From Boston to Haifa: How the Cohens Brought Joy to Young Cancer Patients at Sunrise Israel

David Cohen from Boston was introduced to the Sunrise Association six years ago through his good friend Allen Weisberg and their affiliation with the American Amusement Machine Charitable Foundation (AAMCF). AAMCF has been supporting Sunrise Association since 2018 and in the years since, David has become a strong advocate of Sunrise and its programs. On February 15th, his passion for our mission took him and his wife from Boston to Israel.

In the shadow of the attacks on Israel on October 7th, David and Jane decided they wanted to support Sunrise-Israel by volunteering at a Sunrise on Wheels at Rambam Hospital in Haifa.

They began their visit to the pediatric oncology unit in the sweetest possible way, by bringing a giant basket of treats for the children (and parents) to enjoy. After the delivery of treats, David and Jane set to work organizing a Snow Globe arts and crafts activity for the children. With music in the background and Sunrise volunteers setting up a hot-chocolate and marshmallow cart, Jane began stringing up fairy lights while David became closely acquainted with the glue gun. Bowls of glitter, pompoms, and little toy animals were all spread out. Then one by one, the children arrived, each pulling along their poles with bags of chemotherapy and IV fluids attached. Using a creative mix of Hebrew and English, Jane and David showed the children how to make their very own snow globes. Soon within the mixture of music, glitter, glue and marshmallows, you could hear chitchat and laughter… the soundtrack of childhood that is Sunrise; bringing the joys of childhood to young cancer patients.

But it was 9-year-old Nevo who pulled on the Cohens’ heartstrings the most.

Nevo’s dad had passed away when he was small, and so he has been cared for by his mother and her sisters, who in turn have taken him around the United States for surgeries and experimental treatments. For a while he was cancer-free, but now found himself back in the hospital in Haifa for what he believed were tests.   “What he doesn’t know yet,” his mother quietly told us, “is that his cancer has come back.”

When Jane and David first met Nevo, he was quietly lying in his bed, uncomfortably fiddling with his medical port. With gentle encouragement, he ventured out of his room to investigate their craft project. Soon, Jane guided him through creating his very own Snow Globe. Before long, he was fully engaged, chatting, and most importantly, smiling.

Jane and David brought Nevo – who will now face significant challenges ahead – some moments of joy to remember. We remain so thankful for friends like Jane and David, who took time to step out of their busy lives to travel half a world away and help put a smile on the faces of our children at Sunrise-Israel.