Naomi bat Sara

Naomi bat Sara

My relative teaches at a community college in one of the most depressing cities in America– rampant gangs, drugs, unemployment.

As an English teacher, she asks her students to write about their lives. And, she told me, among her female students, the story they share with her is almost always the same. It goes something like this:

“When I was growing up, my mother was a drug dealer/addict and my father was in prison.

“I was a wild child, running around with a bad crowd, getting in trouble at school and with the police.

“And then, when I was 16, I got pregnant.

“And since my son was born, I’ve completely changed.

“Becoming a mother made me realize that life is not just about me and what I want to do to feel good.

“I realized that now I need to take care of somebody else who needs me! I need to clean myself up, be respectable, finish college, get a job.

“I thought getting pregnant was the end of my life, but in the end, it was actually the beginning.”


When our big kids were little, Naomi and I sent our children to gan together. Eventually Naomi moved back to America, and I’d get occasional updates about her from her sister, Rachel: Naomi and her 6 kids were living in Texas, Naomi was teaching at a Jewish day school, Naomi was doing fine, all was good.

And then, last year, we heard horrifying news. 43-year-old Naomi had been diagnosed with advanced pancreatic cancer. She was not expected to survive the year.

But, miraculously, 18 months later, Naomi is still with us. This week I received a fundraising video made by Naomi’s kids, to fund alternative treatments so, please G-d, they will have more days, months, years to spend with their beloved mother.

The video is an urgent plea, “Please let us have our mom!”

And I was reminded of my relative’s students…how badly we need our children, and how desperately they, in return, need us.


  1. Different people have very different ideas about how cancer should be treated. This is not a medical site, please do not leave comments related to cancer treatments.

  2. what a beautiful family!refoua chelema to naomi bat sara

  3. A support group and site of inspiration for survivors and their families.. that’s what

    is standing for.

    Refuah Shlemah

  4. Thank you for sharing with us…

  5. My neighbor’s stepmom is Naomi bat Sara and lives in Texas. Is this her? Does her husband have a 10 year old son in Rhode Island?

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