Loud cheers could be heard throughout Romema in last Monday’s game prior to tipoff. The standing ovation was well-deserved as Elia Ben Hamo, a five-year-old who is battling cancer, was presented with the honorary game ball.
A Maccabi Haifa fan from Rosh Hanikra, Elia was diagnosed with Lymphoma last November. His parents, Nissan and Moran, describe Elia as a brave fighter who is always smiling.
“Elia is a special child, he has a joy of life,” said Nissan Ben Hamo, Elia’s father. “It is his optimism and his happiness that allows him, and us, to go through it peacefully. Elia actually strengthens us all.”
As a patient at Ruth Rappaport Children’s Hospital in Haifa, Elia receives devoted care as he continues to undergo chemotherapy treatments.
A few weeks ago, Elia was able to live out one of his dreams – becoming a police officer. Members of the Nahariya Police force fulfilled his dream, handing him the keys to the Nahariya Police station as Station Commander for the day.
Last Monday, Elia realized another dream of his – standing on the court next to his favorite team, Maccabi Haifa, as he received the honorary game ball.
“It was very moving, we shivered,” Elia’s parents recalled. “Elia is usually a very playful child and suddenly during the ceremony, he surprised us and became very serious.”
“Win or lose – these important moments put life in perspective,” said Nurit Faraj, Community Relations Manager, Maccabi Hunter Haifa. “When you see children feel empowered and so excited – it’s all worth it. Elia’s fighting spirit is an inspiration to us all.”