We bask in the California sunshine for the majority of the year. We run down to the beach to get our nature fix with relative ease. We look at Disneyland as a special family treat, but inwardly gripe about the $100-plus single guest admission price. We do these things without a second thought really, but what if things were different? What if the typical sound of crashing waves was replaced with the sound of alarm sirens? And what if a trip to Disneyland was more of a bucket list item than just a “treat” that’s a short car ride away?
Well, meet the volunteers of Larger than Life. They make dreams like this a possibility. Larger than Life is a non-profit organization founded in 2000 by a group of parents of children with cancer. They help not just the children that are affected, but their entire families as well. And like the cancer they’re fighting, Larger than Life doesn’t discriminate. This organization treats all Israelis no matter what their race or religion.
Jlife caught up with this wonderful organization on their annual trip to the States and was left with a lasting impression. Over 40 kids—some as young as 7-years-old—recently came to the greater Los Angeles-Orange County area with Larger than Life to take in the sites, meet Mickey (although Six Flags seemed to be the bigger hit for most) and take a much needed vacation. But this wasn’t just any vacation, this one was special. It was facilitated by incredible volunteers, included on-site oncologists to monitor these kids’ special needs and was filled with heart and inspiration. For some kids, it was their very first trip away from home. For others, it was a chance to be a “kid,” not just a “patient” battling this terrible disease.
What really stood out though were the relationships being forged. These kids don’t care what language you speak, what G-d you pray to or what the color of your skin is. They just want to make friends: and make them they did. Many came home with wonderful new friends, cherished memories and some California sunshine in their pockets. For more information on how you can help please visit www.largerthanlifeusa.org.