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Growing up I was the oldest of three children; there was myself (Yaakov), my younger brother Mayer and the youngest, my sister Chana who was named after her Great Grandmother Chana who passed away on the Hebrew date of Adar 26th (March 3rd) decades before she was born. At the innocent age of 3 years old, my sister Chana was diagnosed with a nearly inoperable brain tumor. As is the custom in Orthodox Jewish households, my parents added the name “Chaya” (Chai means life and has a numerical value of 18) to my sister in the hopes of bringing her additional blessings similar to what God did by changing Abram’s name to Abraham, Sarai’s name to Sarah, and Jacob’s name to Israel. Jewish tradition teaches that when someone’s Hebrew name is changed, it has the potential to change their destiny. Suffering through a complete loss of mobility, eventual blindness, loss of hearing, heavy doses of chemotherapy, radiation, gamma treatments and 8 brain surgeries to remove repeating brain tumors throughout the years; my little sister Chaya Chana finally succumbed to the devastating disease called cancer. The doctors never expected her to live as long as she did through all the suffering and surgeries she dealt with. No matter what she went through however, she always had a huge smile on her face and never, ever, lost faith in God throughout her entire painful ordeal. Her journey in this world sadly ended 18 years after her diagnosis, eerily reflecting the length of her added name Chaya (18). What’s even more amazing is that she passed away on the 26th of Adar (March 3rd 2000), the exact same day as her Great Grandmother, the woman she was named after. Not only did my sister’s faith and love of God never waver even through her final moments, but the faith of my parents never faltered as well. "May her memory be for a blessing" Shema Yisrael, Adonai Elohainu, Adonai Echad Hear O Israel, The Lord is our God, the Lord is One and Only In memory of Chaya Chana bat Tressa Leah

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1 Cary W = "All such acts of faith and courage, never wavering in the love and trust of God in the midst of such trials and pain, inspires the whole world.  Thank you Chaya!"