Hi my name is Riki Drazin and I am the case manager at Chai Lifeline Canada’s Montreal office.

As I am not the first blogger on this page, I am sure you all know about the great work Chai Lifeline does for others. Today I would like to take this opportunity to introspect and recognize what Chai Lifeline has done for me.

As a case manager, I work with each of our families, supporting them and ensuring that they benefit from the plethora of services we offer. I spend much time in the hospital at children’s bed sides or should I say at mother’s sides. Every day I am faced with the task of supporting and guiding parents. Yet, often I walk away inspired and uplifted by the strength displayed by the parents as much as by their children.

How can I not be a stronger person after just last week witnessing a child who relapsed look up at me and say, “It’s OK, I fought it once, I know I can fight it again.”

I learn from our children, these fighters every day.

I often find myself thinking about our Chai Warriors when I face any of my own obstacles. When I consider their determination I immediately face any situation with a renewed perspective.

I see tremendous unity at our events. I see families from all different walks of life coming together. A chassidic mother and a completely unaffiliated mom who have slept in adjacent, cold, hospital rooms embrace each other like close friends at our events. These mothers don’t let their differences define them, they are bound by something far greater, their children, their journeys. I learn to focus on what makes us similar as people and not what makes us different.The bonds built through Chai Lifeline with families and volunteers alike are truly special.

I have to share a story that just took place that really touched me.
At a shabbaton two weeks ago, a child ran to his big brother who was also the lifeguard on duty saying a child had gotten into the pool area. Not wanting to go down for not, the volunteer said “I hope someone’s really there and you are not playing with me.” When they got downstairs and saw that indeed there was someone in the pool, the little boy looked up at his CLL big brother and said “See, I told you. Brothers never lie to each other.” This boy who happens to be an only child views his volunteer as a true brother figure.

As we deliver dinners, stock fridges, sit in hospitals, and facilitate much needed family time, I learn to appreciate the things that some may take for granted.
I see the meaning in all the small and big things that we are blessed with.

I watch as Chai Lifeline brings smiles to children’s faces by giving them love through our volunteers, enjoyment through our events, and encouragement through our unity.

People say we do so much for Chai Lifeline, but on behalf of our team I’d like to say in reality Chai Lifeline does so much for us.

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