Author Archive: lemonadefund

Even if I Cannot Find the Words…

 

This year, I cannot find the words.

On 9 Av 5770 (July 20, 2010,) out of the blue, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Thank God, I am fine. I remember in 2010 thinking about 2020 as if the number itself was a mirage, a miracle. And, here we are. I am very grateful.

Since then, over the years, I’ve written about getting shocking, potentially life-threatening news particularly on the saddest date of the Jewish calendar. I’ve tried to use the ‘anniversary’ to learn about overcoming destruction, (personal and national,) through healing (personal and national.)

In retrospect, those years seemed quite normal. This year I cannot find the words.

The Book of Lamentations by Jeremiah, read each year on 9 Av, will resonate this year, with its talk of desolation. Those who buried loved ones from afar on ZOOM have lived this word. Illness, uncertainty, fear, hunger, despair, anxiety….these are some of the words of the day.

As we pray for an end to this calamity we can only offer solace and help during this dark time.

When trains and buses shut down (or became too dangerous for immunocompromised patients,) the Lemonade Fund created an additional service, the TAXI RIDES FOR CANCER PATIENTS DURING CORONA PROGRAM. (Want good news for a change? Click here to read the story of a woman and her taxi.)

Since March, the Israel Lemonade Fund has arranged more than 2000 free taxi rides to chemotherapy for needy Israeli cancer patients who had no other way to get to treatment.

The Lemonade Fund core mission, to award financial assistance to needy Israeli breast cancer patients, is more important than ever with more Israeli citizens pushed into poverty due to the economic crisis. Read to learn more about how the Lemonade Fund is making an impact.

Please consider partnering with us. Your donation will go directly to a taxi grant or to our core Lemonade Fund mission, helping impoverished breast cancer patients so they can focus on recovery.

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An average Lemonade Fund grant is NIS 2,100 ($615.) Your support of NIS 2,500 ($730) would pay for one emergency grant and 3 taxi rides (the average cost of a Corona Taxi ride is NIS 120 ($35.)

We may not know yet how to eradicate Covid-19, but Tisha B’Av can teach us about spreading compassion so that we can ease this difficult time for each other.

“You have turned my sorrow into dancing. You have removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, so that my soul may sing to you and not be silent. My God forever will I thank you.”  -Psalm 30

Wishing all of you an easy and meaningful fast, and many years of peace, health and happiness. With many thanks,

Shari

Shari Mendes
Founder and Director, Israel Lemonade Fund

HOW YOU CAN GIVE DIRECT HELP TO CANCER PATIENTS DURING CORONA

WITHOUT TREATMENT THEY CAN DIE. IT’S THAT SIMPLE.

  • On March 8, the Israel Lemonade Fund created the TAXI RIDES FOR CANCER PATIENTS DURING CORONA Program.
  • April- The Inbar and Marius Nacht Foundation joined us, in partnering with GETT Taxis enabling more patients to benefit.
  • 2,300 free taxi rides have already been sent to needy cancer patients so that they WON’T MISS TREATMENT DURING CORONA.
  • They need rides from August onward…

YOU can help the Israel Lemonade Fund reach it’s goal of NIS 180,000 ($52,245.) Funds raised by this campaign will go straight toward TAXIS for needy breast cancer patients in the TAXI program, as well as for the general work of the Lemonade Fund, providing emergency financial grants to breast cancer patients in treatment.

TO DONATE TO THE ISRAEL LEMONADE FUND CORONA APPEAL, PRESS HERE.

Transportation Ministry ordered all public transport operators to disinfect the buses but failed to enforce the guidelines, instead passing the responsibility to the Health Ministry; 1,032 incidents of exposure to virus carriers on buses in 2 weeks

Asaf Zagrizak|

Published: 07.09.20 , 12:24

Israel’s exceedingly filthy public buses have become a major source of coronavirus infection, according to health officials, but public transport companies continue to neglect the problem while the ministries shift the responsibility.

According to the Health Ministry, in the last two weeks there have been 1,032 incidents of exposure to a confirmed coronavirus carrier on public transport.

