Jewish Baby's Rare Immune Disorder Attracts Global Sympathy — and Support

Couple Raise $100K to Fight Son's Hyper IgM Syndrome

Battle for Life: Little Idan Zablocki suffers from an immune-deficiency disorder that affects 1 in 500,000 people. It can be a death sentence but his family is fighting back with the help of the community.
courtesy of Zablocki family
Battle for Life: Little Idan Zablocki suffers from an immune-deficiency disorder that affects 1 in 500,000 people. It can be a death sentence but his family is fighting back with the help of the community.

By Anne Cohen

Published August 07, 2013.
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But all this comes at a cost. The hospital estimates the medical bill will be between $600,000 and $1,000,000. Akiva Zablocki, who takes care of Idan full time, doesn’t work. His wife is a lawyer, but she will have to take six months of unpaid leave in order to be with her son.

To alleviate some of the costs not covered by their insurance, the Zablockis have launched an online fundraising campaign, and what started as a couple of Facebook posts and emails to friends has turned into a strong network of support: They have raised $124,507 toward their $250,000 goal, with 117 days left to go.

“The response has been amazing,” Akiva Zablocki, said. “Overall, we don’t know the majority of the people donating to the campaign. We sent it to a few friends on Facebook and email, and a lot of people have been sharing it, sending out emails to their congregations. It was very scary for us; we didn’t know how we were going to deal with this.”

“People are praying for Idan,” his wife added. “People we’ve never met. It’s been a very powerful experience.” The Zablockis acknowledged the efforts by Jewish communities in New York and abroad, saying they have been an incredible asset.

“One of the things that has been extremely touching for us has been the large volume of emails from the Jewish community offering to bring us meals, to help, to baby-sit,” Amanda Zablocki said.

“Just the overwhelming response of ‘We’re with you,’ ‘We’re there,’ ‘What do you need?’ We’re trying to draw strength from where we can, and we’re definitely drawing strength from the Jewish community, from New York and all over the world.”

As for little Idan? Well, his name says it all. “Idan means ‘era’ [in Hebrew], like ‘time,’” his mother said. “It’s from the Bible. We were opening up a new era with Idan. For me, the association between era and time, time being so precious and yet so powerful, there’s something very meaningful in that. Idan is very strong, but he’s very precious.”

Contact Anne Cohen at cohen@forward.com


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