Author Archive: lemonadefund

Helping All Sectors of Israeli Society Cope With Breast Cancer

The Lemonade Fund is helping Israeli breast cancer patients from all segments of society. Here are stories of grant recipients, of various cultures, religions, ages, sex, who have been helped with emergency financial relief during treatment.

Breast Cancer in the Ultra-Orthodox Community

O. is a 47 year old ultra-Orthodox married mother of 3 children with Stage 4 breast cancer that has spread to her bones. She is primarily bedridden with difficult-to-control pain, and can only get around with a walker. Her husband has longstanding mental health issues and has accumulated so much debt that the family cannot secure housing and has had to move often. Their youngest child, age 7, has serious learning and behavioral difficulties. The oldest son is in a pre-army preparatory school; the middle child still lives at home. This family is in crisis on many fronts. The Lemonade Fund application, vetted by the breast center social work staff, requested help for day to day living expenses, additional childcare and transportation assistance.

Breast Cancer in Bedouins in the Negev

E., 33, lives in a Bedouin community near Beer Sheva. She discovered a lump in her breast near the end of her first pregnancy. E. had overcome years of infertility to carry a child and she is now facing an early induced labor with immediate breast cancer treatment to follow. With the help of her Social Worker, E. wrote to the Lemonade Fund requesting financial assistance for the period after the birth. She is afraid of not being able to cope with the treatments and her baby at the same time and is asking for money to hire help. Her husband is unemployed but is looking for work and her mother is dealing with her own bout of breast cancer.

A Former Sex Slave from the Ukraine

G., 31, was smuggled into Israel, by way of Egypt, from the Ukraine. Like so many other young women, she was promised work in Israel, only to discover, too late, that the ‘work’ was forced prostitution. After some years as a sex slave, she escaped or was rescued, and made her way to the north. Her current family situation is unclear, but she has two young children with an Israeli man to whom she is not married. The children live with her and she is said to be a caring mother. Recently she discovered that she has advanced breast cancer. She is receiving medical treatment and is being helped by the social workers in her area, who contacted the Lemonade Fund and made an application for her.

Originally from North Africa, Now Living Alone on a Small Pension

A. is a 60 year old single woman, originally from Morocco, currently from Beer Sheva, who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. She is, like many Lemonade Fund applicants, is living on a small, fixed pension, in subsidized housing. Older, indigent breast cancer patients like A. are often referred to the ESRA Lemonade Fund by hospital social workers because they have little spare money and no support systems. No family, no friends, no community. They live solitary lives and can manage on society’s margins until something tragic occurs. And then it all falls apart. That’s where the Lemonade Fund steps in. The LF is here in financial emergencies for Israeli breast cancer patients, awarding grants to get through the roughest time, so they can focus on recovery.

Breast Cancer in the Arab-Israeli Community

A., an Israeli Arab woman from the north, with 3 young children, 1 with Down’s Syndrome. Married, husband lost his job within the last year. She had been the sole family support, working as a beloved member of the nursing staff at a large Israeli hospital for many years, until she was diagnosed with breast cancer that required a mastectomy, in July.  She will begin chemotherapy soon. The entire department where she works, Jews, Christians and Muslims staff among them, helped her with her application to the Lemonade Fund.

Helping Caregivers: The Soldier Son of a Breast Cancer Patient Helps his Mother from the Field.

This is the story of the son of a breast cancer patient. F. is a young Israeli soldier in the Golani unit whose mother was diagnosed with advanced breast cancer. She is having trouble coping with the disease physically and emotionally. As she is a widow, F., the oldest son, is tasked with all manner of caring for his mother. The family is in desperate straits financially. (They live on disability payments and F’s army salary.)  The Lemonade Fund called the telephone number listed on his mother’s application, and we were surprised to reach F., in the field. Whenever he has a break he deals with his mother’s paperwork, doctor appointments, etc. We often see how caregivers in indigent families of breast cancer patients need help, too.

