Profiles in Courage – November 2019

For almost 9 years the Lemonade Fund has been giving emergency financial grants to the neediest Israeli breast cancer patients. We are a small but efficient charity with almost 100% of the money you donate going straight to these patients. We have tripled the amount of grants given monthly since 2011, but we can only continue to do this with your help. Please consider donating to the Lemonade Fund: https://lemonadefund.org/to-donate/

A few November cases:

S. is a divorced housewife with 4 children, one of whom is disabled. The father fled to the US and doesn’t send child support. S. has struggled to support her family and managed. Until now. She has been diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer that has metastasized to her liver and lungs. One of the main functions of the Lemonade Fund is to lower the level of stress for families, during this difficult time. S. was awarded an emergency Lemonade Fund grant that we hope will give her some respite so she can focus on her treatment and her family.

A. is a 48 year old mother of 2 children, from the south. Sadly, both children were born with the gene for ALS, (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a fatal neurological disease.) Her 21 year old son recently died from the disease and her 17 year old daughter is now confined to a wheelchair and is failing. Prior to the children developing ALS, A. worked as a caregiver for the elderly, however in July she was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer and she cannot work due to the side effects of the chemo. Her husband is unable to work full time and the family is having a hard time, financially. They were awarded a Lemonade Fund grant.

Average grant is NIS 2,100.

Thank you!

Profiles in Courage – October 2019 Lemonade Fund Grants

M., 33, has 2 young children, ages 3 and 5, and a new diagnosis of breast cancer. Hers is a good example of how a serious illness can propel a middle class family into financial crisis. Both she and her spouse had good jobs and were able to make payments on their mortgage and keep up with expenses. Until recently…Now M. cannot work during treatment and she has used up all of her sick leave. Her spouse is also losing income due to time off from work to care for his wife and children. Debts are piling up and they are consumed with worry. M. was given a Lemonade Fund grant to alleviate financial pressure so that she can focus on recovery.

G., 49, a Bedouin woman from the south, is the second wife of a man who is 20 years her senior and the mother of several children. She has been diagnosed with Stage IV breast cancer. She is in significant pain and is unable to care for herself or her family. This is terribly depressing to her. The social workers at Soroka Hospital submitted an application to the Lemonade Fund on her behalf asking for assistance with childcare and household help as well as transportation to treatments. A Lemonade Fund grant was awarded to help G. through this difficult time.

25% more Lemonade Fund grants were given in 2019 than in 2018. Breast cancer often hits young families in the middle of life. The Lemonade Fund is the only emergency financial relief fund in Israel. Please donate.

https://lemonadefund.org/to-donate/

Thank you! (Grants are available to qualified Israeli citizens within one year of diagnosis. Applications are available through social workers at breast centers in Israeli hospitals.)

Making Lemonade with Honey

We’ve been busy this past year,

making Lemonade out of Lemons…

K, a divorced mother of 3 children, ages 6, 13 and 21, from the south, was diagnosed with breast cancer a second time.
A Special Ed teacher, K. has used up her sick pay, and has gone into debt. Her ex-husband, a drug addict, pays no alimony. K. has developed an anxiety disorder from the stress and she is having a hard time focusing on her treatment because she is so fearful about the family finances.
The Lemonade Fund awarded K. an emergency financial relief grant to help her get through this difficult time.

W., a young widow from Ethiopia, mother of 2 sons, 16 and 21, diagnosed in 2015 with breast cancer. Has spread and is Stage IV.
W. works to support her sons in any way that she can, as a cleaner, cook, babysitter, etc. Her younger son is in boarding school and her older son is in prison. She cannot work due to her illness, and she has used up all of her savings. She was consumed with worry about how she will pay tuition for her younger son, who helps her on weekends. She has become very depressed and in need of support from any direction.
The Lemonade Fund awarded W. an emergency financial relief grant to help her get through this difficult time.

This is what we do…all year. All over the country…

Since last Rosh Hashanah we have given grants to breast cancer patients from Rosh Hanikra to Eilat. 25% increase in grants over last year.

Please consider making a holiday donation to the Lemonade Fund. We are Israel’s only Breast Cancer Emergency Relief Fund, giving one-time grants to indigent Israeli breast cancer patients while they are in active treatment so they can focus on getting well. Thank you!!!!

