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Giora Feidman, “Come in Peace” (1991)

Nine.

(@crucifixdeformer) Darling, if You want it or not, I am in love with You already nine months ! You are the most incredible, amazing and lovely person I’ve ever met and I wish we could stay together to infinity and beyond. I love You more than anything in whole world <3 

“A stranger’s phone call saved my life”

The journey from personal survival to supporting others with the Flute of Life

Giora Sharf is a bright-eyed and energetic man on the move. He travels the world over, combining personal business, his own cancer treatment, and advocacy for leukemia and lymphoma awareness. Giora told us his fascinating story, which begins with a life-saving anonymous call.

When diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia in March of 2000, Giora Sharf of Netanya, Israel looked in internet chat-rooms for information on this deadly cancer. At the time, there were few resources and none in his native Hebrew. Giora hadn’t told anyone about his diagnosis, yet two days later, received an anonymous call at his home.

“I was out at the time, and my wife answered,” Giora relates. “She told me that a woman had called with the message, ‘I can help your husband’.”  The woman called again two hours later and told Giora that he must do everything he could to enroll in a specific clinical trial.

This anonymous woman explained that her own husband was cancer free with the drug from the trial. She had seen Giora’s questions on the internet chat-room boards. Wishing to help him, she sleuthed out his phone number and called – to save the life of a stranger.

Giora researched the treatment and saw it looked promising, but needed to find a trial which would accept him as a patient. This proved difficult since most trials were already full and had waiting lists. In Mannheim, Germany, Giora found a possibility.

“The physician leading the study communicated that he had a vacancy in his trial. He said that German patients don’t like to be ‘test bunnies’ - they are reluctant to participate in trials,” Giora explains. With no such reluctance, Giora left for Germany. He responded well to the treatment and now travels to Germany every three months for follow-up appointments.

Back in Israel, Giora created the Flute of Light, a Hebrew language website for leukemia and lymphoma patients. He also founded a local Leukemia and Lymphoma Organization where patients meet monthly to support one another. Giora additionally participates in leukemia and lymphoma conferences internationally.

Did he ever meet the anonymous caller or learn her identity?

“Yes, I did,” he says. “During treatment in Germany, a physician asked me if I knew of another Israeli patient - a well-known singer. I thought about my unidentified caller and then reached out to this family. My caller’s husband, cancer free since the trial, recently sang at our organization’s fundraiser. It is a small world, and with more information sharing, we can see that more lives will be saved.”

Jenga! Please look for the original look of this building at @israelarchitecturearchive very interesting before/after (#iaalofgam ) Drawers Tower, Be'er Sheva Moshe Lufenfeld + Giora Gammerman (1962) #architecture #arquitectura by nestorcerami https://instagram.com/p/2lq23GNQXm/

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