WATCH: A life of chronic illness is still a life worth living

WATCH: A life of chronic illness is still a life worth living

Chabad emissary Rivky Deren, who passed away today at 29, questions what "normal" is.

Rivky’s bio, from the Tumblr about her:

“Rivky Deren is a force and her life is a lesson in living. An active member of the Orthodox Jewish Chasidic Movement, Rivky was born with Bloom syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that affects a very small portion of the population and which is especially prevalent among Ashkenazi Jews. Since early childhood Rivky has had to battle the various manifestations of the syndrome, which include an autoimmune disorder and a propensity for cellular mutation in sufferers. Such disturbances have put Rivky in-and-out of hospitals for a big part of her life.

“Today, at the age of 28, Rivky is undergoing treatment for lymphoma, a mere 3 years after subjecting her body to a lung transplant. In spite of her condition and its reoccurring manifestations Rivky has not permitted illness to define her or get in the way of her deep love for existence. Through unrelenting optimism and faith in G-d, Rivky takes on each of life’s challenges, one breath at a time.

“The beauty in learning about the stories of others is that they have the power to change us by making us more compassionate and presenting us with new ways to see the world. When we learn about others’ journeys we are reminded of the extent to which so many of our differences in thinking and understanding are grounded in the individual experiences that each of us have had. My personal interest in documenting Rivky’s journey began with a deep curiosity to know more about a woman who seemed to have consciously transformed a life of suffering into a celebration of existence. I hope that this blog, the outcome of my ongoing exploration of Rivky and her story, will inspire and educate those who come across it and demonstrate to them the value of a positive attitude in the face of hardship.”


Funeral information, from

The funeral will arrive from North Carolina this evening Monday, May 30 and will pass the Stamford Chabad Center, 770 High Ridge Road, at approximately 8:30 PM for a brief outdoor service.

The Funeral will leave Shomrei Hadas Chapels, 3803 14th Avenue, Boro Park, Brooklyn, tomorrow (Tuesday) at 11:15 AM, passing the [Lubavitcher] Rebbe’s Synagogue and Chabad HQ, 770 Eastern Pkwy, Brooklyn, at 12:15 PM.

Internment will follow near the [Lubavitcher] Rebbe’s resting place‎ at Old Montefiore Cemetery, Springfield Blvd, Queens.

Shiva will begin 7:00 PM on Tuesday, May 31, at 121 Little Hill Drive, Stamford.

More videos: article about Rivky:


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