Help Raphael Elisha Meir ben Devorah Cohen

$152,389raised of $100,000 goal

Beneficiary: Elisha Cohen Organizer: Jennifer Rosenzweig, Devorah Kraines, Chaya Parkoff, Donniel Ogorek, Gita Holodovsky, Malka Finman, Jennifer Barnes and Raphi Sonsino

This fundraiser is closed

Update (04/17/2014):

With heavy hearts, we regret to share that Raphael Elisha Meir lost his battle with brain cancer and passed away early the morning of April 17. There simply are no words to adequately say thank you to the countless friends across the globe who have supported the family with your prayers, words, and assistance.


The funeral will take place Friday in accordance with Jewish law and Raphael Elisha Meir will be laid to rest in Israel. The Cohen family now begins a very long road to healing. 


The process of rebuilding their devastated family will take time and will take help. Please consider making a gift to the Cohen family in memory of Refael Elisha Meir to help defray the costs of bringing Raphael Elisha Meir home to Israel for burial, the expense for his family to accompany him, and to help with the immediate months ahead. Your love, care, and generosity is deeply appreciated by Rabbi Yaakov, Devorah, and the entire Cohen family. 

Thank you so much for your chesed.

Update (12/13/2013):

Thank you for helping us reach our goal of raising $100,000 to assist the Cohens. The family is overwhelmed by the kindness and generosity of so many people who have expressed support for Raphael Elisha Meir. They are grateful for your donations, prayers, and words of support.


Raphael Elisha’s story has touched the hearts of thousands of people throughout the United States and around the world. It has inspired us to do mitzvahs and come closer to Hashem.  We are all praying to see the miracle of Raphael Elisha Meir’s recovery happen.     


Over the last weeks, a petition requesting a compassionate use waiver for a treatment from the Burzinsky Clinic has garnered over 60,000 signatures. Many individuals have written the family expressing concern over the clinic and its treatments. The Cohen family appreciates the concern and caring for Raphael Elisha Meir expressed, and is aware of the controversy related to the Burzinsky Clinic. Because the Burzinsky Clinic has committed to treating Raphael Elisha Meir free of charge, monies raised for the Cohens will not be used for this purpose.


We hope you will please continue to give generously to help defray the expenses the Cohens have and continue to incur. Thank you so much, and may we merit to come together to celebrate the complete recovery of Raphael Elisha Meir ben Devorah soon.

Update (12/4/2013):

Dear friends and supporters of Refael Elisha Meir ben Devorah,


The Cohen family is deeply grateful for your prayers, kind words of support, and assistance. Refael Elisha continues to bravely battle the cancer that has ravaged him. It is a fight no six year old child should ever have to endure, yet this sweet, beautiful little boy is courageously taking each day as it comes.


The Cohens are pursuing alternative and experimental treatments to bolster the months of traditional chemotherapy and radiation therapy treatments that Refael Elisha has undergone. Insurance does not cover the costs of these treatments and maintenance, but they may be the only hope left in the face of the doctors telling Refael Elisha’s parents that there is nothing else to be done. They are expensive and there are few options left.


We can’t give up and we need your help now, more than ever!   


Please continue to open your hearts and give to help the Cohens continue the fight against the medullah blastoma cancer that has attacked Refael Elisha. This devoted family is leaving no stone unturned, but they simply cannot do it without you.


In addition to the medical costs, the day-to-day expenses for a family of eight continue to add up. This beautiful family has given so much to the community. Please, help them with however much you can. Every dollar counts. We pray to the Holy One Blessed be He that your continued generosity and kindness merit a complete and total refuah shlema (healing) for Refael Elisha Meir ben Devorah.    

Update (11/13/2013):

The Cohen family is overwhelmed by the kindness and generosity of so many who have contributed over the course of the past days. With thanks to Hashem, the initial goal of $25,000 was met. Raphael Elisha Meir remains critically ill, but your help has given the family renewed hope.

The Cohens, out of modesty, did not want to ask for the amount they truly need. The reality though is that this wonderful family needs more than $25,000 to pay for the investigational medications from Israel and the doctors to administer it. None of these medical costs are covered by insurance. They also have to cover the basic necessities of life to support their entire family, including Raphael Elisha Meir's brothers and sisters. Rabbi and Devora Cohen are not working as they devote 24 hours a day to the needs of their little boy.

We ask that you please continue to share this website with as many people as you can via Facebook, Twitter, Email, etc. Please continue to give and ask your friends, coworkers, family members and your entire network to contribute the money and prayers that the Cohens so desperately need. Thank you so much and through the merit of your love and kindness may our prayers be answered. 

Original Post:

Dear family and friends in Houston and around the world,

Elisha Cohen's war against cancer rages on. It has been a very challenging year that has taken a toll on the Cohen family. Their beloved 5 year old boy, Raphael Elisha Meir, was diagnosed with  Anaplastic medulla blastoma brain and spine cancer in October, 2012. The day after Elisha was diagnosed, Elisha underwent surgery during which 70% of the tumor was removed. Following his surgery, Elisha suffered from posterior Fossa mutism syndrome, a common, debilitating side effect of neurosurgery which causes decreased muscle tone. This left Elisha unable to speak, eat, and walk.  Elisha had a very difficult year dealing with proton radiation therapy followed by chemotherapy. At the same time, Elisha underwent a rehabilitation process that has painfully helped him resume somewhat normal childhood activities once again. Elisha now talks, but he is still unable to swallow or walk. In June of 2013, Elisha received promising news that his tumor had been eliminated following an MRI scan. However, in early September of 2013, Elisha had his second MRI and received unthinkable news that the Cohen family was unprepared to hear. The doctors at the Texas Children Hospital observed that the tumor had returned and declared that Elisha's cancer had relapsed. This was devastating news for the Cohen's after physicians uttered the horrifying statement that, "nothing else that could be done for their sweet Elisha."


The Cohen family has been fighting this entire past year thinking that the worst was behind them, only to learn that their worst fear and nightmare became their new reality. There is very little research that has been done on this rare form of cancer. Even more disheartening, if there is a treatment for medulla blastoma, Elisha is ineligible because of his young age and his inability to swallow. In a desperate search for a non-toxic treatment and/or drug that could save Elisha's life, the Cohen's have identified an expensive drug. Elisha's parents feel that they shouldn't give up on fighting cancer. This is a desperate situation in which no one should ever be placed.  Now, the parents are financially challenged and are struggling to cover their basic living expenses while purchasing the aforementioned drugs which are not covered by the family's medical insurance drug plan. Elisha's parents are not working at present since they are both helping Elisha battle cancer. As a result, friends of the Cohen family have decided to attempt fundraising money for this family in order help alleviate the financial stress currently plaguing this already emotionally drained family. Please join us in making a difference in this family's life, a family committed to Torah, mitzvoth, and love of their fellow Jew.  You can donate whatever you feel comfortable with; everything counts. Also, you could forward or share this with your friends. The most we can do is help ease their financial plight.


Since we are using as the vehicle for accepting your generous donations, you can be confident in knowing that the aforementioned website is secure, and your credit card information will be protected. They do not charge a fee for running the site so all proceeds go directly to the Cohen family.


Thank you very much for your kindness and thoughtfulness. In the merit of your tzedakah and mitzvah may we see a complete refuah for Raphael Elisha Meir ben Devorah and all of those in need.  May you all be blessed with long lives and enduring health.

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