H ey, Jr. Readers,

Lucky me, I’m privileged enough to have another conversation with Avi and this time, as soon as I tell him we’re planning an issue for the Jr. Chanukah magazine, he knows which topic he wants to discuss.

“Chanukah is a time when we all publicize the nissim that Hashem did for the Jews,” he says. “I want to talk about my decision to share my story and my life so publically.”

“That sounds perfect,” I say.

I’m sure many of you readers have marveled over how brave Avi and his family are for sharing their stories, thoughts, and personal lives with thousands of kids from around the world. Maybe you’ve wondered how he feels about being so famous or why he chose to open up about his life so publically. I know that as a writer who often uses pseudonyms, I’ve marveled over Avi’s choice many times.

So now I ask him: “What made you decide to go so public with your story?” 

My Story

“On the day I was diagnosed,” Avi says, “from one minute to the next my situation became critical. My parents knew that the only way to keep me alive was by having as many people as possible daven for me. Without thinking twice, they sent my name out around the world, begging people to please say Tehillim on my behalf. A few weeks later, by the time my situation stabilized, my name and story had already been so publicized, there was no way we could decide to keep it a secret. We realized then, that by sharing my story we could offer so much chizuk to others.”

At that time, Avi tells me, his parents also went to speak to a rav who advised Avi to write about his story.

“The rav meant that I should journal my thoughts and experiences in a way that would be therapeutic for me,” Avi says, “But it also showed me how much I could do for others if I shared my story.”

So Avi began to write and to share and by now his story has impacted so many people.

Helping Others, The Avi Way

As I’m sure our readers could easily understand, Avi’s story has touched the hearts of countless people and has given much needed chizuk to so many people facing challenges.

“I made friends with kids who have cancer, who read my articles before they even got sick,” Avi says. “When they get their diagnosis, they remember me, and they and their parents call us for advice and chizuk.”

He shares stories of people going through all kinds of difficult situations who reach out to the Newhouses.

“My mother spends hours on the phone talking to people,” he says. “From reading my stories, they know how much we’ve been through and they feel comfortable talking to us.”

“So that’s why you chose to publicize your story?” I ask Avi. “To give people chizuk?”

“Absolutely,” Avi declares. “If I help even one person with my story, then it’s all worth it.” (Excerpted from Mishpacha Jr., Issue 689)