MDA wel­comes £2m tonic

The Jewish Chronicle - - COMMUNITY NEWS - BY BARRY TOBERMAN

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.

PHO­TOS: JOHN RIFKIN

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