TO DONATE:

https://lemonadefund.org/to-donate/


Introducing our new International arm…
ISRAEL LEMONADE – לימונדה ישראל…

Since we began work in 2011, the need has only increased. In light of this, the Lemonade Fund has established an International arm, ISRAEL LEMONADE, a registered independent Israeli amuta (charity,)  in order to apply for grants from foundations that support women’s health issues around the world and increase our fundraising capacity.

YOU CAN BE PART OF THIS. THERE IS COMPELLING NEED TO:

1. Increase the number of yearly grants. Expand our reach to serve every Breast Center in Israel. (Almost  there!)

2. Increase the value of each grant. People simply need more help than we can currently give. If we could raise the amount of our average grant, we would have more impact on the lives of each patient. Our average grant is currently NIS 2100. We would like to raise this to NIS 3500.

3. Long range goal. To expand to help Ovarian Cancer patients as well. These patients need help desperately and we have the system in place. What we lack is funding.

PLEASE JOIN US IN MEETING THESE IMPORTANT GOALS!

TO DONATE:

https://lemonadefund.org/to-donate/


ISRAEL LEMONADE wishes to thank Eli Wilchek, Ido Einat and Shneor Ofen of the Law Firm of Cohen, Wilchek and Co. in Ramat Gan, for donating their time, pro bono, to help us register our new amuta!!!! THANK YOU!


The ESRA Lemonade Fund is a vibrant and proud part of ESRA, as one of their welfare funds. We are grateful to all of the staff at ESRA, Terry, Baruch, Sunny, Irene, Anat, Sandra, Adele, Merle and the many volunteers who help us help Israeli breast cancer patients, throughout the year.


Thanks to Danni and Eli and the staff at MyIsrael who support our work year after year.


Finally, thank you to all of our supporters throughout Israel and the world. Without you we could not improve the lives of Israeli breast cancer patients.

Wishing everyone a good new year, filled with health, happiness and blessings. May we go from strength to strength.

The Lemonade Fund/ISRAEL LEMONADE

Profiles in Courage – Lemonade Fund Grants September 2019

Two recent grants:

A. is an elderly holocaust survivor, a widow, who lost a daughter recently, is undergoing treatment for breast cancer in a hospital that is quite a distance from her home. She lives in public housing on a small pension (NIS 3200/month.) She has one remaining daughter who was A.’s main caretaker, but now the daughter, too, is unwell. The Lemonade Fund awarded A. a grant which will help A. with transportation and supplement her small pension while she is having treatment.

L. is a 47 year old divorced mother of 2 children. She lives with her parents and receives no alimony from her ex-husband. She has a history of depression and fibromyalgia, and she’s had a stroke. She used to be an accountant at a factory, but since her breast cancer diagnosis (and long treatment plan,) she hasn’t been able to work. The family already is NIS 10,000 in debt and the pressure is mounting. The Lemonade Fund gave L. a grant to alleviate her financial pressure so she can focus on recovery.

The Lemonade Fund is the only Breast Cancer Emergency Relief Fund in Israel, helping needy Israeli citizens with one-time grants while they are in treatment. Please join us in helping them. THANK YOU!

To Donate:

https://lemonadefund.org/to-donate/

Profiles in Courage – August 2019

K, a divorced mother of 3 children, ages 6, 13 and 21, from the south, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012 and it came back this past year. She has a long road ahead of her, first chemo, then surgery, then radiation. She is a Special Ed teacher who has used up most of her sick pay, and she has gone into debt to pay for basics. Her ex-husband is a drug addict who pays no alimony. K. has developed an anxiety disorder from the stress and she is having a hard time focusing on her treatment because she is so fearful about her finances. The Lemonade Fund awarded K. an emergency financial relief grant to help her get through this difficult time.

The Lemonade Fund is Israel’s only breast cancer emergency relief fund, helping Israeli breast cancer patients in financial crisis. Our application rate is rising and we need your help. Please donate:

https://lemonadefund.org/to-donate/

To learn more about what we do, watch our short movie clip:

https://lemonadefund.org/movie-what-the-lemonade-fund-does/

Thank you!

