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Wednesday, December 15, 2004

A Dream Come True

Sometimes when I see a blog recommended by someone... even someone I trust... I kind of gloss over the link because, let's face it, we all have our regular reads and only so many hours in the day to surf. 

If the recommended blog turns out to be a dud, then I will have wasted valuable time that could have been spent elsewhere!  If it turns out to be a really good site, then I have to chose between adding it to my already daunting list of 'must read' blogs, or eliminating something from my regular surfing routine.

Trust me when I tell you that the blog I'm about to share with you is worth the read.  And what's more, it is not a long-term commitment... the story is almost at its end.

Well, sort of.

As it's subtitle explains, Joshua's Dream is "the unfolding saga of a 6 year old's journey to Jerusalem with the Children's Wish Foundation".  But it is so much more than that.

The first post in this moving blog begins:

"A BIG surprise!

Almost two years ago our four year old son Joshua was diagnosed with Leukemia. Those were dark days and we spent a lot of time reading Psalms and praying. There were many difficulties and trials but with God's help we have made it until today. Joshua is now six years old..."

Yeah, it grabbed my attention too.

I've been following along as Joshua and his family have gone through a harrowing regimen of debilitating treatments.  What seems to have kept Joshua focused on the twinkle of light at the end of the tunnel was a dazzling prize.

Early on in the treatment, Joshua's parents became aware of various programs that were in the business of granting wishes to very sick children.  Some offered wonderful things like trips to Disney World and such places... while others, such as the 'Children's Wish Foundation' offered to grant a wish of the child's choosing.

I don't know about you, but at 4 or 5 years old, I think my little overactive brain could have come up with a pretty long list of shiny things I wanted and neat places I wanted to go. 

The one thing that would have never occurred to me back then was the one thing that Joshua wished for:  Joshua's Dream was to go to Israel and walk in the footsteps of his hero, King David.

The Children's Wish Foundation initially balked at granting Joshua's wish because of the security situation.  But in the end, they agreed that at the end of his course of treatment, for better or worse, they would indeed send him and his family to Israel.

I'll leave it to you to read about Joshua's brave, often heart-breaking, battle with Leukemia. 

At first I assumed that Joshua was Jewish. Certainly King David is an unlikely hero for a non-Jewish 4-year-old to adopt.  But it turns out that Joshua's family are observant members of a faith that, among other things, is very pro-Israel... very pro-Aliyah (meaning they support the notion of Jews moving to, and living in Israel)... and to my relief, are not in the business of trying to proselytize Jews (or anyone else) to their way of life. 

If you are curious, I'm sure Joshua's dad (Dave) would be happy to tell you more, but that's his place... not mine.  Suffice it to say that these are my kind of folks! 

Joshua is now six years old and has just finished his last treatment.  In the not too distant future he and his family will be realizing Joshua's Dream and flying over to my part of the world.

I, for one, am thrilled beyond words at the prospect of meeting this brave young man and his special family.

Although Joshua's Dream has been about his ongoing treatment and the anticipation of his trip to Israel... I am happy to report (kenaynahara, ptu, ptu, ptu) that Joshua has just received a clean bill of health and is now free to dream a hundred... a thousand... a million different dreams, and with G-d's help, will have a lifetime to make them all come true.

Shame221_9

Posted by David Bogner on December 15, 2004 | Permalink

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Hi David,

Thanks for bringing this to our attention. I was only able to read a little bit. My son is four and this just hits too close to home for me. Call me superstitious, but I can't read more than the three posts I did.

Nonetheless it is very interesting and I wish Joshua and his family the best.

Posted by: Jack | Dec 15, 2004 6:21:28 PM

Thanks, I guess. There's nothing like starting the day tearing up. (and no, it wasn't because of the instant coffee.) I think Joshua handled some of his treatments better than I handled reading about his treatments. Like Jack, I could only read a few posts. Being a dad has made me very whimpy about kids suffering. I got back to it during my lunch hour, but again, it pushes all of my emotional buttons: suffering child, Israel, gratitude to the Almighty for small favors. Since I can't sit at work with tears in my eyes, I'll have to keep sampling it in small doses. Can I beg for a favor? No more sick kid stories for a bit. How 'bout more of embarrassing yourself in front of a car full of strangers? That's always nice!

It's your pushcart...

Posted by: Doctor Bean | Dec 15, 2004 10:58:26 PM

Jack... Yeah, I know the feeling, but that's why I gave away the end of the movie... It's a happy ending (actually still very much the beginning).

