100 – IDF Ret. Major General Doron Almog: Lost His Son With Autism & Was The Force Behind Creating Aleh-Negev in Southern Israel
In this 100th episode of the Special Fathers Network Dad to Dad Podcast, we are both honored and pleased to welcome a truly exceptional father, Doron Almog, retired Major General, Israel Defense Forces. Doron is a truly heroic figure in his native Israel. During his 34-year military career he was involved in dozens of high level missions including the legendary rescue of the 105 Jewish Air France hostages from the Entebbe, Uganda airport in 1976.
Doron and his wife Didi have been married 42 years and are the proud parents of three children: one of whom Eran, was born with Autism and who passed away at age 23 in 2007. In Eran’s honor, Doron lead the creation of Aleh-Negev Nahalat Eran, a $50m state-of-the-art rehabilitation village, where 145 people with special needs lead a life of happiness and dignity. Through all of this Doron has maintained a positive attitude towards life. He calls his son Eran ”My Greatest Teacher.” And the motto he lives by? To be: “Less Selfish, More Humble and Less Arrogant.” It’s an incredible story and we’re proud to be sharing it with you.
To find out about Aleh Negev go to https://aleh.org
Dad to Dad 100 – IDF Ret. Major General Doron Almog: Lost His Son With Autism & Was The Force Behind Creating Aleh-Negev in Southern Israel
Major General Doron Almog: Despite the sadness and tragedy and the body and the software understand that this is a huge test. And in this test, I think the highest value which we need to be committed. Is love, loving your child, loving ill, disabled.
Tom Couch: Hello, and welcome to the special father’s network. Dan to dad podcast. I’m the show’s producer, Tom Couch.
And this is a milestone episode for a number of reasons. First of all, it’s our hundredth episode. We’re privileged to share inspiring stories of dads and families who have met the challenges associated with raising a child. Or children with special needs. Secondly, for this 100th episode, we’re both honored and pleased to welcome a truly exceptional father.
Doron Almo retired major general Israel defense forces. Doron is a truly heroic figure in his native Israel. During his 34 year military career, he was involved in dozens of high level missions, including the legendary rescue of 105 air France hostages from the Entebbe Uganda airport in 1976. It’s terrorist for the Palestinian cause hijacked air France flight one 39 from Telaviv to Paris and ordered it to land it.
And Tevye Uganda. This is Eric Shawn from Fox news. We held more than 100 hostages and the old airport terminal under the guns of 80. I means army had threatened to execute them. Almost 53. Palestinian militants were released from presence. Israeli commandos in four Hercules transport planes flew 2000 positive miles from Israel on the dark of night after landing the Israeli convoy into Jeeps and a Mercedes painted to look like a means, sped to the terminal, all but four horses. You just were saved. And one Israeli commando in that raid Doron was the first on the ground. And the last to leave, he also fought in the Yom Kippur war and commanded a clandestine airlift of 7,000 Jews from Ethiopia to Israel. The list goes on.
In addition to leading a meritorious military career. He was also presented with the Israeli prize for lifetime achievement considered to be Israel’s highest honor, but that’s not why we’re talking to Daron today. We’re talking to him because he’s a truly inspirational father and outspoken advocate for all of those with disabilities. Doron and his wife DD have been married 42 years and are the proud parents of three children.
Oldest daughter needs on 41 youngest child daughter. Shoham born in 1991. Very sadly died at age one month from a heart condition and middle brother, Aaron who had autism and also passed away at age 23 in 2007. I was second child was born 1984, Ron Elmo from his Ted talk.
Major General Doron Almog: I gave him the name of my brother that was killed in the war and expect. Did them to be better than us more successful, more talented, a source of pride at the age of eight months, he was diagnosed and DD, my wife and me were told by the psychologist you sign is having a combination. Autism and retardation probably it will never speak. Probably it was mentally stay child forever.
That was a shock.
Tom Couch: Upon retiring from the military. And what the belief that all people, no matter their abilities be treated with love and respect Doron led the creation of ally negative, a $50 million state of the art rehabilitation village with 150 residents that also serves more than 500 others with intellectual and developmental disabilities, as well as complex medical conditions.
