Eighth Night for Ethan Remarks – December 13, 2015
As we have shared many times, you all are our family. The journey we are on seems to have lasted a lifetime, but in reality, it is still in its infancy. We have experienced the lowest of lows and rebounded to experience many breakthroughs. All of which would not be possible without your support and the support of so many others around the country and even around the world. THANK YOU.
This journey continues to be a very humbling experience for our family. We have been touched by so much good that helps lift us each day and provides Ethan with so many extras that we believe are contributing to his rehabilitation and recovery. Ethan currently receives therapies from his school, Bobbie B Fairfax, the Perlman Center at Cincinnati Children’s, private therapy providers, consultants specializing in neurological reorganization, energy healing, and most recently, a doctor of osteopathic medicine helping us approach Ethan’s recovery from a whole body point of view. All of this, along with home nursing from a team of dedicated nurses, as well as specialized equipment and continued home modifications, has been possible with your support.
You would not believe the networks and touch points that have been created from all of the internet postings, Facebook sharing, the brilliant coverage from our local news affiliates, and discussions across our care teams. Ethan has visited the Carrick Brain Center in Atlanta, the Rehabilitation Institute in Chicago, the Myofascial Release Center in Philadelphia, and just in the past two weeks, we have been contacted by families with experiences in using adaptive equipment to communicate. One of the families has lived this experience for the past 30 years as they are caring for their son who was injured in a lightning strike in July 1985. We have found these connections to be powerful in identifying new leads to experts who might be able to help Ethan with his rehabilitation and recovery. Please continue to help us share Ethan’s story – you never know if the next reader may have another avenue to share with us or new ways for covering the ongoing cost of his care. Ethan continues to rack up medical expenses nearing $1 million a year, with over $150 thousand of uninsured/uncovered expenses. All of this is why your continued support is so very important to Ethan and our family.
While Ethan has had significant breakthroughs in recent weeks, 2015 was not a great year for him from a hospitalization standpoint. He was admitted to Children’s Hospital seven times in the past year, for a total of 80 days. Over the last two and a half years, he has spent over 300 days in the hospital – about one third of the time since his injury. He deserves a BIG BREAK!
At Chanukah, one of the miracles we celebrate is the idea of one small flask of oil, discovered untouched in the rubbles of the destroyed and desecrated temple. This one small flask that contained enough oil to burn for one night, we are told that it burned for eight nights. In early July 2013, Scott and I watched from afar—through live-streaming technology—in amazement as our wonderful community of Cincinnati united here at Rockdale Temple, for a special prayer service for our son, Ethan, who was fighting for his life at Riley Children’s Hospital in Indianapolis. The gathering here that night was really no different from the flask of oil—except for this. While the oil from the days of old—bayamim hahem—burned brightly for eight nights, the light and the energy that reached us from that prayer service have continued to fill our hearts with love and support, two and a half years later. That is one of our Chanukah miracles that we continue celebrating tonight.
Please join with us in singing the Shechehyanu, a prayer of Thanksgiving to God, for sustaining us and allowing us to reach this moment.
Two years ago, as our Cincinnati community gathered for the first Eighth Night for Ethan, we were not in attendance. Rather, we were anxiously awaiting news from Ethan’s surgeon, as he had been taken for emergency abdominal surgery—one of many huge obstacles we have faced with Ethan since June 2013. Our oldest son, Zakary, delivered our remarks that evening. Those remarks included a future hope—that we still hold close to our heart— that someday Ethan would be able to participate in Eighth Night for Ethan—at a time when funds were no longer needed for his ongoing medical care, but rather Ethan would designate those funds to another worthy cause.
Tonight’s celebration would not have been possible without the efforts, devotion and love of a dedicated group of friends. Without sounding like an Academy Awards acceptance speech, we send a shout out to our rabbis, Rockdale staff, Eighth Night for Ethan committee, to our families, and to all of you who have come out to celebrate miracles big and small with us. We also send our tremendous gratitude to an unstoppable force, called Team Ethan—over 400 strong—who have rallied behind us and continue to push us forward. We would be remiss not to mention HelpHOPELive, an organization who’s HELP has been invaluable in bringing HOPE to Ethan’s LIFE.
We would like to conclude our remarks with a quote from Moshe Davis and Victor Ratner
A candle is a small thing.
But one candle can light another.
And see how its own light increases,
as a candle gives its flame to the other.
You are such a light.
Alexia and Scott Kadish
Photo by Lucy May / WCPO