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Saturday, August 13, 2022 - 16 Av 5782
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All Will Pass

Soly Sayeg was six years old when he was diagnosed with leukemia. Soly lived in Brazil, and the doctors his parents consulted with recommended that they seek treatment for him in the U.S. So, with fear and trepidation, they left their two-year-old daughter home with her grandparents and traveled with Soly to New York.

Arriving in New York, they went directly to Memorial Hospital. They were fortunate to find a wonderful doctor, Dr. Norma Wollner, a native Brazilian and an expert on Soly’s condition.

While the Sayegs were getting settled in New York, they made the acquaintance of a few Brazilian Yeshiva students who were studying in the central Chabad Yeshiva at 770 Eastern Parkway. These students visited them daily and helped the Sayegs with all their needs, physical, spiritual and emotional.

One day, the students asked the Sayegs if they wanted to write a letter to the Lubavitcher Rebbe, asking for a blessing for Soly’s complete recovery. They explained that the Rebbe did not always answer every letter, but just the fact that he would read the letter was already very special. To the Sayegs’ surprise, the Rebbe answered with a letter of encouragement. The Sayegs were extremely moved by this gesture.

Soly was hospitalized for three months, fighting with all his might against his virulent disease, without success despite massive chemotherapy. The doctor didn’t know what to do. She explained that she had tried all the drugs available for this disease and, still, she couldn’t decrease the
S.B. Goldstein diseased cell count. However, the Sayegs were full of faith and asked her to keep trying.

At this time they decided to add the name Chaim to Shlomo, and also asked the Rebbe to choose Hebrew names for the rest of the family.

One day, one of the Yeshiva students approached Mrs. Sayeg and suggested an explanation of what Soly’s disease meant spiritually. He said “Look, you know that your son’s disease is in his blood. Blood represents the soul of the person, and what we see here is that your son’s soul is not content in this body. Everything that we eat becomes our blood, and he needs to eat kosher food.”

Mrs. Sayeg accepted this explanation, and wrote another letter to the Rebbe: “Rebbe, we have tried everything; the medication is not working. Therefore, I beg of you, ask G-d for a miracle. Ask him to save my son. In return, I promise to keep Shabbat and Kosher.”

The next morning, the doctors came into the room and told the Sayegs that something very strange was happening. The exams of that day showed dramatic improvement. “It seems a light has turned on.”

The Sayegs koshered the kitchen of their New York apartment, and from then on were strictly kosher. Dr. Norma said, “In the thirty years of my career, I have NEVER seen anything like this. Whatever you’re doing, keep doing it…it’s working.”

Soly was discharged from the hospital and continued outpatient treatment. The first thing the Sayegs did was take him to the Rebbe. The Rebbe blessed Soly, this time in person. The confidence and optimism the Rebbe transmitted to this little boy gave him the strength to continue with his treatment.

The doctor said that perhaps it would be necessary for Soly to have a bone marrow transplant to guarantee a complete recovery. All the family members were tested, and Soly’s father, Isaac, turned out to be a perfect match. Although his father was a perfect match, the doctors were still concerned about doing the transplant because of Soly’s weak physical condition. The treatment that he had undergone was terribly debilitating.

Again the Sayegs turned to the Rebbe, and he advised them to seek the opinion of two experts. The two experts confirmed that the bone marrow transplant was absolutely necessary. So, armed with the Rebbe’s blessings, Soly underwent the very risky operation. Around this time, Mrs. Sayeg also committed to keep the mitzvah of family purity.

The operation went well, and after 40 days in the ICU, the Sayegs returned to their apartment in New York. They were relieved that it was all over, when suddenly Soly ran a fever. It was an infection that was consuming the new bone marrow that he had just received from his father. When the doctors discovered what the infection was, they said, “We have good news and bad news. The good news is we know what kind of infection we are dealing with; the bad news is there is still no drug to fight it. There are some drugs that have been on trial for 6 months. Some work and some don’t.” The Sayegs immediately wrote to the Rebbe telling him of the situation. “He has my blessing that all will pass,” was his answer.

And thank G-d, all did pass. It took another forty days in the hospital in the ICU. Soly continued being a brave little fighter throughout, holding on to the words the Rebbe had told him. With G-d’s help, after 40 more days in the ICU, Soly left the hospital, completely well, and returned to Brazil. Soly and his sister were enrolled in Chabad schools. The Rebbe’s blessing effected a transformation in this family’s life.



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