Breast Cancer in Men

C., is a man from the center of the country who has been beset with health problems for most of his life He is currently battling a recurrence of breast cancer. 1% of breast cancers occur in men, and C. is the second male applicant to the Lemonade Fund, since our founding in 2011. He lived with his mother following his first diagnosis, and she helped him financially afterwards. She has since died, and he is now living with his brother who suffers from mental illness himself, and can’t be of much assistance to C. Having lymphedema and diabetes has made it increasingly difficult for C. to move and get around. He is unable to work and is in severe financial crisis. His social worker submitted an application to the Lemonade Fund on his behalf and a grant was issued to him to help him get through this difficult period.

Breast Cancer in the Druze Community

A. is a 67 year old mother of 7 from a Druze village in the north. Since 2013 she has been suffering from cancer, most recently breast cancer. A. and her husband, a disabled veteran of the IDF, have been living on pension and disability payments alone, and they are falling short each month. Through their hospital social worker they’ve applied to the Lemonade Fund for financial help. We were happy to award them a grant to help them pay for extra household help and transportation costs.

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

*Note the new option to wire donations via bank transfer.

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Profiles in Courage – May 2018

Imagine that you are 29, married to a former drug addict who was recently released from prison, and you suddenly find a lump in your breast. You are the sole breadwinner because your husband is on house arrest. You inherited his debts and you are now looking at a double whammy of chemo and bankruptcy. He is on the mend, and you’ll be fine once you return to work, but what do you do while you are in treatment and can’t work? Thankfully, your hospital social worker knows about the ESRA Lemonade Fund, the breast cancer emergency relief fund that gives one-time grants to breast cancer patients who are facing economic challenges due to their illness. She applied for a grant on your behalf to get you through this rough patch until you’re back on your feet. The grant was sent and we at the Lemonade Fund are happy we could help.

In the last year, the Lemonade Fund has expanded our services to more breast centers in Israel. We want to be here to help Israeli breast cancer patients who are in financial crisis, so that they can focus on recovery. Join us in helping them. Thanks!

To donate:

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

 

Profiles in Courage – April 2018

Two April Lemonade Fund applicants stand out as examples of family crises that can torpedo a breast cancer patient’s recovery unless they get financial assistance.

A. is a 49 year old immigrant from South America with two teenagers with special needs. She was recently divorced from a man who was physically abusive enough to force A. and her children to seek shelter in a home for victims of domestic violence. A. had a good job in city government until 2009 when she was first diagnosed with breast cancer. After treatment she was unable to return to her job due to the lasting impact of her treatments as well as issues with her husband and her children (one of whom had emotional problems severe enough to require extensive hospitalizations.) Despite this, A. worked part time in eldercare in an effort to support her children. A few months ago her breast cancer returned, this time in a more advanced stage, and A. is undergoing chemotherapy treatments that make working impossible. She is carrying heavy debt that she incurred during the period when she couldn’t work and she is finding it very difficult to manage. A.’s social worker submitted an application on A.’s behalf to the Lemonade Fund and she was awarded a Lemonade Fund financial relief grant so she can focus on recovery and her children.

V. is a married immigrant from Kazakhstan who worked as an office cleaner for many years. Her husband is a factory worker and they have two children. Their oldest son is a long time drug addict who lives with them and who has been in treatment multiple times. His addiction was severe enough to require a liver transplant. V. and her husband tried to support their son but over the years this support has almost bankrupted them and they are deeply in debt. V. continued to work, despite being in her mid-sixties, until she was diagnosed with breast cancer, requiring chemotherapy, a full mastectomy and radiation. V. is now unable to work and the family is in financial crisis. The Lemonade Fund approved them for a grant to help them get through this difficult time.

To Donate to the ESRA Lemonade Fund:

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

 

LEMONADE SPRING HOLIDAY NEWSLETTER


First, as is our yearly custom, a spring LEMONY recipe, good for Passover or any time. (Please read to the bottom for Lemonade Fund news.)

