Its been about 135 days since the petira of Eli A’H and not a minute goes by that we dont think of Eli and the ever lasting memories he left us with.
Very touching letter written by a very close family friend Alana Bess
Eli Gradon: The Effects of an Eleven-Year-Old
It was September 29, and almost 3 months ago. As I walked into the auditorium for an assembly after praying to God for Eli Gradon to be cured of his catastrophic cancer, my heart shattered like broken glass. The eleven-year-old boy I had grown up with my entire life had died from the disgusting disease. Shock engulfed me immediately and I could not register the news I was hearing. How could this be happening? How was I in his backyard only a few weeks ago celebrating his eleventh birthday if now he isn’t even alive? After a grieving process, I came to realize that God had more plans for him than to be just another patient at Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles. Eli Gradon affected me personally by teaching me, along with all his loved ones, to cherish family, embrace joy, and connect with God.
With four adorable children and two hilarious parents, the Gradon household never experienced a dull, laughter-free moment. Yet Ari, Eli’s closest brother, took his job as Eli’s roommate very seriously. Whether it ranged from fetching a simple glass of water to notifying their father about how Eli was feeling, Ari rushed to aid his older brother in any possible way with zero sense of reluctance. If Eli felt the slightest bolt of pain in even the dead of night, Ari would not think twice about pushing his blankets off himself to help him. Without Ari there to support him through every step of his tumultuous journey, Eli would have been a lonely child. Eli and Ari were the best of friends, and how could you lose a brother? I appreciate the seemingly effortless actions my siblings do for me everyday now because I know they would do the same for me as Ari did for Eli. Their relationship inspired me to always be grateful for my loved ones because life is not infinite.
Eli’s permanent smile was unquestionably contagious. Despite the excruciating treatments he constantly endured, he always radiated light. If an extremely ill boy can focus on life’s positivity, why is it so difficult for us to? We cannot let the stupid things in life steal our happiness. We must be fearless in our search for joy in this world; superficial matters scare us into hiding, which only hurts us as humans. Eli knew that and took matters into his own hands by concentrating on the countless other blessings he possessed. Eli’s death became a defining moment for me by leading me on a diligent search for satisfaction and serenity.
Eli’s direct hotline to God is a connection I envy. Eli had the strongest relationship imaginable with God for a child his age. At only age eleven, he had been setting alarms for himself daily to remember to recite the Shema prayer. On Saturday when I go to his house for Shabbat lunch, I know I will feel an immediate rush of emotions. Half of me will want to cry and grieve his death, but the other half will feel rejuvenated from the presence of his past spirituality. The entrance to their house on Fuller Avenue is an entrance to religious relationships with God. After his death, I felt a change in myself where I concentrated more in my davening daily. The child I grew to know and love was a spiritual beacon of light and hope for every person who crossed roads with him throughout his life.
I cannot begin to conclude this essay without sadness threatening me. As I type this finishing paragraph, my vision blurs with tears. The short life of Elimelech Ben Menachem Mendel Malkiel Gradon impacted me more personally than anyone else in my time. This ode to Eli only highlighted three of his amazing attributes: his appreciation of family, his ability to find the positive in negative situations, and his unbreakable spiritual strength. As the famous American writer Oliver Herford once said, only the young die good. Eli passed on in the noblest matter; he left fighting for what he believed in. I can only hope he relayed some of his admirable qualities onto me. Eli’s death does not define me. What defines me is the fact that I will move on in life soon enough with the lessons I learned from him. I will take one step backward and two steps forward.
We will try to update very occasionally on anything that we plan on doing that pertains to Eli.
We can be reached directly by email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
We are asking of anyone that has any pictures, videos or stories of Eli at any time during his life to please send them to us. Espicially if they were at the funeral, burial, tehilim or in the hospital.
Thank you for the out pouring of love and support from across the world.
selichos will be Motzei Shabos at 12:30 in our home
shachris only at 7:00 on Sunday morning
shiva ends at 2:30pm
There will be live video hookup for the levaya. Please visit www.theyeshivaworld.com and find the link or go to https://youtu.be/X2XCycgSK7I
with a forever shattered heart I need to write
The Levaya of Elimelech Ben Menachem Mendel Malkiel Gradon (11 years old!) will be Friday morning 9:00AM at Cong Sharei Tefila 7269 Beverly Blvd LA CA 90036.
We hope to have live video hookup. Info will be sent to the public when and if we have it.
