My great-grandfather, Aron Shamberg, arrived at the Port of Philadelphia in May 1911 with his family, who had been rescued from Russia by the Hebrew Immigration Aid Society (HIAS). Originally from a shtetl (Jewish ghetto) near Kiev (the Ukraine), and rumored to have served in the Tsar’s Army, the family was relocated to Tomsk (inner Siberia) around 1910.


While Aron only lived to be 50 years old, I do not know if he exhibited any of the symptoms of what I call “The Shamberg Curse.” His death came from a heart attack, but if he had lived longer, he might have been stricken with the following:

  • Elevated blood Calcium levels, leading to symptoms of Arthritis and/or Gout
  • Elevated levels of Triglycerides (and cholesterol)
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Syndrome (Cirrhosis without drinking)

Over the years I have noticed other family members with this constellation of symptoms and, through my work on our family tree, have traced it all back to great-grandpa Aron. Some of his children, their children, and their children’s children have dealt with this, and no one with The Shamberg Curse has lived past 75. My own father, and his mother, died from aspects of this, and I am doing my best to avoid a similar fate, as well as pass my findings along so that other family members might fare better than their inherited genes portend.

I will continue to post new information here as I continue my research and work with medical professionals. L’Chaim!


Part 1: Chondrocalsinosis