סיפורים של אנשים שקיבלו סיוע מקרן לימונדה
סרטן השד בהקילה החרדית
א’ הינה אמא חרדית בת 47, הסובלת מסרטן השד שלב 4 אשר התפשט לעצמותיה. לרב היא מרותקת למיטה בכאבים שקשה לרסן ומתניידת רק באמצעות הליכון. לבעלה בעיות נפשיות במשך זמן ממושך והוא צבר כל כך הרבה חובות שלמשפחה אין דיור מובטחת ובהסטוריה שלה הרבה העברות דירה. לילד הצעיר ביותר, בן ה-7, בעיות למידה והתנהגות חמורות. בנם הבכור נמצא בבית-ספר קדם-צבאי והבן האמצעי גר בבית. המשפחה סובלת מבעיות במספר כיוונים. בקשתה לקרן הלימונדה, שנבדקה על-ידי עובדים סוציאלים ממרכז השד, ביקשה סיוע בהוצאות היום-יומיות, ותוספת סיוע בטיפול בילדים ובהסעות.
סרטן השד אצל הבדואינים שבנגב
ע’ בת 33, גרה בקהילה בדואית בבאר-שבע. היא גילתה גידול בשד לקראת סוף הריונה הראשון. ע’ עברה שנים של חוסר פוריות על מנת להיכנס להריון וכעת היא עומדת לפני לידה מזורזת וטיפול מידי בסרטן השד לאחר מכן. בסיוע העובדת הסוציאלית שלה, ע’ כתבה לקרן הלימונדה ובקשה סיוע כספי לתקופה שלאחר הלידה. היא חשה שלא תוכל להתמודד עם הטיפולים והתינוק בד בבד ובאותו עת, היא מבקשת סיוע כספי בשכירות של מסייעת. בעלה מובטל אך מחפש עבודה ואמה סובלת בסרטן השד גם היא.
שפחת מין לשעבר מאוקראינה
ג. הוברחה ארצה דרך מצרים, מאוקראינה. כמו נשים צעירות רבות, הובטחה לה עבודה בארץ, אך גלתה, מאוחר מידי, שמדובר בזנות כפוייה. לאחר מספר שנית כשפחת מין, היא נמלטה או ניצלה, ועשתה את דרכה לצפון הארץ. מצב משפחתה אינו ברור אבל יש לה שני ילדים קטנים מגבר ישראלי אליו היא לא נשואה. הילדים גרים עמה ומסופר עליה שהיא אמא איכפתית. לאחרונה, היא גילתה שיש לה סרטן מתקדם בשד. היא מקבלת טיפול רפואי ונעזרת על-ידי עובדות סוציאליות באזור, שייצרו קשר עם קרן הלימונדה והגישה בשמה בקשה לסיוע.
במקור מצפון אפריקה, כעת גרה לבד וחיה על קצבה קטנה
א’ אשה רווקה, ממרוקו במקור, וכעת גרה בבאר-שבע, אשר לאחרונה אובחנה בסרטן השד. כמו הרבה מבקשות סיוע מקרן הלימונדה, היא חיה בהכנסה קבועה מקצבה קטנה בדיור מסובסד. פציינטיות מבוגרות הסובלות מסרטן השד, כמו א’ מופנות לא מעט לקרן הלימונדה של ESRA על ידי עובדים סוציאלים של בתי החולים מאחר ואין להן עודפי כספים ומסגרות תמיכה. אין משפחה, אין חברים, אין קהילה. הן חיים בבדידות ומתקיימות בשולי החברה עד שהטרגדיה פוגעת בהם. ואז הכל מתפרק. בשלב הזה, נכנסת לפעולה קרן הלימונדה. קרן הלימונדה מסייעת במקרי חירום כספיים של ישראלים הסובלים מסרטן, ומקנה מענקים על מנת לסייע להם לעבור את התקופות הקשות ביותר, על מנת שיוכלו להתרכז בהחלמתם.
סרטן השד בהקילה הערבית-ישראלית
א’ ערבייה ישראלית מהצפון, אם לשלושה ילדים, אחד מהם סובל מתסמונת דאוון. היא נשואה. בשנה שעברה, בעלה איבד את מקום עבודתו. היא הפכה למפרנסת היחידה, עובדת פופולרית בבית חולים ישראל מזה שנים רבות, עד שהיא אובחנה בסרטן השד שחייב אותה לעבור כריטת השד בחודש יולי. בקרוב, היא תתחיל בטיפול כימותרפיה. כל חברי המחלקה בה היא עובדת, יהודים, נוצרים ומוסלמים כאחד, סייעו לה בבקשתה לקרן הלימונדה.
