Sometimes a story highlights a triumphant recovery. This story has that… and so much more.
Meet Joshua Strahl. He’s a great guy. Fifty five years old, made Aliyah and is running a successful plumbing business in Beit Shemesh. Sweet, right? Well, five years ago Joshua danced with death that arrived in the form of an ultra-complex, open-heart surgery.
While in recovery, a nurse asked if he was interested in receiving a wheelchair so he could go and see the view from the window. It was a simple attempt to get him out of bed for the first time post-op. But Joshua took it as something else entirely.
For him it was a challenge (his first of many): Will I take what’s offered? What’s easy? Or will I push my limits and shoot for something higher? So he rejected the wheelchair and slowly made his way to the window… on his own two feet.
From there after, Joshua was a changed man. Even after discharge, this ready-for-anything mindset remained fully ingrained in Joshua’s outlook on life. If there was a way to do more, push harder, reach farther; then he’d do it. Joshua ran his 18th marathon just a few months ago.
But that wasn’t enough. So he took on triathlons.
But that wasn’t enough either. So he tackled 180k ultramarathons.
Currently, he’s conquering 2 different Shalva Challenges by having biked through Iceland, and preparing to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. Neither of which are easy tasks, and both require him to meet fundraising minimums.
Why did Joshua dedicate so much effort and fundraising on behalf of Shalva?
Because of a little boy named Yisrael… who happens to be Joshua’s nephew.
Yisrael grapples with multiple disabilities and is thriving in Shalva’s early intervention program. Joshua sees his fundraising efforts as creating a direct and positive impact on a loved one. In his own words, “There was a stage where I was overcoming challenges to prove something to myself. And coming out of the operation that was a really meaningful phase that I needed to experience. But there comes a point where you tell yourself, ‘Hey, I’ve conquered everything there is to attempt out there. What can I do next?’ The answer to me is obvious: Start to help others.”
“Now when I train I’m doing a Mitzvah. It’s a good deed. It’s the right thing to do. All of the energy that I’m investing is transformed into helping Shalva children. I can generate power for a goal like that non-stop.”
We applaud you Joshua Strahl. You’ve taught not only that our own limits are surmountable, but that we have the inner resources to help others along the way.