Most remarkably Aleh-Negev is staffed by and serves Jews, Muslims, and Christians.
Major General Doron Almog: Aleh-Negev is a village specially built for population of, uh, people with special needs people like our son. Well passed away. And as metal effect was the greatest professor of my life through all of this.
Doron has maintained a positive attitude towards life. He calls his son, Aaron, my greatest teacher and the motto he lives by to be less selfish, more humble and less arrogant. Ilana was son has never said even one word, even dead.
And deeply influential my life by his presence. By setting my own understanding about my limitation, both my human sensitivity, about the nature of our relationship is. People as human beings. So let’s hear the story of dieron almo told in his conversation with David Hirsch excerpts from the General’s TEDx talk and other interviews as well.
Here now is David Hirsch.
David Hirsch: We’ll be talking today with my friend, legendary Doron Almm. Of NES Zonea Israel, a father of three children, grandfather of four, and a retired major general in the Israeli defense forces. Darren, thank you for taking the time to do a podcast interview for the Special Fathers Network.
Major General Doron Almog: Thanks to David.
David Hirsch: You and your wife. Katie had been married for 42 years and of the proud grandparents of four, as well as parents of three. A daughter, it’s Sam 41, your younger brother, Iran who had autism and passed away in 2007 at age 23 and youngest child daughter Shaham who sadly passed away in 1991 a month, just a month ago after her birth due to an injury to an arbitrary in her heart.
Let’s start with some background. Where did you grow up? Tell me something about your family.
Major General Doron Almog: I born here in Israel in 1951, born to Israeli parents. My mom born 1929, my father and I didn’t when he seven, both under the British mandate and both had one grim one day. Do I have a Jewish state? So for them the greatest experience was it.
The independent war fighting the independent war, which started November 29, 1947, and a metal effect. And that merged 49 may 15, 1948, the last British soldier left Palestine. And that, that is the greatest victory ever. May 14, 1948. That was the declaration of the state of Israel York city. In may of 48.
United nations laws have established Palestine as a free and independent state to be known as Israel.
My friend’s generation lost 6001% of the population at that time. And they gave us the state of Israel. And, uh, along my childhood, along my education, there was one living integrative idea that the most precious thing ever in our world is the state of Israel is the Jewish state for this Jewish state. We need to be ready to sacrifice our life.
We need to be ready. To fight and maybe give our, our lives, uh, for protecting this country. The only Jewish state in the world. And to be good people. There were secular, my mom’s still alive. She’s 91. She’s still with us. She has crystal clear. She has a, I run more than I run strong and yeah. And, uh, even in this Corona virus period, and, um, we were four children.
I’m the elder one, born 51. Three years after me May 1st 53, 1953. My second brother, Ron was killed later in the young couple war when he was 20 years old, 1973, the young people I liked her and another brother is now 61. And I have another brother is that you will be at the end of this year. It will be 50.
So there are 19 news between us. Oh my gosh. My little brother, my little brother is still staying with my mom. I told him is living on the second floor. I say that the greatest challenge of my parents was the independent fool. The second challenge was the 1973. when my brother was killed. Despite being bereaved family, they decided my friend, they decided that the other children should continue serving the IDF NATO, defense forces being combat soldiers.
And ready to give their life. They were asked no. Before the race twin debit, I was the famous red to rescue 105 Israeli. Also this, before this raid, the bottom of the brigade commander asked me to be nominated. I did, uh, uh, the commander of their reconnaissance unit and has special forces. And then he said you are bereaved family.
I don’t know how I can give you the most risky job in the power brigade. I want to send you first to every mission behind enemy lines. And I don’t know if I have the power to go to a burden. If you are killed in action. I told him go. Now we came to my parents’ house and told them, your son is the best company commander.
I want to give him the reconnaissance unit. Why did you say this? Said both of them said you can send the run to every mission. You know, Isaac sacrifice in the Bible is not only in the Bible. It’s in my home. Well, my parents, my parents told him you can send around to every mission, every mission, any place first and don’t care about us.
