As a Rabbi, I am typically the person granted the privilege of offering support, sometimes in celebration, other times, in sorrowful moments. Like everyone, at some time in their life, I now find it to be my moment. My beloved wife, JJ, has been diagnosed with breast cancer. As we have begun to process this shocking news, we are simultaneously being forced to make a series of rapid decisions regarding her treatment. JJ is a naturalist, who has lived in prevention for all the years I have known and adored her. As a former oncology employee for 10 years in a private oncologist chemo practice, she is more familiar with the traditional protocols than the rest of us.
How to beat this disease is as personal a path as any other she has taken in her lifetime. And it is my firm belief that in order for her to be healed, JJ must follow her heart and methodology that is in line with her beliefs. She has chosen to spend three weeks at an astounding Alternative/ Holistic healing center in Cancun, Mexico, Hope4Cancer.They have decades of experience toppling cancers of all kinds. Their staff has examined her tests results and scans, and it is their firm stance that they can assist in her full recovery. The global world we live in makes these kinds of cures possible, yet to get there, we need to ask for your support.
I do not serve on one pulpit, I go wherever I am needed, in this country, and elsewhere. In other words, my congregation does not meet weekly in a single building. Every bride, every groom, every baby, every Bar or Bat Mitzvah hand that I have held, every grieving widow or widower, every adult child burying a parent that I have embraced, each of these people are my congregants.
Anyone who is reading this request is well aware that I never check a watch, or a clock, or a phone, to make certain that my hours of service do not extend past what I am hired to accomplish. To the contrary, those of you who have blessed my life, by compensating me for my skills, know that I leave when the job is done, not when the coffee turns cold, or the sweet table has been cleared away.
To give JJ the care she needs, to provide her the best chance for a complete recovery, and to ensure that she is in the best hands, we have jointly narrowed our options, and arrived at this solution. I have watched countless families endure this space, and I have seen just as many ways of handling it. This is our way, and even if it is not yours, in earnest we ask that you respect the choice, and allow your unconditional love to do the rest. Happy and Healthy New Year!
Rabbi Michael Raab
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