The Movement for Freedom of Information group petitioned the Transportation Ministry to respond to the allegation they’ve failed to enforce public health orders on bus operators. The ministry, however, said the responsibility for enforcing health regulations lies with the Health Ministry.

The Health Ministry, meanwhile, said the responsibility lies solely with the Transportation Ministry.

Bus route 7 in Tel Aviv on Thursday

The latest incident occurred in Tel Aviv on Monday, on Line 18 bus operated by the Dan Public Transportation. On the same day, exposures to confirmed virus carriers were reported on Line 7 in Bnei Brak, lines 3,26 and 10 in Tel Aviv, and Line 13 in Hadera.

On July 5, 15 incidents of exposure to verified carriers were reported on public transport: Line 430 from Haifa to Tiberias, Line 434 from Tiberias to Haifa, Line 960 from Haifa to Jerusalem, Line 270 from Tel Aviv to Rishon Letzion, Line 180 from Bnei Brak to Elad , Line 998 from Bnei Brak to Kiryat Ata, lines 18 and 10 within Tel Aviv, Line 20 in Jerusalem, Line 20 in Ashdod, Line 48 in Ramat Hasharon and Line 2 opearting in Kiryat Ata and Haifa.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced at the very start of the coronavirus outbreak in March that all public transport vehicles must regularly be disinfected, with the Transportation Ministry issuing a host of guidelines to the public transport operators shortly afterwards.

THIS LIFE MATTERS – Lemonade Fund June 2020

M. was smuggled to Israel from Sudan in 2011. He had become an activist against the Sudanese government (after witnessing the murder of his parents, siblings and oldest child,) and it was dangerous for him to stay. The resistance helped M. reach Israel, and once here he was detained and then granted political asylum. Despite his rescue he was distraught about abandoning his wife and two young children in Sudan. Finding work was challenging, and then in 2015 M. was diagnosed with breast cancer (1% of breast cancer occurs in men.) He received treatment at Israeli hospitals and was released.

A few years ago, with the aid of a local charity that helps refugees, M. was able to relocate to subsidized housing in Jerusalem where he found work. He suffers from PTSD, nightmares and psychological problems, in addition to a slipped disc and diabetes. He is obsessed with worry about his family.

M. was referred to the Lemonade Fund after being diagnosed with a recurrence of breast cancer this year, which has made it impossible for him to work. By June, M. had a balance of 23 shekels in his bank account. He will qualify for National Insurance disability payments, but this help isn’t immediate. Until it comes through, the emergency grant M. received from the Lemonade Fund last week will afford him dignity and calm while he undergoes treatment.

The Lemonade Fund gives emergency financial support to needy Israeli breast cancer patients, of any race, religion, age or sex, so that they can focus on recovery.

Your donation will also help us continue our special program: TAXI RIDES FOR ISRAELI CANCER PATIENTS DURING CORONA.

(Learn more: https://lemonadefund.org/2020/05/04/free-taxi-rides-for-cancer-patients-during-corona-stories/

DONATE HERE

Photo of Clinic for Refugees run by Israel Magen David Adom

“…It was a very unusual experience to discover such great deeds from people.”

Dear Lemonade Fund:

My father fell ill with a very aggressive form of cancer over six months ago. We were having trouble coping with the shock of the diagnosis and dealing with the treatments, the new situation…when suddenly a new crisis arose – Corona.

This world that we are trying to deal with as cancer patients, we are already dealing with a more complex reality in addition to Corona! Our nuclear family was struggling to figure out how to deal with it all. And then came the contribution, the taxi rides from the Lemonade Fund, (funded by a generous grant from the Inbar and Marius Nacht Foundation.)

I have no words to thank you for this rare work of yours, which has allowed my father to get to his chemotherapy treatments. It has enabled him to fight for his life.

My father lives in Haifa, but the doctor who is expert in his aggressive cancer works at Ichilov Hospital (Tel Aviv.)

Corona threatened my father’s chance to fight for his life due to having to undertake this long journey with a compromised immune system.  And then during a time without public transportation after it was cancelled. And then there was the worry that our family had about this situation.

I had to say thank you to you. In the presence of the huge crisis facing the world now, it was a very unusual experience to discover such great deeds from people. So thank you very much, Lemonade Fund! Thank you also to our social worker, S. You have proven that there are good people all along the way.