סיוע למטפלים ומטפלות: בנה החייל של אמא הסובלת מסרטן השד מסייע לאמו משדה האימונים
זהו סיפורו של בנה של פציינטית הסובלת מסרטן השד. פ’ חייל צעיר המשרת ביחידת גולני אשר אמו אובחנה בסרטן השד במצב מתקדם. היא מתקשה לעכל את המחלה גם רגשית וגם פיזית. מאחר והיא אלמנה, בנה הבכור נדרש לטפל באמו במגוון של נושאים. למשפחה בעייות כספיות רציניות. (הם חיים בקצבת הנכות והשכר הצבאי של פ’) כאשר טלפננו למספר הטלפון שהופיע בבקשתה של האם לסיוע מקרן הלימונדה, הופתענו לגלות שזה הטלפון של בנה בשדה האימונים. בשעות הפנאי שלו הוא מטפל בניירת של אמו, מארגן לה תורים לרופאים וכדומה. לעיתים קרובות אנו רואים שמטפלים ממשפחות עניות של הסובלות מסרטן השד זקוקים גם הם לסיוע.
סרטן השד אצל גברים
ג’ גבר ממרכז הארץ הסובל מבעיות רפואייות כמעט כל חייו. כעת הוא נלחם בפעם השנייה במחלת סרטן השד. אחוז אחד ממקרי סרטן השד מתרחשים אצל גברים ומאז הקמתה של קרן הלימונדה בשנת 2011, ג’ הינו מבקש הסיוע השני. לאחר שאובחן לראושנה, הוא התגורר אצל אמו שסייעה לו בהוצאות. מאז, היא הלכה לעולמה וכעת הוא מתגורר אצל אחיו שבעצמו סובל ממחלה נפשית ולכן אינו מסוגל לתת לאחיו הרבה עזרה. העובדה שהוא סובל מלימפדמה וסכרת מקשה עוד יותר על ג’ להתנייד. הוא אינו מסוגל לעבוד ונמצא במשבר כספי. העובד הסוציאלי שלו הגיש בקשה מטעמו לקרן הלימונדה והוא קיבל מענק על מנת לסייע לו לעבור תקופה קשה זו.
סרטן השד בהקילה הדרוזית
א’ בת 67, אם לשבעה ילדים מכפר דרוזי בצפון. מאז 2013, היא סובלת מסרטן, ולאחרונה, מסרטן השד. א’ ובעלה, נכה צה”ל חיים מפנסיה וקצבת מכות בלבד וכל חודש הם לא גומרים את החודש. באמצעות העובד הסוציאלי שלהם, פנו לקרן הלימונדה בבקשה לסיוע. שמחנו לתת להם מענק שתסייע להם להשיג עזרה בבית ולסייע בהוצאות הנסיעות שלהם.
עזרו לנו לסייע למטופלות ומשפחות הסובלות ממחלה זו עם תרומתכם הנדיבה.
נא לתרום בלינק:
* היום ניתן גם להעביר תרומות באופן ישיר באמצעות העברה בנקאית
בכל שאלה – נא ליצור קשר עימנו :
V., an immigrant from Tajikstan, is a 33 year old married mother of 2 children. Her older son, age 8, is epileptic, autistic and violent. Soon after opening a kindergarten, V. was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer. Due to the side effects of treatment, V. is unable to work. Her husband teaches martial arts abroad, but now needs to be home to care for his wife and children. This small family’s income has plummeted and their social worker submitted an application for an emergency Lemonade Fund grant, which was awarded.
To donate to Israel’s breast cancer emergency relief fund, the ESRA Lemonade Fund:
Every year at about this time, in mid July, I am stopped in my tracks for a few days.
It is now eight years since life changed so remarkably for me.
On July 18, 2010, I went for what I thought would be a routine mammogram. No reason to worry; no symptoms, no family history. It’s true what they say, that life can turn on a dime. I went into that test one person, and within an hour, I was another… a probable cancer patient. Two days later, which happened to coincide with the Ninth day of the Jewish month of Av, the fast of Tisha B’Av, the most solemn day in the Jewish calendar, I received the news that my biopsy was malignant and that I was indeed solemnly, a cancer patient.
What ensued was a whirlwind period of doctor visits, further testing, decisions, surgery and treatment. Followed by recovery, thank God. I am still recovering, both physically and emotionally, and I will forever be a different person than the one who walked into that mammogram booth in 2010. (A quick digression, a reminder to schedule your yearly medical screening. That routine mammogram saved my life.)
And though it was hard, really hard at times, I wouldn’t trade away what I’ve learned and the opportunities I’ve had, in the last eight years. Being seriously ill is one of the most out of control experiences one can have. Very quickly we learn that the only thing we can control when life throws us lemons, is our reaction. Sadness, anger and depression are certainly reasonable responses. But after a while one realizes that coming through a life-threatening event is an unimaginable gift, not to be squandered. Of course we don’t come out unscathed, but like clay passing through fire, we emerge stronger.
During the year after my diagnosis, while going through treatment, I saw how expensive it was to have breast cancer. I couldn’t imagine how poor or even just-breaking-even patients managed. Spoke to social workers in Breast Centers and they confirmed that some patients didn’t manage, and that financial instability impacted recovery in indigent patients.
It wasn’t the medical care itself; breast cancer treatment is covered by Israeli national health insurance. It was more the ancillary costs, such as lost income, the need for extra childcare or household help, transport to treatments, specialty clothing, etc. Studies show that a formerly solvent family can be catapulted into bankruptcy within six months of a cancer diagnosis. Other countries had breast cancer emergency relief funds to help patients in financial distress, but not Israel.
One year to the date after that fateful mammogram, the ESRA Israel Breast Cancer Emergency Relief Fund, a.k.a, the ESRA Lemonade Fund was founded. Since August 2011, the Lemonade Fund has helped hundreds of breast cancer patients from all over Israel, from all sectors of Israeli society, with emergency grants, so that they can have peace of mind and focus on their recovery.
Breast cancer knows no boundaries. We are all human and vulnerable when we are sick.
Which brings me back to the extraordinary coincidence of receiving a diagnosis of cancer on Tisha B’Av… What, I always wonder, is the message in this? As we approach the Ninth of Av, it is a mistake to think that this day is the providence of the religious only. Anyone who understands the history and meaning behind the day will mark it as seriously as they mark Holocaust Memorial Day. The list of calamities that occurred on this date throughout history is devastating. Talmudic sources point to ‘baseless hatred’ between people as the cause of the destruction of the second temple and the loss of national sovereignty. Are we any better now? There is an unprecedented level of anger and vile hatred of the ‘other’ in modern day discourse.
Except in Israeli hospitals, where coexistence is the rule. Arab doctors work shoulder to shoulder with Jewish doctors, operating on patients with regard only to their diagnosis, not their origin, sexual, religious orientation or age. Jews forget their religious differences. People who wouldn’t walk on the same side of the street, (or pray next to each other at the Western Wall,) find common ground when facing a crisis. And it is the same in times of war. We pull together then, too.
Like victims of abuse, we don’t know how to live respectfully if we are not under the gun. Tisha B’Av is more than just a routine fast day for religious people. It is a wake up call to all of us about the perils of divisiveness. It is said that the residents of second century Jerusalem were astonished at the speed at which Jerusalem and the temple fell. Hatreds within our current society could tear us apart in no less time. Tolerance takes practice but it can be learned. We know that we can do it; we see that we transform into peaceful people within the walls of hospitals.
The ESRA Lemonade Fund has taught us that it’s much more rewarding to foster compassion and acceptance than anger and hate. A young Haredi mother with stage 4 breast cancer fears abandoning her children no more or less than a young secular mother from Tel Aviv. The antidote to ‘baseless hatred’ and potential destruction is really ‘baseless love.’ We can all do this.
Rav Joseph Soleveichik, one of the greatest Torah scholars of the modern age said, “Tisha B’Av is a day of limitless despair and boundless hope and faith.” Why hopeful? If we are open to it, this special day can be an extraordinary catalyst for change.
Wishing everyone a meaningful Ninth of Av, and years of good health and peace,
Founder and Director, ESRA Lemonade Fund
When both spouses have cancer… Y., a 50 year old secretary from Haifa, is married with two adult children. Her husband, a machine operator, is currently being treated for lymphoma. In the midst of taking care of him, Y. was diagnosed with breast cancer and now, she, too, is getting chemotherapy. Though their children pitch in, they are having a hard time making ends meet. The Lemonade Fund, an emergency breast cancer financial relief fund, created for just such situations, has awarded them a grant to help them get through this difficult time.
Diagnosed with breast cancer while pregnant… E., a 27 year old immigrant from Mexico discovered a lump while pregnant with her second child. She is now getting chemotherapy even while pregnant. Her husband works as an office cleaner, but he is overwhelmed with the duties of caring for his toddler and his wife at the same time. The Lemonade Fund sent this young family a grant to help them with day to day costs as well as to hire some extra help and we wish E. an easy delivery and a speedy recovery.
To Donate to the Lemonade Fund:
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.
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!
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:
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:
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!!!!!!