We know how to face it. We lost Iran. I was second child in the young people. War was a, I’m a Lieutenant commander at the seven brigade fighting in Nicola nights. We know out to face bereavement. And, uh, we lost many of our friends. This country is precious for us. It’s the most precious thing for Jews, for us.
So given the mission, if you trust him, give him the mission, but he gave me the mission.
David Hirsch: Darren, I want to go back cause I want to learn a little bit about your dad. Um, that was a very powerful statement.
Major General Doron Almog: The
David Hirsch: importance of the state of Israel. Um, and being able to sacrifice and put their children their most precious possessions, if you will, um, in danger, right.
That’s just how important the, um, independence for the state of Israel is. So, uh, that’s an amazing testimony to the a will and strength and focus of your parents. I’m sort of curious to know what did your dad do for a living.
Major General Doron Almog: During the, the independent flow, it was signaler in there. Givati brigade, a fighter, the fighter and signaler.
I have pictures of my dad and mom before my father moving to Jerusalem corridor, you know, Jerusalem was under siege, surrounded by Arabs. Jordanian armies. It was sewage, no water, no food in Jerusalem for the Jewish population. And, uh, there was only one corridor. And from time to time, um, idea of a convoy.
Arrived to Jerusalem food with water, with ammunition, which supplied. So, and, and, and yeah, and you know, every operation moving through Jerusalem in this corridor, every operation was a battle in every battle. They lost 10, nine, 15. So every week, every week they lost friends. That very difference. Continue fighting.
Wow. This generation. Yeah. The generation of my friend is a generation didn’t didn’t cry. I I’ve never seen my parents crying. They buried their friends. Continue fighting. Very dear friends continued fighting
David Hirsch: after the war. What does your dad do is knock occupation. What was his business?
Major General Doron Almog: It was a electrician.
It was a, well, he got a lab. It was signaling. Larry is in a military service and later his business. Also in high school, we study electronic ultra engineer, electronic engineer. My father had a store. He sold a radio television. And Danna, loudspeakers, amplifiers high fire systems. That was his business. So
David Hirsch: how would you describe your relationship with your dad?
What type of relationship did you have with your dad?
Major General Doron Almog: Very close now? Well, it was, uh, I would define my, my father is the best friend. We were very closed. We spoke free about everything it born here in, in, in Israel. And it was very cynic by his, um, his character, um, very brave, very wise. And I think while the way of, of their generation, my generation to face the, the horrors of, uh, of the independence for losing friends.
I was laughing, laughing at the face of the desk. Wow. So, so many black jokes, black jokes about, uh, about this, about, uh, Very French and, uh, uh, that many cynic songs, the greatest victory of the independent war gave them a lot of confidence, a lot of confidence because there were very few against many, but, uh, they give the Holocaust survivors, the feeling that they are not at the same level.
They are not
David Hirsch: So, uh, you talked a little bit about your military career earlier, and I know that, uh, there’s a lot of stories you could tell, but the one that really resonated with me. Was recounting the situation around the fact that you and your brother were in the young Kapore war in 1973. And he was fighting in the Golan Heights and you were fighting in the South.
Major General Doron Almog: And that was
David Hirsch: a very difficult period of time. Can you recount that situation, the conversation you have with your
Major General Doron Almog: mom? Uh, at the end. Yeah. The room along the wall, the room was said both of us were killed, uh, on October 16, 1973. My friends were announced on, on the loss of my brother in the battle of the golden Knights against the Syrian more, they didn’t know about me.
And at the end of the war, I ride two telephone call home. My mom raised a telephone. And then my first question was, what about Iran? My brother, she said, we lost Iran. We have no Iran anymore. And, uh, I came home. There was no Shiva, you know what? Go, according to Jewish custom, after someone. Um, is dying pass away.
You should bury an seed seven days. This is the Jewish customs, six, seven days. This is a morning costume. There were no. Shiva after the young people wore there, they were all nearly 3000 of our boys who fell in the battles of young people, war buried in temporary cemeteries, seven temporary cemeteries, all over Israel.
