Category Archives: Profiles

Profiles in Courage – August 2020

T. is a 38 year old widow with 5 children (ages 3-13,) from a town in the Jezreel Valley. In May she discovered a lump in her breast which turned out to be malignant. T. doesn’t live near family, but until now she has been able to manage financially on her widow’s pension. With a diagnosis of breast cancer, and a year of treatment ahead of her; chemo, surgery, radiation then reconstruction, T. will need extra childcare and household help in order to manage. The Israel Lemonade Fund awarded T. a generous grant to help her pay for help so that she can focus on her recovery.

A., a 39 year old divorced mother of 3 children from Haifa was diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer recently. Two of her children, 13 and 7, are autistic and need special help. She receives no alimony and can no longer work. She is is in financial crisis and is frantic. Her social worker applied to the Israel Lemonade Fund for an emergency grant to tide her over until more social service help becomes available. Grant awarded.

With special thanks to the Inbar and Marius Nacht Foundation for their support of the Lemonade Fund TAXI PROGRAM FOR CANCER PATIENTS DURING CORONA, providing free taxi rides to treatment for cancer patients during Corona. (To apply for a taxi ride, see TAXI link:





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.


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 Mendes
Founder and Director, Israel Lemonade Fund

“…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:



-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:


  • 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.)

Profiles in Courage – February 2020 – A Hard But Good Day at the Lemonade Fund

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.


Profiles in Courage – January 2020

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)

The Last Lemonade Fund Grant of 2019

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!


Profiles in Courage – November 2019

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:

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.

Thank you!

Profiles in Courage – October 2019 Lemonade Fund Grants

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.)