The video opens with a shot of a narrow hallway in a bare apartment. Light streams through the window as Chani Cohen, 26, makes her way toward the camera in her wheelchair.
Despite the obvious effects of muscular dystrophy on her body, Chani speaks clearly and powerfully:
“I am from a family of 15 children,” she says, as the video pans over a picture of a large, happy family. Their living space, she says with a hint of an apologetic smile, is not quite large enough to suit their needs. “I sleep in a room with six other children.”
“It is not simple at all.”
As Chani describes the challenges of being in a home which is not wheelchair-accessible, video footage shows the young woman’s father picking her up, and hoisting her onto her bed. This is their daily routine. Because the Cohen family cannot afford a caretaker, a private bedroom for Chani, or a wheelchair-accessible bathroom, her father has to carry her from place to place. It is a shocking display of just how little the family has learned to get by on.
Chani has begun a fundraising campaign with the following reasonable yet still unattainable goals in mind: expanding her family’s home until she can have her own small bedroom, a wheelchair-accessible bathroom, and medical assistance.
These are resources which someone with muscular dystrophy and financial stability would not dream of going without. Until she reaches her goal, each day is a challenge for Chani to keep her optimism in the face of suffering and humiliation.