 

 

9 Years on 9 Av, and Another Lesson in Sensitivity…

Nine years ago, on the fast of Tisha B’Av, 5770, on the saddest day of the Jewish year, I received news that paralleled the mood of the day. Out of the blue, I was newly diagnosed with breast cancer. My personal situation mirrored the historic catastrophes that occurred, repeatedly, to the Jewish nation, on this specific day of fasting and mourning.

Yet it is prophesied that 9 Av will be transformed, in the future, into a day of feasting and joy, of greater kindness and tolerance. Nine years later, thank God, I am fine and living life. In gratitude, each year I’ve tried to use the day as an opportunity to explore ways to better our human interactions. Perhaps this small effort can be part of our roadmap toward recreating the day and healing our divisions.

Most of us mean well in our interactions with others. However some situations are more challenging, such as how to deal with a person with a serious disease. I want to dedicate this Tisha B’Av to learning about how to improve on this. I am sharing the (very blunt) words of a patient with stage 4 cancer.  

HOW TO REALLY HEAR AND  HELP A PERSON WHO IS VERY ILL:

“I really appreciate all the support that I got…. when I shared about cancer and the dissolution of my marriage, a couple of weeks ago. It shocked me. It shocked me, because I am not used to it. 

You have to understand that I don’t mind cancer. If you live with cancer, you have to have a relationship with it—it is part of you. I respect the disease. I have learned from it. I have become myself because of it. But it is a problem for my interactions with the world, because people are scared of cancer. People avoid what they fear. 

I hate when people tell me they are sorry about my cancer, because I’m not sorry. And I feel it’s dismissive. 

I would prefer if people asked me how I am. 

It is a lonely disease. 

After I got cancer, I was not the same.

I wanted to be.

I wanted my life to go back to what it was.

I was so lively. I was so lovely.

I was so busy. I was so social.

But I could not do it.

No surprise, I changed.

I was withdrawn during chemotherapy and my world became small. It contracted like starvation. It is hard to get back what is lost. It is more difficult still to begin anew. People visited at first. They sent flowers. The florists prospered. 

I tried. So hard. I called. I emailed. I texted. I showed up.

You think people are nice about it? No. Cancer is misunderstood. Everyone says the wrong thing. Which is what they do so much anyway. Then I said the wrong thing back. I could not believe the stupid things people said in an effort to be nice. Telling me about something bad that happened to them that was not cancer, etc. I wanted everyone to just be normal. 

I hate when people say, Let me know if there is anything I can do. If you mean it, you just do it. You just show up. You insist. You don’t send an email. You don’t suggest a date in three weeks. People with cancer live now. We only have Today. We have six jobs, because cancer is five. What are you so busy with? What is so big in your life? I may not be seeing you in three weeks. 

The nicest thing anyone could do for me is to respond to a text promptly. 

For all of my life, I did not have cancer and I did not feel like my colleagues were uncommunicative. But people kind of treat me like I am sick and insignificant now. 

But I am not dead.

I don’t feel that way about myself. I feel healthy and strong. I feel good. I don’t understand why people expect something to be wrong. I don’t even know that cancer is what will kill me. If you know someone with cancer, just be there in person, IRL as they say. Cancer is chaos and displacement. I am sorry to be so honest. I hate it. I like myself better when I sound some other way. I sound this way. What can I do? Forgive me. Thank you.”

Despite the fact that the Lemonade Fund mission is to help needy breast cancer patients financially, there is plenty to learn about how to help the sick more sensitively, with words and deeds. Thanks for allowing me to share this with you.

Wishing everyone a meaningful 9th of Av and many years of health.

Best wishes,

Shari Mendes, Founder and Director of the Israel Lemonade Fund

The Lemonade Fund is Israel’s only breast cancer emergency relief fund, helping indigent Israeli breast cancer patients with one-time grants to alleviate financial stress during treatment. We have expanded and need your donations more urgently than ever before. 

