Meet Sarah...

Meet Sarah...

Most kids "outgrow" the magic of Disney by 11 or 12 years old. The magic isn´t quite as magical; the fun not as funny anymore. At 16 years old, Sarah had passed that magical stage so when she was diagnosed with Hodgkin´s Lymphoma, a Disney adventure could not be further from her mind. Yet last December, Sarah flew to Orlando to spend four days at Disney World with 50 other children and teens who share one thing in common: pediatric cancer.

Chai Lifeline´s annual medically supervised trip to Disney World, sponsored by the Ohr Meir Foundation, is a VIP romp through the theme parks made even better by the antics of hand-picked counselors whose goal is to keep the smiles coming. It was just what Sarah needed. “Kids who are sick can relate to each other much better than to adults,” commented Sarah´s dad, Bruce. Before Disney, the teen had spent too much time in the hospital. Her life had gone from fun to filled with painful procedures, difficult chemotherapy treatments, and the devastating side effects that come along with these powerful drugs. Sarah was isolated from friends and classmates.

Throughout it all, Chai Lifeline was there to support Sarah and her parents with every step of this difficult journey. From visits with Sarah in the hospital to emotional support and Chanukah gifts, from birthday surprises and art therapy to social events with other teens, Sarah and her family gained strength and support from Chai Lifeline. Sarah’s mother Francie gushed, “The words that were given to me is that Chai Lifeline would ´change our lives´ and that´s what has happened. For me, for Sarah.”

We asked Sarah about her experience. "Chai lifeline has changed everything for me. I speak to someone from the Disney trip every single day. My friendships are so strong. There was so much laughter, so many songs. It was so easy to relate to everyone there because everyone had cancer, or still has cancer. It made me feel like I was not the only one. I´m already planning for Camp Simcha this summer." When asked what she looks forward to in the future, Sarah replies, "I want to be involved in Chai Lifeline however I can, whether as a volunteer or in any way!" Apparently the magic of Disney never vanishes…for Sarah and many other Chai Lifeline kids!