A nyone who knows Shimi Gesheid, the CEO of Rachshei Lev, established in 1989 as a national support center for children with cancer and their families, knows he leaves no stone unturned to make a wish come true.

Fourteen-year-old Emilee Amber of Modiin can testify to that. Born weighing only 1 pound and 12 ounces, she was diagnosed in the first grade with a rare form of cancer. Since then, she has undergone chemotherapy, a bone marrow transplant and other treatments overseas to battle the aggressive disease.

Emilee’s hobby is to be photographed with famous people, something the well-connected Gesheid has often been able to oblige. Just recently, Gesheid facilitated Emilee’s “photo op” with Prime Minister Netanyahu and his wife Sara.

When Emilee learned that President Trump was coming to Israel, she asked Gesheid if he could arrange a meeting for her with the president. Gesheid relayed the request, although his contacts warned him to play down Emilee’s expectations. The president would only be in Israel for 26-hours and his every minute was booked.

Gesheid refused to take no for an answer.

He wrote directly to the White House and was pleasantly surprised to receive a reply asking for more details and references. Following a Secret Service background check, Gesheid and Emilee received a formal invitation to be the president’s special guests during his appearance at the Israel Museum, where they could meet following his address.

Last Tuesday was Emilee’s big day. Gesheid and Emilee passed through the security checks at the museum, and were given a red wristband. When Emilee asked what this signified, a Secret Service agent informed her that people with red bands could penetrate the president’s personal security coterie and get close enough to converse with him.

Following Trump’s speech, Gesheid and Emilee were escorted to a back room, entering almost simultaneously with Trump, who came in through a different direction. After shaking hands, the president asked Emilee: “Tell me about yourself.”

Emilee briefly described her illness, the suffering she has endured, her setbacks, and her progress. She handed the president a handwritten card she’d made and read the inscription she wrote, which said, in part: “Dear Mister President. Welcome to Israel. It’s an honor to meet you in our country. I will be glad to sit with you for a business meeting…”

President Trump thanked Emilee and promised to look at the drawing en route to his next stop in Rome.

Before the president left, Gesheid approached and told the president more about the work his organization does in providing a range of activities for young cancer patients hospitalized at the Cancer Center at Sheba Medical Center – Tel Hashomer in Ramat Gan. As Gesheid was speaking, Prime Minister Netanyahu and his wife Sara entered the room. “Shalom, Emilee,” Sara said.

“Let’s take a picture,” said President Trump, and an official photographer from the Government Press Office was summoned.

“It was nice to meet you,” Trump said to Emilee, after the pictures were taken.

“Thank you, Mr. President,” replied Emilee.

A beaming Emilee took the return trip to Tel Hashomer where she will continue the battle for her life, while a deeply moved President Trump carried on fighting his own upcoming battles. (Originally featured in Mishpacha, Issue 662 – Special Shavuos Edition 2017)