When people hear that three of Shoshana and Dovid Stein’s four children are severely handicapped, they are always surprised.
“I would have never known!” they exclaim, wide-eyed and jaws open. “They’re just so…light, and always so happy.”
“My children give me the drive I need to keep going,” Shoshana told me with a wise glimmer in her eyes as she and I sipped on steaming glasses of mint tea on her Israeli porch last week.
“It is an honor to be the parents of such special neshamot [souls].”
I can see the wrinkles under the outer corners of her eyes and mouth, evidential proof of years of strength during the ups and the downs of this ride we call life.
Even when Dovid was diagnosed with a cancerous disease in his blood ten years ago, leaving him weak and hospitalized more than 60 times a year, the couple never let it bring them down, somehow always riding on an enviable cloud of simple faith.
Shoshana’s eyes met mine, and suddenly, I noticed something I had never seen in them before–Darkness.
And that’s when she told me.
That Dovid, her angel of a husband of over 25 years, her solid rock and the dedicated father of their four children, had deteriorated rapidly over the past couple of weeks. That he is lying ill on his deathbed, and the doctors didn’t know if he would make it. That the surgery that could save his life costs an exorbitant amount, something that she didn't have. That she never had.
After a long, tight hug, I bid my friend goodbye. There are special people in this world…But there is only so much they can handle.
That night, I reached out to Darchei Miriam, an incredible Israeli nonprofit organization, that has offered to pay for half of the surgery on one condition– The Steins need to raise the other half. Click here to join the global race to save the life of a beloved young husband and father. Right now, every precious second matters.