To Donate to the Lemonade Fund: https://lemonadefund.org/to-donate/

 

A Corona Miracle: Getting Cancer Patients to Their Treatments During Corona

Here is the sunshine that was borne out of the darkness of this pandemic. Feel good, feel proud. What can happen when we all care for each other.

Based on an actual story.

It’s early February, 2020 and A., a 48 years old divorced mother of two, has been diagnosed with a fast-growing cancer. Her doctor informs her that she needs to start weekly treatments, immediately. She lives in the north, about an hour from Haifa, but there’s a direct bus she can take. Stories about the novel Covid 19 virus begin to appear on the evening news, but she’s distracted by her own worries.

To read more:

https://blogs.timesofisrael.com/a-corona-miracle-taxis-for-cancer-patients/?fbclid=IwAR2IWet5EVY9exTZjF7NgLAmZMqpEdox0Awc-AQ2P8iilSWeCtbuxkayz20

 

 

 

FREE TAXI RIDES FOR CANCER PATIENTS DURING CORONA – STORIES

-A mother needed to visit her young son, immunocompromised and in isolation in a hospital leukemia ward. We are making it possible for this mother to see her son often even during Corona.

-Lung cancer patient needed transport from Kiryat Gat to Be’er Sheva to start radiation therapy. Done!

-Brought a woman from Shlomi (very far north,) to Rambam in Haifa today for breast cancer treatment. Daughter was overwhelmed with gratitude. Mother would have had no other way to get to the hospital without this.

-A patient from Eilat with pancreatic cancer is being treated in Be’er Sheva. He needed to go to the hospital once in April in order to get special pills that he can take instead of having repeated chemotherapy infusions. No flights. His social worker reached out to the Israel Lemonade Fund asking if it was even possible to arrange a taxi from Eilat to Be’er Sheva. (Thanks to GETT for offering more than fair taxi fees,) we offered to help this man reach the hospital for his April appointment.

-A Bedouin woman needed breast cancer treatment. Impossible feat without public transportation. GETT found a way to get her from her village and we got her to her treatments.

-From a social worker: “The service is critical especially for those coming to Ein Karen from outside central Jerusalem. Wish it would continue forever…”

Stories of cancer patients who got to the hospital thanks to the Israel Lemonade Fund/Inbar and Marius Nacht Foundation/Gett Taxi partnership…..THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Israel Lemonade Fund is still helping needy patients with one time grants for non-medical expenses. Your donations are needed more than ever at this time. Thank you.

Link to apply for free taxi rides for cancer patients: https://lemonadefund.org/%d7%a7%d7%95%d7%a8%d7%95%d7%a0%d7%94-taxi-2/

ANNOUNCING FREE TAXI RIDES TO CHEMO/RADIATION TREATMENTS DURING THE CORONA OUTBREAK, FOR NEEDY CANCER PATIENTS…

Thanks to the support of the Inbar and Marius Nacht Family Foundation, in partnership with GETT Taxi, the Israel Lemonade Fund EMERGENCY TAXI RIDES FOR CANCER PATIENTS APPEAL, is now able to expand to provide free taxi rides TO chemo/radiation treatments for needy cancer patients with ANY kind of cancer! (Not limited to breast cancer.)

On March 8, as public transportation was becoming restrictive, the Israel Lemonade Fund launched a TAXI appeal for needy breast cancer patients who had no way to get to their treatments. Thanks to the many of you who donated, we have been subsidizing taxi rides for patients since then.

When life give you lemons, make lemonade.  That has been the motto of The Lemonade Fund which has provided emergency financial assistance to breast cancer patients in Israel since 2011.  Life has given all us of lemons right now, but we can all keep on making lemonade. If you or someone you love needs taxi rides to cancer treatments, forward the application form to your hospital social worker so that he/she can submit an application for you. (Applications must come from hospital social workers.)

Link to Application Form:

https://lemonadefund.org/%d7%a7%d7%95%d7%a8%d7%95%d7%a0%d7%94-taxi-

To make a donation to the Israel Lemonade Fund: https://lemonadefund.org/to-donate/

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TAXI RIDES FOR CANCER PATIENTS – 2 PROFILES -WEEK 2

  • 44 year old, married, 3 children, Stage 4, second diagnosis. Financial crisis in family. Immunocompromised but NO money for private taxi rides until the Lemonade Fund stepped in.