Lemon Herb Salad

MARTHA ROSE SHULMAN, courtesy of the New York Times

  • YIELD 6 servings
  • TIME15 minutes

Bitter herbs – the maror – are part of the Seder ritual, symbolizing the bitterness of slavery experienced by the Jews in Egypt. Endive, romaine and chicory (for which I’ve substituted radicchio) are present on many Sephardic ritual platters, but often they also appear in salads served with the meal. This can be served as a separate course or as a side dish.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 hearts of romaine lettuce
  • 1 small head radicchio
  • 2 Belgian endives
  • 1 ½ cups arugula or watercress, washed and dried
  • 1 rib celery, preferably from the heart, sliced very thin
  • 2 scallions, chopped (optional)
  • ¼ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh dill
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint(optional)
  • 1 small garlic clove
  •  Salt to taste
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil

PREPARATION

  1. Wash and dry the romaine lettuce leaves and break into medium pieces. Separate the radicchio leaves and cut into medium pieces. Rinse and dry the endives and slice crosswise about 3/4 inch thick. Toss together all of the greens, the celery and the scallions in a large salad bowl and sprinkle the herbs over the top.
  2. Skin the garlic clove, cut in half and remove green shoots. Place in a mortar and pestle with a generous pinch of salt and mash to a paste. Work in the lemon juice and then the olive oil. Taste and adjust salt. Transfer to a jar until ready to serve the salad.
  3. Just before serving, shake the dressing in the jar, pour over the salad and toss.

Tips

  • Advance preparation: The greens can be prepared, wrapped in a clean kitchen towel and then sealed in plastic bags and refrigerated, several hours ahead.
  • Most of the calories come from the dressing; you can use less to reduce them.


A LEMONADE FUND STORY
WHAT WE DO:
HELPING NEEDY ISRAELI BREAST CANCER PATIENTS
WHO ARE IN FINANCIAL CRISIS

March 2018:

R., 48, is married with 2 children, 10 and 12. She worked in a supermarket stocking shelves until she was diagnosed with metastatic (Stage 4) breast cancer. (She can no longer work due to the side effects of her treatments.) Her husband, though partially disabled and unemployed, controls the household entirely, including all of the finances. He has forced estrangement from her family and friends, and R. is living in fear and isolation. She thinks her children need counseling but her husband will not permit it. The family has no income except for the minimal disability payments that they receive from the National Insurance Institute (Bituach Leumi.)

Despite his cruelty, R. is afraid to leave her domineering husband for fear of orphaning her children completely. For the time being she and her hospital social worker submitted an application for an emergency Lemonade Fund grant that will be deposited in a new separate bank account that R. opened on her own. (In special cases such as this, grant checks can either be sent to the recipient via the social worker, or wired directly to the recipient’s separate bank account.) In this way, R. will have a sum of money that is completely her own, to spend as she sees fit. Though her situation remains precarious, R. will have a modicum of control of her own life…a small step toward personal empowerment (and maybe more,) during a very difficult time.

(See below to donate and help other Lemonade Fund applicants.)

 A THANK YOU AND A DONATION IN HONOR OF A MOTHER:

Hello,

We would like to make a donation to the Lemonade Fund in memory of our mother, ——-, who passed away in 2017. She suffered from breast cancer at age 45, but survived to live an active and rich life until the age of 85 when she passed away from breast cancer. Stage 4. Throughout her life she was a true and brave warrior in the face of illness, tragedy and hardship. She was always active and optimistic and yet gracious and accepting of death at the end of her life.

We would love to pass on a little part of her optimism to other women and hope that we can offer a little assistance to those women who are currentlty finding their own battle.

Sincerely,
Family of ——-



Click to Donate
YOU can help needy Israeli breast cancer patients by sponsoring ESRA Lemonade Fund grants.      
       AVERAGE LEMONADE FUND GRANT = NIS 2,500 ($720.)
  • Donate 1 month of grants for 1 Breast Center    NIS 12,500  ($3,600)
  • Donate 2.5 grants                                                   NIS   6,250  ($1,800)
  • Donate 1 full grant                                                  NIS   2,500  ($720)
  • Donate a half grant                                                 NIS  1,250   ($360)
  • Donate any amount                                                   Thank you!!!!!!
Tax deductible receipts are available for Israeli, US, UK or Australiandonations.

News****We are grateful to JNF (קק’ל) Australia for including the ESRA Lemonade Fund as one of their JNF SPECIFIC AND VITAL PROJECTS IN ISRAEL! Thank you!!!!
https://www.jnf.org.au/project-items/lemonadefund/

We continue to be grateful to Myisrael for supporting the ESRA Lemonade Fund as one of their charity projects.
http://www.myisraelcharity.org/project/view/375

Lemonade Fund is a welfare fund of  ESRA, a registered Israeli non-profit organization (No. 580037455.)

Profiles in Courage – March 2018

Breast Cancer + Domestic Abuse:

Sadly, we see too much of this combo in our Lemonade Fund grant applications. How does the Lemonade Fund handle situations in which an abusive spouse/partner completely controls the family bank account? The following is an example:

R., 48, is married with 2 children, 10 and 12. She worked in a supermarket stocking shelves until she was diagnosed with metastatic (Stage 4) breast cancer. (She can no longer work due to the side effects of her treatments.) Her husband, though partially disabled and unemployed, controls the household entirely, including all of the finances. He has forced estrangement from her family and friends, and R. is living in fear and isolation. She thinks her children need counseling but her husband will not permit it. The family has no income except for the minimal disability payments that they receive from the National Insurance Institute (Bituach Leumi.)

Despite his cruelty, R. is afraid to leave her domineering husband for fear of orphaning her children completely. For the time being she and her hospital social worker submitted an application for an emergency Lemonade Fund grant that will be deposited in a new separate bank account that R. opened on her own. (In special cases such as this, grant checks can either be sent to the recipient via the social worker, or wired directly to the recipient’s separate bank account.) In this way, R. will have a sum of money that is completely her own, to spend as she sees fit. Though her situation remains precarious, R. will have a modicum of control of her own life…a small step toward personal empowerment (and maybe more,) during a very difficult time.

To Donate to the ESRA Lemonade Fund:

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

 

Profiles in Courage – January 2018

This month, several of our applicants were young mothers who are balancing the challenge of parenting young children while undergoing chemotherapy.

E., the mother of an 18 month old was recently diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer. E. has had to stop working as a caretaker in a nursing home.  Her husband has lost time from work due to the demands of taking care of an ill wife and a young child. The family has incurred considerable debt. Their social worker turned to the ESRA Lemonade Fund on their behalf, requesting help for basic living expenses.

T., 33 years old, is the married mother of a toddler. She was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was in the early stages of a second pregnancy, and she had to make the difficult choice to terminate the pregnancy. Due to the side effects of treatments – chemotherapy, a double mastectomy and soon, radiation, T. had to leave her job as a kindergarten assistant. Her husband is a teacher, making a modest salary. Due to her medical and financial situation, T. is, understandably, quite stressed and depressed.

The Lemonade Fund awarded financial grants to E. and T., as well as special food coupons supplied by our inestimable supporters at Myisrael. The money for the food coupons  was raised during Myisrael’s Channuka campaign. The coupons for the Lemonade Fund were designated specifically for young mothers with breast cancer. The coupons will be used to purchase diapers, formula and food for these young families. Thank you, Myisrael!

Each food coupon costs NIS 300 ($88) This is a magical way to help these young families.

Let’s keep this going!!!!!!

To donate:

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

December 2017 – Profiles in Courage

The story of one of our December grant recipients:

Y., a 45 year old divorcee, originally from Moldova, diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer, lives with her father in the center of the country.  For many years, Y. sold cosmetics at a kiosk in a mall, supporting herself and her two children. Now she is in pain and confined to a wheelchair due to the side effects of her treatment. Y. and her father live on the small salary her father makes in eldercare, as well as her disability payments. Her children have their own issues and are unable to be of assistance. Y.’s social worker requested a Lemonade Fund grant for basic living expenses and extra household help. (Awarded this week.)

