Our special Omer is a four-year-old boy.
In the ILAI Fund Family we have two boys named Omer, both are four years old, both are very dear to us, both suffer from Spinal Muscular Atrophy Type 2, and both are 100% handicapped.
Omer is the sweetest child in the world, a beautiful little boy who is full of life and laughter. Omer is a very intelligent boy, smart, and extremely capable. He looks forward to going to preschool every day. He loves his two brothers, who are both healthy, thank G-d.
Omer was never able to feed himself with a fork and knife. He has no idea what it feels like to stand up or sit down. He has never, not once in his life, kicked a ball.
Omer needs a lot of personal assistance, including a one-on-one caretaker, to make it possible for him to enjoy being part of a mainstream preschool with children his own age. Unfortunately, the meager state budget allows Omer a caretaker at preschool for only two days of the 6-day week. The other 4 days are paid for by the ILAI Fund with the intention of giving Omer the chance to develop and grow both mentally and socially as is natural for a boy his age.
Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) is a genetic disease affecting the part of the nervous system that controls voluntary muscle movement. This disease entails the weakening and damaging of the voluntary muscles close to the center of the body which are responsible for gross motor skills such as crawling, walking, control of the head and neck and swallowing. Children afflicted with SMA as Omer is can usually sit without support after being placed in a sitting position but cannot obtain this position independently. As the disease intensifies a child will need medical apparatus to enable him to stand. It is difficult to define exactly the rate of deterioration as it is expressed differently in every child.
The ILAI Fund was happy to help out in the purchase of a wheelchair especially for Omer. The price of this wheelchair was over 20,000 NIS. In addition, the Fund has provided him with Bracts corsets that help him ‘stand up’ and ‘sit down’.
We pray and look forward to the day when the world of medicine will be able to provide us with final results, and so be able to find a cure for the SMA disease. G-d willing, Omer will be able to stand on his own two feet soon. He will be healthy and strong. The day will come when we will see Omer a devoted, loving father as only he could be. Amen.