Kiryat Gat to Be’er Sheva for chemo and bio treatment.

Average taxi fare = NIS 230 ($65)

Awarded special TAXI grant of NIS 920 ($255) – 4 TAXI RIDES

  • 57 year old married mother of one. Cashier, used up sick days, husband missing his shifts in factory to care for wife. Frantic about how to get to the hospital during Corona outbreak, until the Lemonade Fund helped.

Karmiel to Haifa for chemo/rads.

Average taxi fare from Carmiel to Haifa = NIS 180 ($50).

Awarded special TAXI grant of NIS 900 ($250) – 5 TAXI RIDES

The Lemonade Fund launched an urgent appeal on March 8, to help patients take private taxis, so that they will not miss their treatments during this difficult time. (For the average breast cancer patient: Radiation – 25 sessions. Chemotherapy – 12-24 sessions.) Cancer patients are being urged to avoid public transportation.

Average Israeli intra-city taxi fee: NIS 50 ($15)
Common Israeli inter-city taxi fee: NIS 180 ($50)
Please donate taxi rides, (one or more,) or any amount that you can. THANK YOU!

Cancer patients are being advised NOT to take  public transportation during the Corona outbreak. Most needy Lemonade Fund applicants cannot afford taxis. (Health insurance only reimburses for public transportation or a taxi in one direction.)

We will continue to send money directly to patients in need as long as this emergency campaign is funded. Thank you to those who have already donated. (Tax deductible in Israel, US and other countries.)

UPDATE – TAXI RIDES FOR CANCER PATIENTS DURING CORONA OUTBREAK

The Lemonade Fund has launched an urgent appeal to help patients take private taxis, so that they will not miss their treatments during this difficult time. (For the average breast cancer patient: Radiation – 25 sessions. Chemotherapy – 12-24 sessions.) Cancer patients are being urged to avoid public transportation.
Average Israeli intra-city taxi fee: NIS 50 ($15)
Common Israeli inter-city taxi fee: NIS 180 ($50)
Please donate taxi rides, (one or more,) or any amount that you can. THANK YOU!

(Updated, March 22, 2020) First five approved patients have already gotten the following TRANSPORTATION GRANTS with nine more on the way:

48 year old divorced mother of two, supermarket cashier, used up sick pay.

  • Karmiel to Haifa for chemo.
  • Average taxi fare from Carmiel to Haifa = NIS 180 ($50).
  • Awarded special grant of NIS 900 ($250) – 5 taxi rides.

58 year old widowed mother of two, can’t work due to illness.

  • Ofakim to Beer Sheva for chemo.
  • Average taxi from Ofakim to Beer Sheva = NIS 100 ($28).
  • Awarded special grant of NIS 900 ($250) – 9 taxi rides.

35 year old single mother of toddler, Stage 4.

  • Needs city taxi rides in Nahariya to hospital for chemo.
  • Average taxi fare = NIS 50 ($15)
  • Awarded special grant of NIS 400 ($110) – 8 taxi rides.

67 year old divorced mother of two, pensionnaire.

  • Needs city rides from Jaffa to Tel Aviv hospital for radiation.
  • Average taxi fare = NIS 50 ($15)
  • Awarded special grant of NIS 400 ($110) – 8 taxi rides.

44 year old single mother of 2 young children. Psych issues, abuse, PTSD. Bankrupt.

  • Pardes Hana to Haifa for chemo and radiation.
  • Average taxi fare = unknown, various routes.
  • Awarded special grant of NIS 600 ($166) towards private taxi rides.

(March 22) Next set of grants slated to be awarded:

59 year old divorced mother of 2. Second diagnosis, deeply in debt.

  • Bat Yam to Tel Aviv for last rounds of chemo.
  • Average taxi fare = NIS 70 ($20)
  • Awarded special grant of NIS 350 ($100) towards private taxi rides.

47 year old married mother of 8 (toddlers to young adult) Stage 4. 

