Hope Lives Here...with Sisi

By Adina Saban

Sisi Fisman was three years old when she was diagnosed with cancer. It was a scary and stressful time for her and her family, and even though she was so young, Sisi remembers feeling lonely and upset about her situation. Why do I have to be the one stuck in the hospital when other children get to be outside having fun? she’d think. To Sisi, it did not seem fair. But when Chai Lifeline Canada came into the Fisman family’s life, these feelings of loneliness started to dissipate. 

“Chai Lifeline Canada literally swooped in during our darkest moments early on in Sisi's diagnosis and provided a safety net when we felt we were in freefall.”
- Dr. Galit Kleiner
Sisi's Mom
Hospital visit with Chai Lifeline Canada Director of Family Services, Sara Blum

The case managers supported Sisi when she was stuck in the hospital waiting room or having a procedure done. They would bring tasty treats such as doughnuts, and offer her fun activities and new toys such as board games or My Little Pony figurines. Sisi particularly remembers the time she got her first port put in. She was scared and in pain, but Chai Lifeline Canada case managers visited and brought a hand puppet as a distraction, brightening her day, something they continued to do whenever Sisi had procedures.


What was particularly memorable for Sisi when staying in the hospital was that her mother, Galit, found it stressful to prepare for Shabbat. Thanks to Chai Lifeline Canada volunteers, homemade meals were provided, which everyone in the Fisman household appreciated. Despite her medication affecting her appetite and oftentimes leaving her nauseated, Sisi really enjoyed the food that they received. The homemade meals came with nice notes, which especially touched the family, making them feel part of a community and really showing them how much people care, even if they do not know them personally.

Sisi and her family have participated in so many Chai Lifeline Canada programs in the seven years the organization has been in their lives. They attend events such as our annual Purim carnival, which Sisi has always enjoyed. She participated in our Equine Therapy program and even remembers her horse there, named Riley. Best of all, Sisi was able to join Chai Lifeline Canada’s special trip to Walt Disney World. “I felt happy and hopeful when I went on the Ohr Meir trip to Disney. I really liked going on the roller coasters, I made a lot of friends, and it was really fun.”

Sisi, like her family, acknowledges how important Chai Lifeline Canada has been in her life. “If Chai Lifeline wasn’t around, I don’t really know [what I would do] because it seems impossible. Chai Lifeline Canada is so great, but without it, I probably wouldn’t have been very hopeful and would have been sad.” Her mother adds that, “to this day, seven years since her treatment ended, Chai Lifeline Canada is an important part of our life and the bond is unbreakable.”

Despite having gone through so much from such a young age, Sisi is still able to find hope and happiness in her everyday life, and shares that with others. 

“Even if you’re sick, you can still be happy because you know people care, such as Chai Lifeline Canada.”
- Sisi

We are so inspired by Sisi’s story and resilience that we invited her to be our official ambassador for our Annual Campaign, Hope Lives Here.

Thank you Sisi!

Sisi and her mom, Dr. Galit Kleiner, joined us to share their story on our podcast, On Air With Chai.
Listen here,or wherever you listen to podcasts.