MDA welcomes £2m tonic
DURING THE reception at Monday’s Magen David Adom dinner, supporters viewed a model of the national blood and logistics centre in Ramla for which MDA UK has pledged to raise £10 million over five years.
But the life-saving work of Israel’s medical service was truly brought home by key speaker Ziv Shilon.
Five years ago, Mr Shilon was a platoon commander for an IDF combat unit when he sustained severe injuries in a terrorist bombing. He lost both his hands in the explosion.
Addressing the 400 guests at The Dorchester in Park Lane, Mr Shilon said that his life was changed forever.
But he would not be around to tell his story were it not for the 56 blood units he received during his treatment.
He underwent surgery more than a dozen times over two years and confided that he felt “a lot of anger, a lot of disappointment. I wanted to prove I could return to the person I used to be.
“After I received my Captain Hook hand, slowly I learnt to eat, to dress, to go to the restroom.”
He added that his experience of coming back stronger from adversity reflected the spirit of Israel.
The dinner raised a record £2.1 million, some of which will go towards the Ramla centre project, to which UK donors contributed £2.5 million in the first year. The charity was also pleased to see “150 new faces” among the dinner guests. Ziv Shilon addressing diners and with young MDA supporters
Broadcaster and former Tory MP Gyles Brandreth was the compere and Sir Eric Pickles made a presentation recognising the contribution of Daniella Baron Cohen and Gil Weiser to MDA.
When Mrs Baron Cohen dedicated medicycles at a Tel Aviv ceremony this year, she raided the back catalogue of her famous son Sacha for the inscription — “Respect!” Mr Weiser, her brother, founded Israeli Friends of MDA.
Mr Shilon also addressed MDA events in Chester and Manchester.