Batmitzvah girl’s £1K charity fundraiser goes swimmingly
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Batmitzvah girl’s £1K charity fundraiser goes swimmingly

Sivan Hermon, 11, from Elstree, has raised more than £1,300 for the Israel Pulmonary Hypertension Association, in memory of her aunt who died aged just 38 from a rare lung disease

Francine Wolfisz is the Features Editor for Jewish News.

Sivan Hermon, 11, from Elstree, has so far raised more than £1,300 for the Israel Pulmonary Hypertension Association, after swimming 390 lengths over four weeks. Here she is pictured with her family
Sivan Hermon, 11, from Elstree, has so far raised more than £1,300 for the Israel Pulmonary Hypertension Association, after swimming 390 lengths over four weeks. Here she is pictured with her family

A batmitzvah girl has literally gone to great lengths – and swam the equivalent of a marathon – in memory of her aunt, who recently passed away from a rare lung disorder aged just 38.

Sivan Hermon, 11, from Elstree, has so far raised more than £1,300 for the Israel Pulmonary Hypertension Association, after swimming 390 lengths over four weeks.

The Yavneh College pupil completed the feat ahead of her bat mitzvah on November 2 and in tribute to her aunt, Ifat Karako, who lived in Israel and was diagnosed with primary pulmonary hypertension a decade ago.

The rare hereditary condition is a type of high blood pressure that affects the arteries in the lungs and the heart, and while Ifat managed to maintain the disease with medication, her symptoms worsened in recent months and she was told she needed a heart and lung transplant.

Sivan Hermon at the pool

Earlier this year, Ifat received a lung transplant, but sadly picked up an infection and passed away in April.

Tragically, her mother died from the same condition when she too was aged 38 and Ifat’s twin sister, Einat, has also inherited the disease.

Sivan’s father, Guy, has however been given the all-clear.

As she approached her batmitzvah, Sivan decided she wanted to honour the memory of her “very special, close and amazing aunt” by donating funds to the Israel-based charity, for which Ifat was also a campaigner.

Proud mum-of-four Sarah said: “We very much felt we should give something back and this was a fitting way of keeping us going in a positive way and keeping Ifat’s memory alive.

Ifat Karako

“Sivan wanted to do this on behalf of her, but also for her family and others, so that no-one else has to go through the same thing. We’re hoping the money raised will help fund more research into this disease.”

To donate to Sivan’s fundraiser, visit: www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/sivanhermon

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