A record $2.5 million was raised for the Alyn Orthopedic Hospital and
Rehabilitation Center during the 14th annual, week-long Wheels of Love bike ride
that ended Friday and saw 700 riders participating.
Children who are
patients at the hospital greeted the bikers with flowers and medallions in
Jerusalem at the end of their 400-kilometer effort. The trek began at Michmoret
and proceeded over five different routes, depending on the riders’ stamina and
interest. Each of the participants amassed sponsors for the campaign.
largest previous amount ever raised for the bike ride was $2m.
of disabled children rode bikes themselves during the last leg, from Latrun to
Jerusalem. Shira Neufeld, aged eight, who lost her sister to a road accident two
years ago and herself was left paralyzed in her lower limbs, was one such
She led the riders from Latrun, cycling with her
Nine-year-old Noam Medina also rode despite suffering from
contracting Perthes disease, a pediatric condition characterized by a temporary
loss of blood supply to the hip.
Without an adequate blood supply, the
rounded head of the femur bone (the ball of the ball-and-socket joint of the
hip) dies. The area becomes intensely inflamed and irritated.
to undergo an operation in her leg and doctors feared she would remain disabled.
It was her program of treatment and rehabilitation at Alyn that allowed her to
discard her wheelchair. Today, she walks normally and on Friday, also her
birthday, other children waited at the finish line with a birthday cake donated
and delivered by the Inbal Hotel.
Dr. Moshe Torem was also in attendance
and has joined in the Wheels of Love campaign for the past 12 years. Earlier
this year Torem suffered a leg injury and was instructed by doctors not to ride
a bicycle, but he insisted and used a hand bike to get to Jerusalem.
is the national rehabilitation center for children and youth suffering from
physical handicaps resulting from motor, sensory, respiratory, cognitive,
behavioral and communication problems.
The hospital works to return the
children back into their community as soon as possible.
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