I was a sergeant in the Israeli army, and I had a boyfriend who I was going to marry after my matriculation. But my lovely aunt living in Melbourne offered to pay for me to come to Australia for a visit, and my boyfriend and I figured that if you get a ticket as a gift, you don’t refuse it. So I came here for six months, and a week before I was supposed to leave, I met an Israeli guy at my farewell party who asked me to go out with him the next night. And the very first time we went out, he proposed to me! Six months later, we got married.

My condition to him was that we would go back to live in Israel after he finished studying medicine, but it didn’t turn out that way. First, he got into surgery at Guy Hospital in London. Then, on the way to London, we stopped in Israel to see my parents, and we found out my son, who was two years old at the time, was sick with his kidney. The doctor told us we wouldn’t be covered by medical insurance in London because it was not an easily treatable condition, so we decided to come back to Australia where kidney treatment is the best in the world. And we have been here ever since.

Until recently, I had my own business, a health clinic in Melbourne, and I still work there two days a week. Most of my clients are in their 50s to their 70s, and they say, ‘Edna, I want to look like you’. I tell them it’s up to them – if they want to feel well then they have to look after themselves. That’s why I became vegan. Also, I cycle a lot – I’m the oldest in my spinning class. But I have to be fit, because I’m also the oldest woman on the Israel Ride, which I have done every year since 2008. It’s a 5 day ride in Israel for a good cause, for peace. Many people think peace will never happen, but that’s not the way to think. You have to do something!

I want to continue to do the ride every year, but I have to work very hard for it, as it’s over 100 kilometres per day. I’m 68 this month, I have 5 children, and 10 years ago, I gave my son one of my kidneys.

But I believe it doesn’t matter how old you are. If you really want to do something, you’re going to do it. You must not let other people judge you, must not let them tell you you’re crazy, or you’re too old. Whatever the reason, don’t listen.

If you want to do something, go and do it!

Arrived 1970

Photograph by Heath Campbell www.heathcampbell.com


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