A good day at the Lemonade Fund is when you read the worst stories…so sad they make you weep…and then you jump in and help. What’s better than that?
R., is a 45 year old divorced mother of 3 children, ages 23, 13 and 10, diagnosed recently with Stage 4 breast cancer, metastasized to her liver. She’s waiting for special services to kick in but she has no savings and is supporting her family on a small income that is way beneath the poverty line. One of her children has special needs and R. is stressed all around, from illness, financial woes and worry. The Lemonade Fund awarded R. a generous grant so that she can breathe a bit easier during this difficult time, until more help arrives.
U. is 27, married with a 5 and a 7 year old. Her husband used to own a restaurant but after it failed, they declared bankruptcy. The family was just climbing out of debt when U. was diagnosed with breast cancer. She is now starting rigorous chemotherapy which will be followed by surgery. Her husband is finding work wherever he can and her mother cannot help U. because she herself has cancer. U.’s social worker applied to the Lemonade Fund for a grant to help pay for extra household and childcare help so that U. can focus on her treatment and recovery.
The Lemonade Fund, Israel’s only Breast Cancer Emergency Relief Fund.
TO DONATE: https://lemonadefund.org/to-donate/
G., 62, divorced, was a proudly self-supporting senior citizen until she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She had worked as a bookkeeper and then transitioned to eldercare. Lymphedema, a side effect of surgery to remove malignant lymph glands, has caused limited mobility in her right arm and she can no longer do her job. She has become depressed due to her loss of independence and descent into poverty. A Lemonade Fund grant will tide her over until she gets National Insurance payments and can get back on her feet.
M. is a 41 year old married mother of 6, ranging in age from 7-16. Her husband worked in a supermarket until he got kidney disease; he is now getting dialysis and is disabled. M. was diagnosed with a second round of breast cancer in 2019 and the family (including 2 children with emotional problems,) is in financial crisis. The Lemonade Fund awarded M. a generous grant which included a supplemental food voucher from Myisrael (designated for Lemonade Fund grant recipients with families with young children.)
The Lemonade Fund – Israel’s only Breast Cancer Emergency Relief Fund, giving critical financial assistance during treatment so patients can focus on recovery.
To Donate: (Tax deductible in US, UK, Australia and Israel)
E. is a middle-aged divorcee with two adult children; a son who is schizophrenic and daughter who works full-time and has young children. Over the years E. supported herself and her children with no help from her ex-husband or family, by working as a scientist. She was recently diagnosed with breast cancer (and spinal problems,) and she has had to miss work due to the side effects of chemotherapy and pain. She has used up all of her sick leave and savings and she is very anxious about her financial situation. E. applied to the Lemonade Fund because she desperately needs extra help to get through this difficult time. This is exactly what we are here for…
The Lemonade Fund is Israel’s only Breast Cancer Emergency Relief Fund. We give one-time grants to indigent Israeli breast cancer patients to ease their financial stress while they are in treatment. So they can focus on themselves, not their money worries.
We wish E. and all of our 2019 Lemonade Fund grant recipients, good health, recovery and peace.
We wish all of our Lemonade Fund supporters, happy holidays and good wishes going into 2020. We owe you a huge THANK YOU for helping us make 2019 a year of growth and expansion into more Israeli breast centers. We helped a record number of patients this past year, thanks to you. There is so much more to do…here’s to accomplishing even more in 2020!
TO DONATE: https://lemonadefund.org/to-donate/
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.
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.
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.)
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!
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:
To learn more about what we do, watch our short movie clip:
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.
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/
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 email@example.com, to make arrangements. Thank you.