The Lemonade Fund helps breast cancer patients who are in financial crisis. Our one-time direct grants help patients cover basic living costs while they are undergoing difficult treatments and may be unable to work or incur extra expenses. Our goal is to quickly and compassionately ease some of the financial burdens that accompany breast cancer. So that patients can concentrate on healing, their families, and returning to the workplace.
Israel’s only breast cancer emergency relief fund
Breast cancer is very common in Israel, impacting 1 in every 7 women. Israel’s unique population carries an increased risk for hereditary BRCA mutation-related breast cancer as well. For this subset, the incidence of breast cancer is 10 times higher than in the general population. Hereditary breast cancers often strike younger women and though rare, men as well. These younger patients often have young children at home, making a difficult situation even more complex and economically challenging.
Serious illness is expensive. Research has shown that in six months, a health crisis can force a family into bankruptcy or homelessness. Breast cancer treatment is long.Because of this, it has one of the largest financial impacts on patients of any type of cancer.
Lemonade Fund grants help with transport, housing, utilities, food and basic living expenses.
How does it work?
We work with social workers and hospital staff to identify and screen applicants based on demonstrated financial need.
Criteria – Applicants must be:
- Within one year of breast cancer diagnosis
- Israeli citizens
- Able to prove financial need
Grant applications are submitted via hospital and community social workers. Applications are vetted and verified using a detailed point system.
A few months before her 50th birthday in 2010, our founder, Shari Mendes, found out she had breast cancer after a routine mammogram. During her treatment, she was shocked to learn how expensive it was to have a serious illness.
Today the Lemonade Fund awards emergency grants to Israeli breast cancer patients from all over Israel, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender or religion.
“I was lucky. I had the financial and emotional resources to help me through this incredibly difficult experience. But all around me, I saw, and heard, that so many others were not as fortunate and were suffering real financial distress because of their illness. I knew there had to be a way to help them and their families ease this burden to allow them to focus on recovery. Yes, life threw me and my family some lemons. But I knew we had to find a way to turn them into lemonade. A year to the day after that fateful mammogram, the Lemonade Fund was born.”
-Shari Mendes, Founder & Director