Mark Addleman

05 September 2023

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Dr. Cabiri volunteered to help 11-year-old Talia beat cancer. Fifteen years later, he delivered her baby following a high-risk pregnancy.


It was an emotional reunion for Talia Bazak and her husband Asaf, and for Dr. Doron Cabiri, the doctor who delivered her baby at Hadassah Ein Kerem. Dr. Cabiri is a senior doctor at Hadassah’s Obstetrics and Gynaecology Department and heads the high-risk pregnancy clinic at the hospital.


At age two, Talia Bazak was diagnosed with leukemia. She was treated at Hadassah by a team of experts in paediatric cancer and defeated the disease. At the age of 9, after experiencing further symptoms, they discovered her disease had returned. This time, the cancer affected her ovaries and bone marrow, and she would likely need a bone marrow transplant to save her life.


In 2008, the State of Israel launched a nationwide operation to find a suitable bone marrow transplant donor for Talia. Doron Cabiri, then a young medical intern, volunteered to help. He was selected to coordinate a recruitment station for the bone marrow registry, where many people came to donate samples. He was also an early donor to the registry. His significant efforts in the operation to save Talia earned him an appreciation certificate.


Meanwhile, Talia was treated by doctors and nurses at Hadassah using a protocol that included chemotherapy and various treatments; she recovered without the need for a bone marrow transplant.


Fourteen years later, Talia and Asaf, who live in Modi’in, experienced a pregnancy loss and sought the guidance of a recommended, high-risk pregnancy specialist, Dr. Cabiri who has since become a senior doctor in the OB-GYN Department at Hadassah.


“Before we met Dr. Cabiri, I had gone through a stillbirth; it was a challenging time,” says Talia. “For the next pregnancy, we realised that I would need the guidance of a specialist in high-risk pregnancy. That’s how we came to Dr. Doron Cabiri, with many recommendations from our family and friends. We were told that he is an excellent, experienced doctor and as soon as we met with him, we felt that we were in very good hands.”


The doctor learned from Talia about her previous pregnancy and about the cancer she had overcome as a child. He suspected that it might be the same girl, on whose behalf he had volunteered for many years ago. He hurried to his home and found the certificate of appreciation he had received after volunteering in the operation, which he had kept for the past 15 years.


Dr Cabiri reflects, “I didn’t tell Talia about the special connection I had discovered between us and preferred to wait until after she gave birth, so as not to burden her emotionally. Since then, she has been my patient at the high-risk pregnancy clinic at Hadassah, and I accompanied her and Asaf throughout their journey. We treated her pregnancy with great sensitivity and did everything to ensure that Talia and her baby remained healthy.”


“This week, I had the honour of delivering Talia’s baby at Hadassah Ein Kerem – the hospital where, 15 years ago, she was healed. It was an amazing closure to the circle,” Dr. Cabiri says with excitement. “Only after the birth, did I tell her and her family that I had been part of the efforts to save her life 15 years ago.”


“It was an emotional surprise for everyone. The family were simply amazed by this incredible coincidence, and they said that it explains the connection between Talia and the doctor who had accompanied her all the way. It’s always moving, with every new birth at Hadassah’s Maternity Ward,” he adds. “But with Talia and Asaf, there’s an additional dimension, beyond the successful pregnancy and healthy birth. Their sweet son symbolises her strength and her determination to overcome the challenges that they both faced. I’m truly grateful to have been a part of their dream of building a family. It’s a true privilege.”


Talia sums up her experience with heartfelt emotion, saying, “Dr. Cabiri was there during my most challenging moments. In a second, I connected with him, and it was amazing to discover that he was a part of the human chain that worked to save me during my childhood. Today we’re leaving Hadassah as a family, and we thank Dr. Cabiri, the amazing Hadassah team, and everyone who helped along the way, supporting us for the most significant moments in our lives.”


Editor’s Notes


An excerpt from a story originally published in the Israel National News.


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