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Giving Hope To
The Ailing Young
Kids Kicking Cancer founder Rabbi Goldberg
honored as his organization grows.
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Special to The Jewish News
Call today for a free
rendan Shanahan keeps a
photograph inside his locker.
Before he sets out on the ice,
before he even thinks of
another Red Wings victory, Shanahan
gazes at the picture. He tells his friends:
"It keeps everything in perspective."
The photograph shows another
Brendan — this one a little boy. He was
5 1 i, when he was diagnosed with cancer,
and he died less than four years later.
Five days before Brendan Filzek died,
he celebrated one of the best days of his
life. With many of his friends, especially
Brendan Shanahan, little Brendan
received his black belt in karate through
Kids Kicking Cancer, founded by
Southfield resident Rabbi Elimelech
It might surprise some that a busy
sports star would be interested in one lit-
tle boy. It didn't surprise Rabbi
Goldberg. Shanahan was close with
Brendan Filzek, the rabbi says. He spoke
with him regularly. He made frequent
trips to the Filzek home, a more-than-
40-minute drive each way.
Then there's Red Wing captain Steve
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"Steve Yzerman is alwys visiting the
kids," Rabbi Goldberg says. And [fellow
Wing: Mathieu Schneider told me,
`Here's my cell number. Call me when-
ever you need me.'''
In fact, that's how all the Detroit Red
Wings are, Rabbi Goldberg says. They're
heroes. And it has nothing to do with
Rabbi Goldberg was himself honored
as a hero last week when the Berkley-
based McCarty Cancer Foundation pre-
sented him with its Humanitarian of the
Year award for his work with KKC,
which the rabbi founded in 2001.
Rabbi Goldberg, national director of
KKC, created the organization to help
children with life-threatening illnesses
gain control of their lives and maintain
optimism. KKC uses such techniques as
mental imagery and relaxation, taught
through the medium of the martial arts,
to help children of all ages, races and
"Sloan-Kettering [Cancer Center] is
doing a study to see whether this pro-
gram affects the quality of these chil-
dren's lives," Rabbi Goldberg says. "We
already know it affects the quality."
The rabbi's goal: "We want the chil-
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Rabbi Elimelech Goldberg, his mother, Gertrude Goldberg, and wife, Ruthie,
at the McCarty award ceremony.