And the funeral happened about 11 months later. When, when I arrived home, there was no Shiva. There was no one moon, you know, we’ll be continued fighting. We continue battling. Then I learned to know the details of his last battle. It was short by certain things from a range of about 50 meters. It was drone outside from the tank.
He was hit on his left leg and bleeding. The other tree stayed inside and burnt inside the tank, but he could be saved. If someone came to him and foot bandage on his left leg, it could be saved. No one arrived. It was left behind we in military, we say never live the soul. The one that beyond never lived soldier beyond you would lift beyond seven days.
And I was raging. I was frustrated. That was a crazy from sorrow and frustration. And, um, I found myself running, shout his name. And, um, and I was very angry on the way that, uh, his friends have continued fighting continue moving forward. Well, without getting back to evacuate my brother, this is something which doesn’t represent the spirit of the unit that I was indoctrinated.
The spirit in my unit never lived. The one that beyond never live, be read family. We are United United withstand. Whatever happened every better. So this is something which is very much, I’m not representing the spirit of the idea of what happened to my brother. How was angry for many is I wrote about it.
I get many of you and spoke about it. So right. About six months ago, October, October. 2019 46 years after the young people walk first time about 10 soldiers from his company, arrived to the Memorial Chamonix and came to our house. And then now I’m promised by the later soldiers to come and visit now the village which we built for our son.
They promised me to come and visit. And studied the legacy of my brother, our son, Iran. And, you know, in one sentence, the legacy is never lived. The one that beyond is a as metal effect, my life is dedicated to this legacy. Never lived the wounded beyond, do everything which is needed. To take the weakest members in our society forward, give them a hope.
And a, you know, we live in is after the young people will, our second child was born and shortly after his bus, We learned that the software from a combination of autism and retardation and this child has never spoken. One word, never said that, never said Abba never made eye contact. And he is the greatest professor of my life.
He told me more than anyone about myself, about our society, about commitment, about the place of the weakest members in our society. Those who are fully dependent in other people power and as metaphors, correct? He became something like a huge echo box of my bleeding brother. No, from one side, my 35 years service is for his legacy.
Is for my own, to my bleeding brother to continue sharing my, my country and do whatever is needed to never ever leave. The one that soldier and later I was child became United with the spirit of my bleeding brother became one. Well,
David Hirsch: you named your son after your stead brother, right? Iran. So that was a.
Out of respect and a testimony to your brother and, um, your relationship with them. And I’m sort of curious to know before Iran was born, did you or DD have any connection to the special needs community?
Major General Doron Almog: No, not only, no, but more than that at my parents’ house, the silver plater generation, they didn’t consider it.
The disabled community they didn’t consider because disabled cannot be fighters disabled. The, you know, the term disabled, it’s not the right term. When I grew up at dome and we move near Institute of severely disabled. Excuse me for the, using the word retarded, mentally disabled children. My burn said that’s that place of retarded.
They are not part of our society. They are not part of the ethos of the Sabra of the fighter. Donald by Bob, the DP or they’ll, or the pride of the state of Israel, they will never bring no Nobel prize or defend. The country will be a lawyer or engineer or whatever. Yeah, nothing. So as a matter of fact, I don’t know how much they, they told about it.
But as a matter of fact, what if concept that, which they represented was racist concept. You know, it was the most powerful statement. Is a statement of my son, the child who has never spoken one word, the most powerful statement from year four, my belly shouting from insight. My dear father. I’m left behind flight two and debit to save 105 Israeli hostages.
But I’m Austin from birth, unable to do anything by my power. My dear father, you discriminate people like me. You put children like me, put them overseas. You’d take children like me, put them in Institute, which is. We did wast in a jail, stinky, horrible places, surrounded or envelope by thick walls. Shame and stigma and not, no one wanted to know about, about them.
So they were discriminated and, uh, and many burns in Israel, you know, that was something. It was a secret associate secret under the carpet. Yeah. You know, you know, Galderma has never spoken about the mayor, the granddaughter, you got alone, a great warrior and major down never spoke about no, it’s his daughter, even Ben Gurion.
