The Fulfillment of a Dream

12/06/2013

Despite suffering from muscular dystrophy, Yuval Shitrit not only completed high school, but even officiated at her graduation ceremony.

Yisrael Moshkovitz

For her entire life, Yuval Shitrit has refused to allow muscular dystrophy to stop her from accomplishing anything she sets her mind to. From an early age, she insisted on attending regular schools. During her last year of high school, despite her handicap, she succeeded in joining her classmates on an international a trip to Poland. At the conclusion of the week-long Poland trip was when Yuval achieved what she considers her most important accomplishment when her classmates elected her to lead the graduation ceremony at their school, WIZO Nahalal.

WIZO Nahalal, which was founded 88 years ago and counts Moshe Dayan and Shaul Mofaz among their alumni, radiated emotion when Yuval appeared on stage, seated  in her wheelchair.
 
Yuval was born in Haifa 19 years ago; within the first year of her life, she was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy. Nonetheless, Yuval studied at a regular elementary school, went on to attend an ordinary middle school, and then enrolled in high school at WIZO Nahalal. With persistence and determination, she has stayed true to her goal of leading a normal life and has fought against all of the hardships and limitations caused by her sickness. Currently, the ambitious Yuval is already mulling over her next goal: to serve in the IDF in Sheyetet 13 (a top Tzahal commander's unit).
 
At the ceremony, Yuval described her joy at having reached this goal. "I feel like I'm on cloud nine. It's fun but also sad to graduate. I asked to lead the ceremony and I feel fortunate to have been granted this request."

 Like the other girls in her class, Yuval arrived at the ceremony with her makeup done and wearing a lovely dress. The crowd was visibly moved as Yuval ascended to the stage on a ramp placed especially to accommodate her wheelchair and proceeded to officiate over the hour-long ceremony. "I never had a moment of doubt. From my very first moments I knew that I am equal to everyone. From my point of view, the sky is the limit. Thanks to the outstanding assistance from the Simcha L'Yeled Foundation, I was able to join my classmates on our class trip to Poland.  I felt the same as everyone else throughout the ceremony. I was happy to officiate."

"How I felt is difficult to describe," Yuval continued. "This is the completion of a dream." Rounding out her sentiments, Yuval's mother added, "She was really the star of the day."
 
Ayal Betzer, District Board Head of Emek Jezreel, added that "it was extremely moving to see Yuval's confidence and openness among the other officials on the stage. The school community and the board assign enormous importance to teaching students to support, aid and assist one another. Throughout the years, the students and the faculty supported Yuval. These are the values we impart on the students, and this is no less important than other component of their studies."