latest update from her therapist that said Noa can now take a few steps with the help of a walker. Thanks to the support of the Malki Foundation and the dedication of Noa, her family and therapist, Noa is now able to walk.Close
Ori, who was 18 when he entered our Therapists on Wheels Program, lives in Mitzpeh Ramon, in southern Israel and because of his location, when he joined our program he had not been receiving any benefits or services even from the government.Read More about Ori
After the initial assessment, his therapist Ruth worked with the parents to determine Ori needed help with gaining independence. Ruth assessed that one hurdle would be eating on his own due to his “significantly low muscle tone.” In Ruth’s six-month report, she stated that she saw a “significant increase in his ability to organize himself and dress independently” in the morning, including ability to recognize the correct way to put on clothing, and Ori learned how to tie his shoelaces independently. Ruth had taught Ori’s parents activities that raise muscle tone that they worked on with Ori when Ruth left each week, leading Ori to “eat more efficiently without dropping food.”
After six months the therapist set higher goals including more independence in bathing, brushing teeth, shaving, and on school-based goals like handwriting, time telling and math. Math is especially important for independence so he could calculate money. By the one- year mark, Ruth reported that regarding getting ready in the morning, getting dressed and eating, Ori no longer needed monitoring and he made great strides in self-care, although he still needed monitoring or light assistance for brushing teeth and shaving. Ori also progressed in his ability to calculate money and to grasp the concept of time, but he does still struggle greatly with these issues and will need more work. His therapist ended a report by saying “Ori has made significant progress in numerous spheres that the treatment is focusing on, and it is rewarding to see his progress.” Ori’s case shows how far extra therapies can enhance the life of a child with severe disabilities and contribute to independence and confidence in completing daily tasks.
Nethaniel was born with cerebral palsy and his parents were told that he would never walk. Now 10 years old, he just completed a 2 km race!Read More about Nethaniel
From the beginning, Nethaniel’s parents refused to accept ‘no’ for an answer. When he was released from hospital, they started him on an intensive paramedical therapy program, with financial support from the Malki Foundation Therapies at Home program.
In May, Nethaniel participated in the 2 kilometer (1 mile) Givat Shmuel Fun Run, walking and running together with extended family and friends. The money raised was donated to the Malki Foundation to help other children with disabilities and to “pay forward” the support they received.
Debbie Fishman, Director of the Malki Foundation, says: “Nathaniel’s astonishing progress is a tribute to his and his family’s determination. When we empower children to succeed, we help them to overcome their limitations. Nethaniel, we are proud of you!”Close