Didn’t speak about oui. Is a grandson. So at the certain point of my life, when I went to commando, they really Southern command. This population in Israel, severely disabled Leica was done, uh, bounded by special education, low say we had the state, the physio recognized them only at age three, the word diagnosis that appear in the low.
So our son was diagnosed, diagnosed at the age of seven months. From age of seven months, you need psychologist advice. You need drugs, you need medication, you need the group support. You get nothing you’re by yourself. The other side of the upper side of the law, especially location law is the 21, the blood 21.
What does it say you got formal letter from Israeli ministry of education saying, dude, the Ron and DDO sandwich, 21, you won’t be able to continue studying any longer in special education that it’s, it’s up to you do whatever you want find solution does matter that you, it was difficult to raise him from birth to 21.
And you are software aging. You will, elderly does matter what you . Now you’re your bio cell. We decided. To fight the bureaucracy to fight this stigma, the stereotype, and to change Israel society.
This is Darren Elmo from his Ted inside me. I continue hearing the sound of my child, my dear father, wake up. I’m the Austin in our society, unable, able to do anything by my power. Will you fight for me? Will you change our society? Will you give me a hope? And we decided to fight for him. We decided to love him, never to be ashamed for him and like him.
We’ve built the village a wonderful place. A paradise, not anymore isolated Institute, surrounded by walls of silence, but Raider social from unity center.
We thought that, uh, one day we would bus away and we always worry. Woo. And how we’ll continue managing Iran’s life. And our worry, both us to visualize Alana a village for severely disabled people, 21 and over full life span that would be living here in this village. And this place for them will be the whole board.
So we decided not only to give them a full life span solution, place of paradise, this, that the best education system as Guild system, the best social life and the Damon, you know, that the best for everything. But we decided also to change Israel society. To find the bureaucracy to find the stereotype and the stigma.
Yeah. Defy the pledget, dies and to break down the walls of discrimination and tell Israel society, they are equal people like me and you. We just did a split second. We can find out what’s not in the same situation after stroke or accidental sport, accidental road accident though. So are we, we want to be treated if.
We lose power. We want to be treated. We are all equal by the same rights. We are not equal by the same capacity, by the same power. But it’s the rating from my point of view, that strongest in our society understand that you, yeah, we are all as temporary creature and we come one day will pass away on the other.
Yeah, and we need to set the meaningful life for ourself. We need to get proportion. We need to be humble. We need not to be arrogant about our strengths and capacity, and we need to understand that the highest test ever social test ever is about supporting the weakest in our society.
The amazing aspects of the ally gov story are the volunteers of all ages from all over the world that come to LA Negev to join in their mission. So that’s what I tried to lead here in Israel by a special program, a special program together with Israel ministry of education. And the main motto of this program is volunteering.
Volunteering in this coronavirus period, we succeeded to bring youngsters at the age of 17 and 18 to volunteer at special need children, volunteering to assist those who are at the first line of the battle against the coronavirus. And, you know, I did a zoom conversation with about 80 youngsters, 17 years old with their parents.
And I asked them to come to Institute, which suffered from 27 patients and walkers from coronavirus. I had told them you got strong immune system. Common nettle bus. Otherwise it blue collects the Institute will collect the walkers who are runaway you strong. You must do it like my mom in 46 and 47, finding the Palestinian here.
And as a youngster and the stronger now society, you must step forward to the front bedroom. Uh, fighting the grownup virus and strengthening the walkers and stuff in special needs and nursing home Institute held them. We’ll give you the PPE, the personal protective equipment. We’ll give you the testing.
Every five days, testing will do everything to protect your life, but you are strong and they came
David Hirsch: that’s very impressive.
Major General Doron Almog: Age group came for two weeks, dirty youngsters, 17 years old, 18 years old boys and girls. They came together. How wonderfully action they do. Oh, what the personnel example, they showed to Israel society and they allow us to stand told, fighting this Corona virus battle and, uh, and, and, and feeling great.