Doctor Bean... I know, I know... I've been a little heavy lately. Let's face it, I can't make an ass of myself every week just to provide amusing material for treppenwitz. Sometimes life (or my surfing habit) takes me to places that aren't always fun & games.

Give me a day or two... I'm likely to step in something. :-)

Posted by: David | Dec 15, 2004 11:18:26 PM

Hi everyone!

And thank-you David! You should become a news reporter, though, you are probably too accurate to get a job anywhere! LOL

I'm one of Joshua's many Uncles and I just wanted to share the obvious fact that we are thrilled for him to be able to go to Israel! In fact, myself, my younger brother and his wife, as well as my parents (Joshua's grandparents) have all booked tickets to be in Israel at the same time so that we can share in his special time! Yay! :-) I joined my brother Dave (Josh's Dad), Joshua and Cassia in their quest to learn Hebrew this spring (they have been learning for several years) so I'm looking forward to being able to try some of mine out too. :-)

So although there have been hard times to deal with, we feel that we have been very well blessed in how it has all gone. The doctors have expressed surprise several times on how well Josh has done. So really all we can be is thankful. And now the trip to Israel on top, what else need I say? There are pleanty smiles to focus on!

Shalom all!

Tim

Posted by: Tim | Dec 16, 2004 8:43:54 AM

David, thanks so much for your very kind comments, what can I say? You really surprised me with this entry! I shed a tear when I read it, when someone else writes about your story it brings out some of the sorrow you block out. But we must not forget the past and what has been done for us. When (G-d willing) I look out the airplane window with Joshua sitting beside me and see the land of Israel come into view and Joshuas dream; I can tell you its going to be hard to keep my composure! I certainly hope to meet you all when I come. Thanks again for your kind words.

Posted by: David | Dec 16, 2004 4:20:48 PM

must. have. photo. friday.

holding. breath....

Posted by: Doctor Bean | Dec 17, 2004 8:43:24 AM

Patience Doctor Bean... Patience. First comes a run to the bakery and breakfast... THEN comes the Friday journal entry. Life is all about priorities. :-)

Posted by: David | Dec 17, 2004 11:46:05 AM

Tim... Thanks for the compliment, but I agree that I would be ill suited to work as a professional journalist (for more than one reason). I look forward to meeting you.

Dave... Don't be silly... the story is not even mine to tell... it is yours, and especially Joshua's.

One thing you will miss out on... The new terminal just opened at Ben Gurion airport which means no longer do you walk down stairs from the plane directly onto the ground and board busses for the terminal. Now you walk directly off the plane and into the arrivals terminal. this means that if you want to kiss the ground you will have to wait until you get out of the airport! :-)

Posted by: David | Dec 17, 2004 11:52:21 AM

Fine! Make me cry at work.

Posted by: Alice | Dec 17, 2004 4:38:08 PM

I just wanted to let you know that today has been a hard day for us. Joshua, who still has a very weak immune system, has picked up menengitis. So we hope and pray.

-shalom, Tim

Posted by: Tim | Dec 18, 2004 8:53:21 AM

We are praying for you guys big time, right now!

Posted by: Alice | Dec 18, 2004 9:58:17 PM

Thankyou! Josh seemed a little better tonight. This afternoon, shortly after waking up, he suddenly cheered up and got all chatty. His pain seemed a little less also, so we were all greatly encouraged. :-)

Posted by: Tim | Dec 19, 2004 3:28:29 AM

Amen; ken yehi ratzon (so may it be God's will)!

I wish the very best to Joshua and his family. May they merit to see Joshua's dreams come true le-tovah (for the good) for many years and decades to come.

Posted by: Rahel | Dec 19, 2004 11:21:43 AM

When are you all booked to come to Israel?

Posted by: Allison | Dec 19, 2004 7:12:51 PM

Hi. We have a few different times going on, but we all are booked to arrive on the 9th or 10th.

As the update on Josh's blog says, he improved again today, including cruzing around the ward on a trike. Mom and Dad had to make him get back into bed to stop him overdoing it.

Tim

Ps. I liked the expression you used Rahel; "Amen; ken yehi ratzon (so may it be God's will)!". Everything Hebrew is fresh to me as I've only been learning for a few months, but I really like the sound of future, what would that be a –? can't think, the yihyeh sound anyway :-) –not just the sound though, i like the thought too. A fitting one for today as well.

Posted by: Tim | Dec 21, 2004 6:30:37 AM

Nice Blog

Posted by: CNC | Aug 29, 2006 4:33:21 PM

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