‘LegoMan’ wishes children did not need him so

Maor Cohen is known at Ezer Mizion as the Lego Man. He runs a workshop for kids with cancer and their siblings using lego as a medium enabling them to cope with their fears and anxieties. For those children who are unable to attend the workshops he makes hospital visits.  Always smiling on the outside, one cannot imagine where he finds the strength to continue his mission of chessed. Read on to share his thoughts.

By Maor Cohen

PETACH TIKVAH, Israel — Adi is at a terrible stage of her development. Terrible for us.

She got to know Dora.

That annoying cartoon character, the bi-lingual Dora with the monkey and the pocketbook who teaches kids translations.

But she asks the kids to scream them out.

And they listen to Dora.

To us – not as much…

This week’s episode focused on the word “open,” which repeated itself  again, and again, and again.

“Abba,” Adi explained to me. “In order to get into the castle, you have to say ‘Open.’”

When she grows up, she’ll realize that it doesn’t always work.

This week, I was called to hospitals on a few different occasions in my capacity as LegoMan.

“We need you,” I was told.

I didn’t want to be needed

I didn’t want there to be young children living in such a horrifying nightmare.

And those are the lucky ones.

Some are no longer living … anywhere.

And sometimes it happens to the nicest families.

About four years ago, I began a job and was a little stressed by the field, which was new to me. I called Asaf who had held the position before me.

He taught, explained, helped, took care of, did everything, as if he was still on the job.

He infused me with confidence.

“Call me whenever you need to,” he said,

Since then, we became friends.

A year ago, one Monday night, I was walking from the room of one child to another’s  in Schneider Children’s Medical Center.

Asaf came over and gave me a hug.

“What are you doing here?” I asked anxiously.

“My son,” he replied. No further words were necessary.

I was shocked.

We went into the room. His little boy, Lior, a baby, just a few months old, lay in the crib. His mother was stroking him.

What does a crib have to do with the Oncology Ward, dear G-d?

Yesterday, Lior ben Asaf, not yet a year and a half old, returned his soul to our Creator.

Lior is no more.

Last night, very late, I remembered that I’d promised a set of lego to a girl who’d finished treatments. I don’t know what made me think of it, but suddenly I remembered that the set was in the car. I sent her mother a message and she immediately got back to me, excited, to say that the girl was waiting for it and she’d be so happy.  This morning, I went to be menacheim aveilim, to console Asaf.  Suddenly, a message popped up from someone that the mother was in that same neighborhood.

I wasn’t prepared. This wasn’t supposed to happen. I couldn’t meet her, Not now. Not when I’m going to…

Something inside me pressed me. It will make her daughter so happy.  I called.

I gave her the Lego. She saw where I was coming from.

She took a deep breath.

I went back to Asaf, hugged him, and told him what had just transpired.

I went on my way, looked up to the skies,

and screamed, “Opennnn!!!”

“Open the gates of mercy and health! Opennnn!!!  ”

To donate funds to the Lego Workshop, click here and type LEGO in the note field.

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Preceding provided by Ezer Mizion

 

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