Victor and Ella’s History: “I Have No Money for My Wife’s Cancer Treatments”


Victor is a Holocaust survivor married to Ella. Together they immigrated to Israel 30 years ago and settled at Beit Shemesh. The couple gets by on pensions and finds it difficult to pay for their needs. 

Therefore Ella was coerced to give up drugs for her cancer.

Victor survived the Holocaust by fleeing from Belarus to Russia with his mother and sister. He says: “For months we ran away on foot. My mother did everything to keep us alive”.

Victors’ life story during World War II is ambitious like many other stories.

His life after the Holocaust did NOT get any easier.

Victor lives with his partner Ella in the city of Beit Shemesh in an uninhabitable apartment. The walls of their apartment are full of damp mold that has accumulated over the years. In the bedroom, the paint peels off, and their modest contents are gathered in a small plastic closet. Ella says in pain: “We can not afford to repair this damage… it is an old house, we breathe mildew and mold”.


It has been about 30 years since Victor and Ella immigrated to Israel with their two daughters. Both are musicians but in the country had to work in other jobs. Ella was a beautician, and Victor repaired pianos.

 The couple worked hard throughout their lives to support the family.

 But since Ella was diagnosed with cancer, they have run into financial difficulties. They never imagined that even in old age, they’ll run into financial distress.


 About two years ago, Ella was diagnosed with a cancerous growth in her pancreas. Since then, she has been fighting for her life, undergoing chemotherapy treatments, and hoping for a drug that can save her. But the couple can not afford to purchase some of the treatments that may make it easier for her.

“There is a medicine that helps me a lot for nausea but, I am not entitled to it. One capsule costs NIS 250, and I need about two a month.  It reaches 500 NIS a month, and we can’t afford it”.  She adds:” There is also a treatment with a chemical that is predetermined to treat the crop itself. It is not in the basket of subsidized drugs. This treatment is more effective than what is in the drug basket. I have already tried three types of medications. This treatment costs NIS 5,000 a month, and we cannot pay for it. It is equal to all the money we earn in a whole month. We live on allowances, and that money goes to payments on food, bills, and taxis. At the end of the month, there is not enough money left for medicines. “

The Chasdei Naomi organization heard about the case and enlisted their help. Chasdei Naomi took care of renovating their apartment from the ground up. During the apartment renovation, the couple spent their time in a hotel. Their return to the apartment was exciting and full of tears of gratitude and happiness.

Unfortunately, the case of the Victor and Ella couple is not exceptional. Like them, many other Holocaust survivors live in poverty and neglect. Some live in houses unworthy of human life, and some cannot afford basic things like food and medicine.

Chasdei Naomi invites you to donate so that we’ll be able to continue to support Holocaust survivors.

You can donate at the following link:

More information about Chasdei Naomi here

Share this story
More stories