|My name is Adi Alush and I am 16 years old.
I would like to tell you a sad story, something that happened to me 3 years ago - a story that not everybody is familiar with, but one which transformed me from an ordinary girl into a brave person.
About three months after I celebrated my bat-mitzvah with all my loved ones, I became ill and developed blood cancer - leukemia in medical terminology.
When the disease was detected it came as a total shock to my entire family, all my friends and me in particular. I didn't understand why it had "struck" me like that right smack in the middle of life - without any advance warning. My life changed over night. I became a different girl, I didn't look the same, I was bald and I was so thin that I looked like a skeleton. And nothing was the same.
At first I didn't understand what this disease was, and how serious it was. When I understood, I was frightened, but my beloved family stood by my side, along with my dear friends, the Soroka Hospital staff, and of course the wonderful people who represent the Israel Cancer Association who explained everything, provided support and instilled me with hope.
Unfortunately, because everything happened during adolescence, I missed school, missed out on experiences; I didn't go to parties and couldn't perform simple daily tasks. This made me sad, but Israel Cancer Association representatives immediately came to my assistance and helped me keep up with my schoolwork with the help of professional tutors, and gave me a computer so I could communicate with my friends from home, because I couldn't leave the house. They invited me to go out with friends, go on trips and to plays and shows, so that I would never feel alone.
When I was sick, I spent very little time at home and most of the time I was at the hospital. At the hospital, the incredible doctors and nurses tried to relieve my physical pain, but the Israel Cancer Association relieved my emotional pain - I wasn't alone!
Today I am healthy, my life has returned to normal, and I am an outstanding student. It has been two years now since I completed my treatments and I am forever grateful to the Israel Cancer Association that was always there for me, providing constant support and care.