To donate: www.lemonadefund.org/to-donate/

To read more about what we do: www.lemonadefund.org

To watch our short film: https://lemonadefund.org/movie-what-the-lemonade-fund-does/

 

 

 

Profiles in Courage – July 2019

I., a 46 yo mother of 4 and C., a 41 yo mom of 1, both breast cancer patients in financial crisis, have just received Lemonade Fund grants thanks to the work of one very special woman, Yael Friedbauer.

Yael, a breast cancer patient herself, is currently in treatment at Meir Hospital in Kfar Saba. In March, she held an event at her Zumba Studio in Raanana, (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Zxw0_HPyCs) on the International Day of the Woman. She donated all of the proceeds from this amazing event to breast cancer patients who are being treated at Meir Hospital. Her efforts have helped patients at Meir since April, and are proof of how one person with the will can help many. Yael just had a birthday so we are dedicating July’s profile in honor of and thanks to Yael. We wish her a speedy recovery and continued good health and good works! THANK YOU, YAEL!!!!

If you’d like to celebrate an event (a birthday, bar/bat mitzvah, anniversary, etc.) by dedicating gifts to a targeted group of Lemonade Fund recipients, we would be happy to help you donate in so significant a way. Email us at info@lemonadefund.org, to make arrangements. Thank you.

To donate:

https://lemonadefund.org/to-donate/

What Breast Centers are Saying to us…

(עברית אחרי)

“WOW! How wonderful, how emotional!  Thank you so very much! These grants literally save these women…”  From a Social Worker in response to grant awards for her patients.

!וואו! איזה יופי! מאוד מרגש”

“.תודה רבה רבה, זה פשוט מציל את הנשים האלה.

מעובדת סוציאלית בתגובה לשימוע על מענקי המטופלים שלה-

Profiles in Courage – May 2019

Hard stories this month…

K. is a 42 year old single mother of 5 currently living with her father on a moshav near Jerusalem. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015 but she refused chemotherapy at the time due to the trauma of seeing her brother die from stomach cancer after grueling treatments. By 2017 her cancer had metastasized and it is now Stage IV. It is in her bones, liver and possibly brain and she is having difficulty walking. Her ex cannot or will not help her financially as he is bankrupt and deeply in debt. We received a letter from the Chief of Palliative Care at her hospital asking us to please help her and her family. (This is highly unusual; we normally get letters from the patients’ social workers only.) We awarded K. a Lemonade Fund grant which we hope will at least alleviate some of her financial pressure during this difficult time.

W. is a young widow who made aliyah from Ethiopia. She supports her two sons, 16 and 21, in any way that she can, having worked as a cleaner, a cook, a babysitter, etc. Her younger son is in boarding school and her older son is in prison. She was diagnosed in 2015 with breast cancer which has spread and is now Stage IV. She cannot work due to her illness and has used up all of her savings. She is consumed with worry about how she will pay tuition for her younger son, who helps her on weekends when he is at home. She has become very depressed and in need of support from any direction. Thankfully the Lemonade Fund was able to send her a grant this month.

If you would like to send additional help to these two recipients who are in especially difficult situations, please make a donation and send us an accompanying email asking us to earmark your donations to K. or W. from May 2019.

Email: lindas@lemonadefund.org

Thanks for your support for our work helping Israeli breast cancer patients in financial crisis due to their illness.

TO DONATE: https://lemonadefund.org/to-donate/

NOW! Your Donation Will Be Matched!

  • A donor has come forward and offered to cover half of the costs of our expansion, NIS 25,000 ($7,000,) challenging us to match his grant, shekel for shekel, dollar for dollar, to raise the other half.
  • Your donations will be matched by this donor. You can be part of this incredible initiative, helping indigent Israeli breast cancer patients in financial crisis due to illness!
  • Please consider a donation of an average grant, NIS 2,100 ($590,) or for ANY AMOUNT towards our goal of NIS 25,000 ($7,000,) 

Typical story. Last week the Lemonade Fund received an urgent request from a city Social Worker to pay the utility bills of a breast cancer patient who is also a victim of domestic violence. Single mother with 4 children. We did…

The Lemonade Fund is the only Breast Cancer Emergency Relief charity in Israel, and over the last year we have doubled the amount of money we are giving due to the pressing need.

Thank you!

To donate: https://lemonadefund.org/to-donate/