Will Yaniv make it to the Big Apple?
Photo: Reuters

US refuses visa to caregiver of muscular dystrophic

Yaniv Aviran, 25, who suffers from muscular dystrophy, needs the company of his caregiver Gladys to realize his dream to visit the US, but US embassy refuses to grant Gladys a visa; 'help me make my dream come true,' Yaniv pleads

When people ask me what I do for a living, I often answer – "making my dreams come true." Because really, the profession I chose, my rich social and romantic life, the places I've seen – none of them came easy to me. That's life with muscular dystrophy.


At the age of 25, I am aware of what a privilege it is to inspire people through my little triumphs. But as my picture can clarify, none of my triumphs could have come about without the help of others. Even the simplest phone call to my best friend starts with someone dialing the number for me.


So I'm very fortunate to have Gladys. Gladys has been working with me for five-and-a-half years now, since the day she landed in Israel from the Philippines.


Due to the progressive state of my disease, Gladys has literally been my arms and legs.


While I am the sole owner of my thoughts, Gladys has been the one who has put them into effect – my executive authority; my emancipator.


After five and a half years of being together 24/7, she is also, naturally, one of my best friends. Yes, behind every person with a disability, you will find a strong caregiver.


'Dream to take a bite of the Big Apple'

So while I've continually set and achieved my goals, one dream pursued – to visit the US. The wish to take a bite at the Big Apple has been with me for a long time, so I've decided to finally realize it – come this summer, I will be landing in New York

יניב אבירן. "גלדיס היא החברה הכי טובה שלי" (צילום: אבישג שאר ישוב)

Yaniv Aviran (Photo: Avishag Shaar Yashuv)


As for any Israeli, my road to the Statue of Liberty began at the US embassy in Tel Aviv, where Gladys and I showed up with the proper documents to get a visa.


After paying the fees, my worst fear came true – "We grant you a visa, but Gladys is a migrant worker and we do not grant a visa under such circumstances. She has no relation to you or to Israel and it is very likely that she will escape to take on illegal work in the United States. Sorry."


Well, I'm sorry. I'm sorry I can't come to terms with the fact that I won't be able to visit the great and enlightened United States just because I can't do so on my own. I'm sorry I can't replace Gladys; I can't find someone else who knows me so well and can help me in such a sensitive, responsible and professional manner. I'm sorry if you think I'll back down, because it's not going to happen.


'I can't replace Gladys'

I urge you, people in the social media, those who "Like" and "Share", to please tell my story. If any of you know anyone who is in touch with the US embassy, the Interior Ministry, the Foreign Ministry, even Obama himself – anyone who can help me rectify this absurdity – I would love some help.


I am willing to endure any condition and place collaterals to ensure that Gladys will come back to Israel with me. We went to Burgas together, to Barcelona, to Berlin – she never left me, even for a second. It won't happen this time either.


I have no doubt that pressure can overturn any decision, surely when it is as unjust as this one.


With your help I will make it to the US this summer. I promise I'll haul a ton of inspiration in my luggage.


The US embassy's response was unavailable.




פרסום ראשון: 03.31.13, 13:12
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