Monday, December 12, 2011

PM Netanyahu helps restore Facebook page for 5 year old Aviel Beckman

(via Jpost). five-year-old Chaim Aviel Beckman of Karmiel,Chaim Aviel found out earlier this year that he suffers from a rare blood disorder called Fanconi anemia, for which he urgently needs a bone marrow transplant, as his own fails to produce blood cells. To find a match – as none was found among his two little sisters or in the Israeli donor system – approximately 20,000 blood tests needed to be conducted, at a cost of NIS 170 each, or about NIS 3.5 million in total.

Chaim Aviel has about a year of life left if he simply continues with his pill regimen.

His mother’s friend Yochi decided that this urgent problem could only be solved with something as powerful as the world’s most ubiquitous social networking tool – Facebook.

Yochi launched a Facebook page on the boy’s behalf – a Facebook page that became Beckman’s “hope,” her lifeblood, and has accumulated over 25,000 “likes” and more than NIS 350,000 in contributions.

But all that mysteriously vanished on Thursday, as the Facebook page suddenly disappeared from the Internet, and carried Beckman’s hopes away with it.

But on Thursday evening, Channel 2 aired a report on Chaim Aviel’s case and the disappearance of the Facebook page, and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was watching.

“The prime minister was very much moved by what happened and he instructed me to contact Facebook in the United States, and ask them to do what they can to restore the page,” the Prime Minister’s Office director of new media, Eitan Eliram, told the Post.

A national government has a much greater ability to get in contact with the powers-thatbe at Facebook than an individual, he explained. With the help of the Israeli Embassy new media team in Washington, the government was able to accomplish just that about six hours later.

“The team there understood how important it was to restore the page, because it was the boy’s life,” Eliram said.

“Psychologically, [Beckman’s] entire hope to save her son was connected to the Facebook,” he continued. “Once this page was removed or vanished, her hope was gone – because she thought in some way it might be a sign that she would lose her son.”

The page had presumably disappeared due to a technical glitch, according to Eliram, and he was uncertain whether Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was directly involved with the fix. But Beckman was shocked when the page returned and expressed her gratitude that the prime minister became personally involved. She likened the return of her son’s page to the day in October when Netanyahu returned Gilad Schalit to his family – in this way, he was also taking a step to bring her own son back.

“He’s like a magician,” Beckman said.

Yochi added, “The return of the page brought her happiness.

She is really a new person.”

Since the return of the page, the cause has gained an additional 1,200 “likes.”

Watch PM Netanyahu's Meeting with Aviel