Life For Alon - חיים לאלון
As we enter the season of Purim, we are reminded not only to step into the joy and laughter of life, but to look around us, and share our compassion with others. One of the three commandments we are given on Purim is to give tzedakah (charity) to those in need, as we take the opportunity to step outside of ourselves and give to where our resources are needed.
This holiday season, we would like to share with our readers at iKonnect the story of Alon, a wonderful 11-year-old boy, who needs our help. Alon is the second child born to Efrat and Elad, who live in Yashresh, an agricultural moshav near the city of Rehovot.
When Alon was two years old, he was diagnosed with DMD, Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a rare genetic disease that causes the weakening of the body’s muscles, giving a life expectancy of around 25 years. Because of its rare nature, little research has been done for patients suffering from DMD, and unfortunately, has left many children and young adults with few options of treatment.
However, never losing hope, Efrat and Elad decided to take things into their own hands. If there was no proper research happening to help those with DMD, they were going to create it. They were committed to doing everything they could to help Alon, and other children going through the same experience.
In 2012, Efrat and Elad created ‘Life for Alon’, or חיים לאלון, and succeeded in opening their own lab in Rehovot, Israel, dedicated to researching DMD and treatment options. They hired the best doctors and researchers, and have become the top lab internationally in DMD research!
On a phone call I had with Elad, he explained to me the importance of it all...
This lab isn’t just for Alon. It is for all of the patients suffering from DMD, who do not want to lose hope. This lab is for all the people out there who need a reminder not to give up when life gets hard, and to look at the good in life. Alon is here to remind us that we can take our lives into our own hands!
How can you help Alon?
The second big commandment of Purim is “mishloah manot”, sending care packages to friends and family.
Seven years ago, Life for Alon began a huge mishloah manot project with communities all around Israel, arranging and sending packages throughout the country, to raise money for their lab. With hundreds of volunteers and almost 300,000 mishloah manot sent a year, חיים לאלון succeeds at bringing in profit to help the research continue! Although things have been slower during Covid-19, no one is giving up. Through the help of schools, communities, and many other Israeli institutions, Efrat and Elad are able to help their son, and many other children, live their best lives.
Each package is 12 shekels, and if you order 200+, they will be delivered to your doorstep with the help of the organization's many amazing volunteers! Otherwise, there are pickup stations in almost every major city in Israel!
Order your mishloah manot from חיים לאלון, or donate to this wonderful organization HERE. Elad, Alon’s father, travels all over Israel sharing Alon’s story at schools, synagogues, and communities, spreading love and hope wherever he goes!
I asked Elad to tell me a bit about Alon. What can we share with the world about his son?
Alon loves animals! He has about 30 animals on the moshav, including his service dog- birds, snakes, reptiles, horses… His dream is to be a veterinarian!
Alon has his own YouTube channel, called "אצל אלון במושב", meaning "In the Moshav with Alon", teaching all about animals!
Watch one of his videos here: