Southfield Rabbi Among CNN Global Hero Finalist


SOUTHFIELD — Rabbi Elimelech Goldberg has been chosen by CNN as one of the 10 finalists for the Global Hero competition, a contest giving him a chance to win $125,000 for his charity, Kids Kicking Cancer.

“We are looking for 1 million people to follow our children and vote,” says Goldberg of Southfield. “In 3.9 minutes and 0 cents, you can help a child with cancer. When the children see the world learning from their power, they have less pain.”

 The public is invited to vote daily on the website, and whoever receives the most votes wins $125,000 for their charity. Voting ends November 16.

Goldberg lost his 2-year-old daughter to leukemia in 1981. He founded the nonprofit, Kids Kicking Cancer in 1999, which helps children battle serious illnesses by using martial arts to manage pain during treatment. Kids Kicking Cancer has provided free classes and support for 5,000 children and their families.

Kids Kicking Cancer caters to the whole family, not just the child diagnosed with cancer, Goldberg says.

The CNN website features a video of Haley Wallace telling the story of how she got help from Kids Kicking Cancer after she was diagnosed with a tumor behind her eye last year. The 9-year-old used to run for the door when doctors attempted to administer her treatment. Through Goldberg’s program, Haley learned to control her fear and pain.

“The way I breathe in the light is, I think of all the happy thoughts,” says Haley. “And then the way I breathe out the darkness is I think of the bad thoughts and blow them away,” says Haley, who recently completed chemotherapy. “I do have the power to make the pain go away.”

Haley  lives with her grandmother, who developed breast cancer, and her grandfather, who soon after, had to be treated for cancer in his face. A few months later, when Haley was diagnosed with a tumor behind her eye, she turned to Kids Kicking Cancer to help her through her treatments.

Kids Kicking Cancer has expanded its programs to New York, California, and Florida. It also has programs in Italy, Israel, and Canada. 

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