After this victory, it’s a great victory.
Not only as LA nugget community, for those with special needs. It’s also a rehabilitation center for all Israelis living in the South of Israel. Alana is unique by the concept of it’s not Institute social community center. What does it mean? Social community center? Social community center. Number one, we integrate the severely disabled with ordinary society.
Outcome. Number one, we do rehabilitation together. We do rehabilitation to 160 resident of this village, but also at the same place and the same centers, rehabilitation centers, we give treatment to all the Israeli population we’re living in South of Israel, soldiers, high tech members, religious, not religious Muslims.
All about 1 million people living in South of Israel and 60% of the land of Israel. So we are the rehabilitation center. We have a contract with the all Israeli age demos and ministry of defense. So ministry of defense paid for soldiers. And the, of most bang for his insurance for four days, really residential living in South of Israel.
So if you are wounded by Fort, uh, accidental or road, accidental, woke, accidental stroke or other disease, you need rehabilitation. Even after the coronavirus, you need rehabilitation because of brain damage or muscle brain damage or lax damage. Yes, we do the rehabilitation. We are paid the soldiers arriving off the battle, the suffering, a bullet in the Lego head though, losing ability to move.
I’ll just speak. So we, we have and physiotherapy and communication therapy and music therapy and horse riding to be. No, we have about 12 different treatment. And we do together together with severely disabled residents, like our son and more. And we’re
David Hirsch: rebuilding is number one rehabilitation for everybody, not only the severely disabled, but people like you and I right.
Which you’d said earlier, I always say this where a heartbeat or a step away. From experiencing disability, it could happen to any one of us.
Major General Doron Almog: Anyone.
David Hirsch: The point you made was this, this is not just for the severely disabled, although you do have 160 residents, they’re integrated in with people that are coming and going with all the different types of injuries and experiences they’ve had.
Major General Doron Almog: So all we do, you know, the social community, that idea in a social community center, number one, doing rehabilitation together. No normal population and severely disabled from birth from a genetic problem. Number one, rehabilitation. Number two education. We have ordinary kindergarten, ordinary kindergarten teaching their children from age one out to accept those who aren’t privileged.
How to treat them not to be arrogant, to assist them to love them is number two, education number three, volunteers in a Lenaghan. We have about 800 volunteers. We have 500 walkers and about 800 volunteers. Now I spoke, I spoke before about the value of volunteers and the added value for our volunteers to society.
And the strengths of society, but, uh, I can tell you that in respect of, uh, medication and health services on each Walker, I have about two volunteers assisting him. Now think about the manpower, you know, they’re volunteers, but we coach them. We grant them, we indoctrinate them. We prepare them to walk. And this, um, uh, profession, each one different profession, it could be a hydrotherapy, physiotherapy communication therapy and more.
So we go to them, prepare them and just become the best ambassadors for Israel society. For, you know, I learned to give is, is utopian. Society, we’re moving Jews and Christians together. I have volunteers from 12 different countries, including Germany and all, and then United States and Australia and Guatemala and Taiwan and Peru, and people arriving.
Some of them arriving for one month. They want to. Yeah, it’s unbelievable and believable. They stay with us. They love the place. They love disabled people. They understand that the blocking with disabled give them proportion, make them better people. And, uh, and some of the volunteers from Germany, they are grandchildren of the NAZA is they come and say, my God, when father killed Jews, my migrants at the SS kill Jews in Auschwitz and Birkenau in doco.
And the destruction comes. They come, they give testimony, video testimony, they cry, they, and they say, we come for a tournament. We come for a tournament on the murder of 6 million Jews. decision to kill the disabled first. I don’t know if you’re aware, but a September 1st, 1939 second world war started at the same day was signed by himself by his signature that the default Octavia is ordered, signed by Hitler to shift psychiatric centers all over Germany.
Two small concentration camps gather they’re severely disabled. They’re retarded. They’re handicapped and killed them first by small guest chambers. So we have Christians from Germany, born in Germany, you know, it’s amazing what a testimony they do in Atlanta. They do video every week. They do video. Some of them from organization module five, module five is the opposite idea of March of this during second world war, the March of flight organization.