Kevura will be in Mt Carmel Cemetary 6501 Gage Ave. Commerce CA at 11:30
Shiva will be at 176 S Fuller Ave LA CA 90036
Friday from 1:00-3:00
Motzei Shabos right after Shabos until…
Sunday Shachris at 7:00 with Shiva ending for Rosh Hashana at 2:30
We are kindly requesting no one bring any food. It is all arranged already.
As some of you may or may not know Eli situation isn’t very good right now and as we help him fight this terrible machla we are going to try to have a Tehilim gathering outside our house 176 S Fuller Ave this evening at 7:30-7:45pm (15 minutes) for men, women and children. Please bring a Tehilim. The house will be closed to the public but we will try to have Eli inside by the window so he can see and be part of it. No speeches just a few minutes of everyone saying their choice of Prakim Tehilim on behalf of Elimelech Ben Basya bsoch shaar choley Yisroel.
If you can’t make it try to choose that time at home or wherever you maybe to daven for Eli that we should be zoche to a miracle.
Kesiva vachasima tova
Sorry once again for the lack of updates. It’s been very busy with a lot of chemo, radiation, transfusions, Dr visits etc. Eli is coming along some days better then others.
I once again call upon anyone locally (out of state, country isn’t an option) who can donate blood on behalf of Eli to please do so. Eli has been averaging 7+ blood transfusions and 10+ platelet transfusions monthly. While we usually don’t have Direct donor platelet transfusions because of the very short shelf life that it has we have 99% of the time direct donor blood thanks to some very regular donors and others who continue to do this chesed.
Anyone who is able to donate please schedule thru Bikur Cholim office 323-852-1900. They have and continue to be the reason we have this so perfectly arranged. THANK YOU
Sorry for the complete lack of postings lately.
Eli just finished 3 intense weeks of daily radiation and as a result has low blood counts and I need of many blood and platelet transfusions. During the last 40+ months that Eli has so bravely fought this disease there has almost never been a time that he didn’t get a direct donor blood transfusion. In fact there has been HUNDREDS of blood direct donor transfusions give to Eli.
Currently there is a very low amount of blood in Elis personal blood bank at CHLA and I’m asking of anyone that can to please donate for Eli. The reason I’m asking now more then ever is this week Eli had a bad reaction to the blood transfusion and it was one of the maybe 2-3 times he’s ever gotten a non direct donor unit of blood.
If you are available please first schedule it with the Bikur Cholim office so that we don’t get to much either and to minimize the time needed at the hospital. Please call 323-852-1900.
Thanks so much
Sorry once again for the lack of updates. But as always no news is good news. BH there hasn’t been much to update as Eli has been at home for a pretty long break. This past Wed morning for the first time in over a year Eli went to school for about 2 hours and was warmly welcomed by everyone. Unfortunately that night he came down with fever and ended up testing positive for a infection which landed us in the hospital until Shabos morning.
Eli was supposed to start chemo/immunotherapy on Sunday but it got pushed off a day as a result of the infection and antibiotics. Eli is now checked into CHLA until either Shabos or Sunday and we hope and daven that all goes easy and smooth for the rest of the week.
This past Friday we had a truly touching and amazing story. On my way back to the hospital I dropped off at Rabbi and Mrs Shlomo Einhorn a Bar mitzva present in honor of their sons Bar mitzva at about 4:00pm. They said they were so excited that Eli was home and will be at the kidush. I told them unfortunately Eli is actually in the hospital and probably will be out in the morning but not for sure. It clearly bothered them that this was going on during their simcha. Anyway I wished them Gut Shabos and Mazal Tov. At 5:25pm (33 minutes before shkia) Rabbi Einhorn and his son the Bar Mitzva boy who for sure had nothing better to do at that time marched into our room at CHLA to wish Eli and I Gut Shabos with a big tray of cookies. Truly inspiring and touching and most appreciated. (BH Eli was able to repay the visit and made it to the Kidush)
Currently in MSKCC Hillel Sholom Shachne Ben Rivka is receiving treatment for the same machla as Eli and due to the fact that they are from the UK many of the costs are currently not covered by insurance. Anyone that can financially help them they have setup a gofundme account and it will be a real Chesed for anyone that can help. https://www.gofundme.com/urr8nsv9
Please as always continue having Elimelech Ben Basya bsoch shaar choley yisroel in all your tefilos.