Swimming for life

July 10, 2014 by Hayley Hadassin
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Yigal Sela, Israel Office Director at the Zionist Federation of Australia will celebrate his own ‘Surgical Bar Mitzvah’ 13 years after recovering from his bout with cancer by swimming 25 kilometres, 1000 (yes, one thousand) laps of a 25 metre swimming pool, non-stop later this month.Yigal is very well known to hundreds of gap year participants who have participated in Israel programs from the ZFA. He says; “Up until the age of 47 I was a long distance runner, running marathons and more, just for the fun. Then, in 1999, my left knee

Yigal Sela

Yigal Sela

suffered a fateful blow. A malignant tumour had attacked the soft tissues within my knee and led to a nightmare scenario of chemotherapy, hospitalization, no less than seven major operations, and months of excruciating pain. My life was in the air until I arrived at the surgery of Professor Bickels, at the Centre for Orthopaedic Oncology at the Tel-Aviv Sourasky Medical Centre. He saved me! The price? I don’t have a left knee anymore but a viable and functional rod of metal; a heavy price for someone like me who loved to run; but not such a great price for someone that also loves life and his family.”

Swim for Life is an opportunity to save a lot more than just one person. The aim is to raise money for a very special surgical microscope for the Department of Professor Bickels. This microscope is a new, innovative way to treat cancer tumours. With this instrument and the new method developed by Professor Bickels, it will be possible to treat these life threatening tumours without damaging the surrounding healthy soft tissue of the limbs, and thus not only save lives, but also considerably reduce the drastic surgery required in the past along with the associated morbidity. This microscope enables treatment of these tumours without the need for chemotherapy and radiation.

Yigal says: – “On 24th July I will stand on the edge of the swimming pool at the Country Club in Kfar Saba, who have kindly donated the site for the day. Together with me there will be many sportspeople, including those with disabilities or special needs. Soldiers from some of I.D.F.’s special units will also join me, as well as Dave Sharma the Australian Ambassador to Israel, children, friends and supporters. With your help this can become a success story for many more people; people who have been found with the same cancer as I had, and who, with the aid of this revolutionary innovative form of treatment discovered by Professor Bickels, can go back to a normal life with relative ease.”

For the purpose of donations, a dedicated account has been established. The account details are

Commonwealth Bank

BSB 063-009

Account No 1063 1527

Account Name: John Searle

 

Please Note: – Any sum donated will go directly towards the purchase of this microscope, which costs 250,000 Euro. If you would like to make a donation, Yigal Sela’s dear friend, John Searle has agreed to be responsible for the money collected in Australia, and after the swim will transfer all donations received to the dedicated Fund established in Israel, by a group of volunteer Friends of the Orthopaedic/Oncology Unit of hospital.

If making an electronic transfer please include your name for receipt identification and so that Yigal can personally thank you. Also send an accompanying e mail to John Searle (jsearle@vicbar.com.au) so he can keep track. If you wish to pay by cheque or cash, please contact John Searle via his e mail address so that arrangements can be made.

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