She was born with a double diaphragm, and will soon be celebrating her bat mitzvah, weighing barely 55 pounds. But despite a medical history that can compete with long-time hospital patients of retirement age, she finally has a chance to be like everyone else. The 12-year-old faces reality head-on: "All that separates me from staying alive is money- an awful lot of it."

"You could write a book about her with hundreds of chapters filled with drama, suspense, hope, and tears." That's how the Menachem family describes the story of twelve-year-old Shanel, a bright and inquisitive child who's always been full of life. Very soon she'll be forced to start regular dialysis treatments due to the low functioning capacity of her kidneys: The left one is completely nonfunctional, and the right one functions at only 60% capacity.

She was born with a double diaphragm, a birth defect which creates pressure on the kidneys. As a result, she suffers from recurrent kidney infections, each of which leads to a long and tortuous hospital stay.

The infections result from fluids rising from the stomach to the kidneys, that is to say, from food…and so Shanel Menachem decided to stop eating. She tries her hardest not to eat, from her visceral fear of the next hospitalization. That's how her severe eating disorder developed- on top of the kidney problem…

The eating disorder requires psychiatric treatments, and her health insurance covers it, but only 10 sessions. After that, treatment is no longer subsidized, and the family is required to pay 600 shekels per session, with a mandated two treatments a week. Facing a lack of funds, the family was forced to stop these vital treatments and ss a result, the disorder sharpened, with Shanel's medical situation deteriorating even further.

Please help her, Shanel wants to live>>>

In her middle school in Petach Tikvah named after Uri Orbach z"l, everyone knows Shanel as an optimistic, intelligent girl. "She's very perceptive and bright, with a lots of experience in life, unfortunately. More than many adults. This upcoming month she'll be celebrating her bat mitzvah, and she weighs only 55 pounds," says the school director.

A few years ago her mother gave birth to another child, and during the C-section surgery she sustained an injury and became disabled. Shanel's father thus bears the burden of both of these challenges and strives to do his best.

According to him, their only hope is to correct the birth defect of a double diaphragm. "Today there is a new treatment at Boston hospital. They know how to correct this defect, and afterwards the kidneys should resume functioning at full capacity."

"If we can receive this treatment, she'll be a healthy child in all respects, which will also help deal with the eating disorders."

Shanel's eyes sparkle with hope, but she is realistic: "On the one hand, all that separates me from staying alive is the money. If we pay enough, I can be a regular girl, with functioning kidneys, without infections and without eating disorders…On the other hand, it's not a little bit of money- it's an awful lot. They told me they need to collect 700,000 shekels. That's an gigantic amount, and the truth is…I'm very afraid we won't manage to collect it. That means that I'll have to go on dialysis, at closer and closer intervals, while my kidney function continue to deteriorate…"

"I'm begging you," the father pleads, "...Shanel is begging you, please help her, she's only twelve years old. She wants to live!"

Please help her, Shanel wants to live>>>