Kat Travish Rosford a 88 248.
(photo credit: )
We met Kat and Travis Roshford at the Aminadav Forest Tree Planting Site on the outskirts of Jerusalem on Monday, 27th July. Their story is one of hope and discovering that sometimes, people truly feel mutually responsible for each other and their hearts open up, even for those whom they have never previously met.
Kat Roshford, 36, a resident of Jerelderie, Australia was diagnosed at the age of 25 with Multiple Sclerosis, which is considered an incurable disease. Kat, who is married to Travis and the mother of Zack (9) Josh (8) and Elle (6) was told at the age of 30 that she would probably need assistance to walk within the next ten years. She tried various forms of conventional and alternative medicine but nothing seemed to work. Not too long ago, she heard about a revolutionary, new and experimental treatment being offered in Israel which had helped a friend, a professional golfer who had also been diagnosed with MS. The new treatment uses the patient's own stem cells to fight MS and its effects on the body and is only available in Israel.
"The problem was the cost," Kat told us. "I was told that I would need about $30,000 including accommodations in Israel. My sister Wendy managed to get my story into the local paper and also in Toronto, Canada, where we have family. Jerilderie is a small town, with a population of just about 800 people but together with some of the neighboring communities, they managed to raise about $17,000. The rest of the money came from Toronto, much of it from people whom I have never met or heard about. For example, someone in Toronto heard my story and called up to say he would be paying for our hotel expenses while we were in Israel. People's responses have been above and beyond what I could ever have imagined.
"One of the people who contacted us was Ze'ev Bashan, former president of JNF New South Wales. He sent a contribution of $180 to the medical fund and said that he wanted us to spend some time with Shalom Norman, former KKL-JNF shaliah to Australia, while we were in Israel. Shalom picked us up in Tel Aviv early this morning and told us about Israel and KKL-JNF on our way to Jerusalem. He suggested that we plant trees while we are here, a symbol of growth and hope for the future. After we plant our tree, Shalom will be taking us to lunch and showing us Jerusalem. Later in the afternoon, I have to be back in Tel Aviv for a procedure called marrow aspiration and then, six weeks later, after long-term culturing of the stem cells, they will be injected into me and hopefully help stop the development of the disease. I know there are no guarantees but past results make me very hopeful."
At the tree planting site, KKL-JNF forester Eli Ben-Hamu told the Roshfords about the forests KKL-JNF was planting these days: "In the past, we planted mainly cypresses and pines but owing to the hard soil and lack of rain, there are few natural shrubs growing beneath the forest canopy. As these pines will die in another twenty to thirty years, the terebinth trees you are planting today will take their place. Although we did the hard work of digging the holes before you came, the actual planting of the trees is the most important thing. You are giving birth to a new tree in the Land of Israel."
Travis and Kat each lovingly planted their own tree after reciting the Planter's Prayer. Kat summed up her feelings: "The hospitality we have received ever since we arrived in Israel has been amazing and this has been a day we will both never forget. I want to take pictures of the area so that I will always be able to identify the spot. I intend to come back together with Travis and our three children, hike down this trail and show them our trees. I emphasize the words 'hike down the trail' which may be taken for granted by most people, but for me would be the answer to my prayer that the treatment will enable me to continue walking. I know no words to thank Shalom Norman, KKL-JNF and all the people who have opened their hearts to us. I want to see my trees grow healthy and strong, which is what I wish myself. See you all again in a few years!"
Fore more information please contact
KKL-JNF - Information and Publications