  • Ramat Bet Shemesh to Jerusalem for chemo and bio treatments.
  • Average taxi fare = NIS 220 ($60)
  • Awarded special grant of NIS 880 ($245)

27 year old married mother of 2 young children, no family support, husband’s business recently closed. No income.

  • Outskirts of Jerusalem to Jerusalem hospital for chemo.
  • Average taxi fare = NIS 70 ($20)
  • Awarded special grant of NIS 350 ($100) – toward private taxi rides.

41 year old, separated, 6 children. Worked in tourism sector, out of work. Father died, helping mother.

  • Inner city Jerusalem to Jerusalem hospital for chemo.
  • Average taxi fare = NIS 50 ($15)
  • Awarded special grant of NIS 400 ($110) – 8 taxi rides.

44 year old, married, 3 children, Stage 4, second diagnosis. Financial crisis in family.

  • Kiryat Gat to Be’er Sheva for chemo and bio treatment.
  • Average taxi fare = NIS 230 ($65)
  • Awarded special grant of NIS 920 ($255) – 4 taxi rides.

68 year old, widow, living alone on small pension. Stage 4, other health issues. 

  • Inner city Jerusalem to Jerusalem hospital for chemo.
  • Average taxi fare = NIS 50 ($15)
  • Awarded special grant of NIS 400 ($110) – 8 taxi rides.

49 year old, married, 4 children, Stage 4, second diagnosis, disabled son. Family member used to drive her, can’t now due to possible Corona infection.

  • Needs city taxi rides in Nahariya to hospital for chemo.
  • Average taxi fare = NIS 50 ($15)
  • Awarded special grant of NIS 400 ($110) – 8 taxi rides.

57 year old married mother of one. Cashier, used up sick days, husband missing his shifts in factory to care for wife.

  • Karmiel to Haifa for chemo/rads.
  • Average taxi fare from Carmiel to Haifa = NIS 180 ($50).
  • Awarded special grant of NIS 900 ($250) – 5 taxi rides.

Request for additional funds for A. below, granted:

44 year old single mother of 2 young children. Psych issues, abuse, PTSD. Bankrupt. (Additional NIS 300 added. March 22, to NIS 600 sent previously.)

Immunocompromised patients are being advised NOT to take  public transportation during the Corona outbreak. Most needy Lemonade Fund applicants cannot afford taxis. (Health insurance only reimburses for public transportation or a taxi in one direction.)

We will continue to send money directly to patients in need as long as this emergency campaign is funded. Thank you to those who have already donated. (Tax deductible in Israel, US and other countries.)

URGENT APPEAL FOR CANCER PATIENTS DURING CORONA OUTBREAK

IMMEDIATE APPEAL FROM THE ISRAEL LEMONADE FUND:
The Coronavirus has created new and potentially expensive challenges for patients travelling to their chemotherapy/radiation treatments. They are immunocompromised, and they are being warned not to take public buses and trains.

“The early data from China, and reports from the ground in Italy and other sites of local transmission is that our cancer patients are going to be at increased risk,” said Dr. Steve Pergam, a clinical and infectious disease researcher at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, in Seattle, Washington.

Pergam said people currently in treatment, if at all possible, should avoid taking public buses or trains. But he also acknowledged not every patient can afford private car services or taxis. “Talk to your care team about what options exist to support you getting there without taking public transportation,” Pergam said.

Most indigent Israeli breast cancer patients can at most, only afford public transportation; many do not own cars. Our social workers at Breast Centers are reporting high levels of anxiety in their patients regarding this issue.

We are launching an urgent appeal to help patients take taxis, so that they will not miss their treatments during this difficult time. (For the average breast cancer patient: Radiation – 25 sessions. Chemotherapy – 12-24 sessions.)

Average Israeli intra-city taxi fee: NIS 50 ($15)

Common Israeli inter-city taxi fee: NIS 180 ($50)

Please donate taxi rides, (one or more,) or any amount that you can. Monies donated that are earmarked, ‘TRANSPORT’ will go specifically for this request. (Any leftover funds from this appeal will go towards regular transportation grants during, hopefully, better times.)

 

Tax deductible in US, Israel, Canada, UK and Australia.