We at the Lemonade Fund would like to thank you for making 2017 a year of Lemonade. We hear from recipients directly, that your grants give them peace of mind financially while they’re in treatment. They also report that they see the grants as a gesture of love and caring. Thank you.

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

November – Profiles in Courage

A. is a 67 year old mother of 7 from a Druze village in the north. Since 2013 she has been suffering from cancer, most recently breast cancer. A. and her husband, a disabled veteran of the IDF, have been living on pension and disability payments alone, and they are falling short each month. Through their hospital social worker they’ve applied to the Lemonade Fund for financial help. We were happy to award them a grant to help them pay for extra household help and transportation costs.

Some stories defy belief, they are so shrouded in misery. O. is a 47 year old ultra-Orthodox married mother of 3 children with Stage 4 breast cancer that has spread to her bones. She is primarily bedridden with difficult-to-control pain, and can only get around with a walker. Her husband has longstanding mental health issues and has accumulated so much debt that the family cannot secure housing and has had to move often. Their youngest child, age 7, has serious learning and behavioral difficulties. The oldest son is in a pre-army preparatory school; the middle child still lives at home. This family is in crisis on many fronts. The Lemonade Fund application, vetted by the breast center social work staff, requested help for day to day living expenses, additional childcare and transportation assistance. We approved an emergency relief grant to help O. and her family.

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

Thank you.

Imagine…

Imagine you are a mother of 7 children, ages 9-19, and your husband suddenly loses his eyesight due to a rare genetic disease. Your salary from the Beit Avot (Nursing Home) where you work as a caregiver, suddenly becomes the sole family income and you take on extra shifts. The stress in enormous, but you manage. Then you find a lump…

You decide it must be nothing, a side effect of all of the stress, and you wait, hoping it will disappear. You delay getting checked; you can’t take time off from work. And if something happens to you? Then what? It CANNOT be anything!

This is a story taken from an application for a Lemonade Fund grant. By the time this young mother made it to a doctor, she was diagnosed with advanced breast cancer. Now imagine that she knew that there is a safety net here in Israel, an Emergency Relief Fund, to supplement lost income during treatment. Perhaps she would have gone to get checked sooner. She was awarded a Lemonade Fund grant which is helping her family while she is in treatment. Despite the delay, her situation is not hopeless, and we wish her a speedy recovery.

The ESRA Lemonade Fund gives one-time emergency financial grants to the neediest breast cancer patients in Israel, so that they can focus on getting well.

It is a simple formula. Donations from you go straight to carefully vetted applicants within a month of approval. Donations are tax deductible.

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

 

September – A Simple Formula

No one should have to be very ill and very poor at the same time. If you’re sick, you shouldn’t be worrying about how you can’t afford to put food on the table or pay your electric bill.

The ESRA Lemonade Fund gives one-time emergency financial grants to the neediest breast cancer patients in Israel, so that they can focus on getting well.

It is a simple formula. Donations from you go straight to carefully vetted applicants within a month of approval. Donations are tax deductible.

THE STORY OF A SEPTEMBER 2017 GRANT RECIPIENT:

M., an immigrant from Ethiopia, is a mother of 7 children (the youngest is 9 years old,) from a town near Haifa. Her husband has become visually impaired and can no longer work. M. was a hard worker, supporting her family as a nurses’ aide in a senior citizens home. She was laid off a few months before she was diagnosed with breast cancer, and now she cannot work during a long course of treatment, first chemotherapy, then surgery followed by radiation. The family is getting some disability assistance from the National Insurance Institute, but a grant from the Lemonade Fund will tide this family over until they can get back on their feet.

This is what we do.

M. is one of 11 applicants this month. We are asking for your help.

“If any of your fellow citizens become poor and are unable to support themselves among you, help them as you would a foreigner or a stranger, so that they can continue to LIVE among you.” (Leviticus 25:35)

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

Thank you!