When Liad’s(*) father abandoned the family several years ago, his mother started working long hours at very low wages to support her children. Liad, now 13½, took responsibility for his younger siblings, whom he worried about constantly. Now, the Boys Town Jerusalem eighth grader has been struck by tragedy.

“Liad came to my office for his therapy session several weeks ago and could hardly hold his head up,” recalls social worker Hadas Knopf. “My migraines are worse than ever,” he whispered. Worried, Hadas contacted his mother and drove him home. In the hospital a short time later, Liad underwent emergency seven-hour surgery to remove a brain tumor.

“I spoke to him twenty minutes beforehand, and assured him that we would do everything we can to help,” says BTJ Junior High Principal Rabbi Yehudah Rosencrantz. “Sadly, Liad is now struggling with a very difficult recovery. He can no longer walk or talk.

Two weeks ago, Liad began intensive rehabilitation at ALYN Hospital. Rabbi Rosencrantz, along with two of Liad’s classmates, came to visit him soon afterwards. “We miss you at school, and especially at the ball games,” he told his student. “Liad squeezed my hand, and tears rolled down his cheeks,” the rabbi said.

“It’s heartbreaking to see Liad,” agrees Hadas Knopf. “He is such a good person, and a caring son and brother who always took too much upon himself. We are now doing all we can to help his mother and siblings, and of course, to give Liad as much strength and love as we possibly can.

*not his real name

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