They send volunteers. They also donate money and they come for adornment. So volunteers is, is great idea. Volunteering is the main educator educating us. You know, if you want to be educated, you need to do it every day. Yeah, you study new language. If you don’t use it, you’ll forget. If you think that the most important thing is being human being walk with human beings and that disabled people can educate us how to be better people.
David Hirsch: Nick Gav is, um, rehabilitation. Education. Yeah,
Major General Doron Almog: volunteering. And we have another thing visits every day. We have every day about 100 people visiting. Every day, every day we teach people, they could be minister, they could be prime minister. They could be iTech member. They could be from university, from Academy, a tourist from a United States.
No Canada, Australia. We have a week mass of tourists arriving to Atlanta that, you know, they, they say this is the most moving place in Israel. When you many things about this, we had many things about Israel, but the most moving is a nuggets. Well, I,
David Hirsch: I want, I want you to make a commitment, uh, Durand. When I come back to visit Israel, I was there a year ago, January.
That you’ll give me a tour of all OD Negev.
Major General Doron Almog: Absolutely. We’ll do it.
David Hirsch: Well, thank you for explaining the organization. I think I heard you quoted previously as saying that Olena gov is a social and TBI. What
Major General Doron Almog: did you mean by that? I mean, we flew to debit to save 105 Israeli hostages. The disabled are hostages in our society.
Well, those who fully dependent in other people, power, that they know that they can’t dress by themselves. They can eat by themselves. They can wash themselves, they can shave themselves. They are also just in our society that some of them can cannot speak. And please. Give me water, please. Um, wash me, please shave me.
Please take me out for nothing. There are hostages of our society, you know, giving a live, giving you hope, loving the disabled, looking at their eyes and try to understand what the face, what the eyes are saying and drive to serve them. Giving them a hope, getting a better life. Some of it is trial and error.
Those who cannot speak. So, yeah, you’re okay. You give him, you give him water it drive to, you know, to give him the water. You see how we react. If you do the labs. Okay, you continue. Is it trial and error? Many things we do by trial error because some of disabled people cannot speak, but you need to look at them and ask yourself some of the answer given by the technology.
By computers. Yes, we, we, we do it for installation, uh, by the way, uh, uh, one of the things which we build right now is a research center. We build the first rehabilitation hospital in South of Israel, but also we built a research center. We have a contract with the Ben Gurion university and also the Johns Hopkins university in United States.
Professor Joe crocodile. From Johns Hopkins university, we brought him to Alaina, Lenny, and he said, you must move forward. You’re you can be pioneers in a world of rehabilitation with, uh, people. We lost arms and legs with new methodology and new system for people after stroke, after brain damage. So what we do in Atlanta, again, we try to shorten the distance, the timeline, but when the concept right now, it assessed about 40 is at 40 is gap between the knowledge at the university and the patient on the ground.
So w we are challenging, not what South by, by the technology, by methodology, by knowledge about the idea to give better life, to give a home to families and patients and residential. Those. Who are defined as disabled and some of them severely disabled.
David Hirsch: Well I’m, I love the fact that, uh, you’re not just serving people, but you’re also doing research to help bridge that gap that you talked about.
And then shortener compress the amount of time it’s going to take,
Major General Doron Almog: to find solutions
David Hirsch: to improve the outcomes or to improve people’s livelihoods. You often talk about the 1% and the 99%.
Major General Doron Almog: Could you
David Hirsch: speak to that?
Major General Doron Almog: The number of severely disabled people in the world like I was on is about 1% big companies who are manufacturer drugs for mass of people, for cancer, for Alzheimer packing zone.
You know, that. Uh, diabetes, but for five, 5,000 people or less lesser number, you, you don’t make a research. You don’t develop anything. So, you know, for my son who passed away from Castleman disease, the Castleman disease, by the way, Castleman disease is something like, uh, the COVID-19, it destroyed the lungs.
