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CNN Hero: Elimelech Goldberg

Updated 1:52 PM ET, Tue April 21, 2015
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After witnessing the pain and fear that children with cancer endure, Rabbi Elimelech Goldberg founded a program that provides free martial arts classes so kids can learn to control their pain and feel powerful. David S. Holloway/CNN
Goldberg, who has a black belt in Choi Kwang Do, founded Kids Kicking Cancer in 1999. He was inspired by his late daughter, Sara, who died of leukemia when she was 2. David S. Holloway/CNN
Goldberg teaches at the Kids Kicking Cancer Center in Detroit. David S. Holloway/CNN
Goldberg's organization began in Michigan and has since expanded its programs to New York, California and Florida, as well as Canada, Israel and Italy. David S. Holloway/CNN
Goldberg's group provides individual support during hospitalizations and medical procedures. It also offers counseling and transportation to and from classes. David S. Holloway/CNN
"We use martial arts as a platform for meditation, for relaxation, to allow children to gain these tools and to really face down so much of the fear and the anger and the junk that accompanies pain," Goldberg said. David S. Holloway/CNN
"I am so humbled by these children when they are able to face down big stuff, and you could see that light on their face," Goldberg said. "I feel like their souls are shining." David S. Holloway/CNN
The classes focus on breathing techniques and meditation. David S. Holloway/CNN
A student high-fives a teacher in Detroit. David S. Holloway/CNN
Through classes and one-on-one support, Kids Kicking Cancer has helped more than 5,000 children and their families. David S. Holloway/CNN