I have a friend with doctor living in New York named David Feigenbaum. David Fagan is among about seven people suffering the Castleman disease, which our son pass away. Yeah. Why? One day, a few years ago, I got a telephone call from David . This is Dawn. This is David dr. David Fagan from New York. I suffer the Castleman disease as you son, but I defeat the cousin man five times.
And if I develop an SEO job to defeat the Castlemont, I want to name it after your son. I told him, David, you know, I wish you all the best, but, uh, you chance to succeed in defeat. The Castlemaine is very little because less than 5,000 people in the world, shopper ring, the Castleman disease do Google to David Feigenbaum.
Is it my friend in Facebook? Because he right now is if found. Many common line between the COVID-19 and the Castlemaine, anyone to develop it. But also this is the idea of the little, little population suffering, something which the others don’t see a market, they don’t market. So if there’s no market behind D the big sharks, big companies, there’s market.
So four, four little numbers. You don’t develop a new drug, a new technology, but what I’m saying that the 1% may be our educators. You can make us more sensitive, more humble, less selfish, better human beings and better society.
David Hirsch: Yeah. Well thank you for sharing. It’s very powerful. Um, just to paraphrase what you’ve said, which is that the 1% are teaching the 99%, right?
In your own words, to be more humble, less selfish and less arrogant. And you credit Iran, your son as your greatest professor. Right for helping you see that. And I’m wondering. If there’s any advice that you can provide a father who’s raising a son or daughter with autism or special needs for that matter, what advice would you give to somebody like that?
Major General Doron Almog: It’s my advice to fathers and parents love the disabled, the love autistic son. And you will be rewarded. I’m certain you will be rewarded. Maybe you, you, you don’t understand it’s first. Maybe you’ll curse sometime. Maybe you’ll curse. Maybe you’ll say why I’m curse. Why I got disabled son. Autistic son, why I’m not free.
Why I’m I’m in a prison of, of my commitment for him while I’m not, um, moving by, by myself forward and living in behind. So I’m saying, you know, life is what up into you when you have different plans and sometimes yeah. You plan to move at a, that. Right. Direction or left direction and something happen.
You lost someone in your family episode, something happened to you on all levels. You need to change life. So what I’m saying to burns, and yes, I understand you are chosen. You are chosen. To love your children to give them better life. By being a role model for fathers, you are, you’ll share all the community.
You save all the human beings. You serve society.
If you save one soul. You’ll save the world. There will work. So that’s it. This is, this is my statement for, for fathers for burns all over the world.
David Hirsch: If somebody wants to get information on Olena, gov, make a donation, volunteer or contact you, how would they go about doing that?
Major General Doron Almog: We have a website all written in the website.
There is my, the bank account and the organization www.aleh.org,oh, gee. The information there, agent.
Thank you Doron.
Thanks again. And good, David, thank you very much. All the best for all the fathers in the world, all the birds and above all the disabled, the disabled.
David Hirsch: Yep. Well, may God continue to bless the work that you do and the people of Allah and Alanna gov in particular. And I look forward to following up with you in the months and the years to come.
Major General Doron Almog: Thank you. Thank you, David.
Tom Couch: And now we’re going to conclude this 100th Special Fathers Network, dad to dad podcast with the closing words from general Doron Almog’s, Ted Talk.
Thanks for listening.
Major General Doron Almog: Tonight. Exactly. Tonight, February six, we count the passing of our love child is not anymore with us. It was living one wonderful year in the village that we built, specially for him, his spirit spread to every corner of the village. His spirit is here, but my heart I left the military has major journal for building this village for being his mouthpiece for changing our society.
Four continue fighting for him and like him until my last day.
A year ago, I was decorated by the highest award. The state of Israel can give to a citizen, the Israel prize for lifetime achievement. This price, this price should be given to him. Not to me. I’m only the messenger. He changed me. He made me a better human being, more humble, less selfish, less arrogant. In military, we decorate people and soldiers for bravery and courage, and I was social life. It seems to me the highest decoration a person can be given by the disabled, by the 1% children like him is the title, human being.