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:
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:
To make a donation to the Israel Lemonade Fund: https://lemonadefund.org/to-donate/
K, a divorced mother of 3 children, ages 6, 13 and 21, from the south, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012 and it came back this past year. She has a long road ahead of her, first chemo, then surgery, then radiation. She is a Special Ed teacher who has used up most of her sick pay, and she has gone into debt to pay for basics. Her ex-husband is a drug addict who pays no alimony. K. has developed an anxiety disorder from the stress and she is having a hard time focusing on her treatment because she is so fearful about her finances. The Lemonade Fund awarded K. an emergency financial relief grant to help her get through this difficult time.
The Lemonade Fund is Israel’s only breast cancer emergency relief fund, helping Israeli breast cancer patients in financial crisis. Our application rate is rising and we need your help. Please donate:
To learn more about what we do, watch our short movie clip:
Nine years ago, on the fast of Tisha B’Av, 5770, on the saddest day of the Jewish year, I received news that paralleled the mood of the day. Out of the blue, I was newly diagnosed with breast cancer. My personal situation mirrored the historic catastrophes that occurred, repeatedly, to the Jewish nation, on this specific day of fasting and mourning.
Yet it is prophesied that 9 Av will be transformed, in the future, into a day of feasting and joy, of greater kindness and tolerance. Nine years later, thank God, I am fine and living life. In gratitude, each year I’ve tried to use the day as an opportunity to explore ways to better our human interactions. Perhaps this small effort can be part of our roadmap toward recreating the day and healing our divisions.
Most of us mean well in our interactions with others. However some situations are more challenging, such as how to deal with a person with a serious disease. I want to dedicate this Tisha B’Av to learning about how to improve on this. I am sharing the (very blunt) words of a patient with stage 4 cancer.
HOW TO REALLY HEAR AND HELP A PERSON WHO IS VERY ILL:
“I really appreciate all the support that I got…. when I shared about cancer and the dissolution of my marriage, a couple of weeks ago. It shocked me. It shocked me, because I am not used to it.
You have to understand that I don’t mind cancer. If you live with cancer, you have to have a relationship with it—it is part of you. I respect the disease. I have learned from it. I have become myself because of it. But it is a problem for my interactions with the world, because people are scared of cancer. People avoid what they fear.
I hate when people tell me they are sorry about my cancer, because I’m not sorry. And I feel it’s dismissive.
I would prefer if people asked me how I am.
It is a lonely disease.
After I got cancer, I was not the same.
I wanted to be.
I wanted my life to go back to what it was.
I was so lively. I was so lovely.
I was so busy. I was so social.
But I could not do it.
No surprise, I changed.
I was withdrawn during chemotherapy and my world became small. It contracted like starvation. It is hard to get back what is lost. It is more difficult still to begin anew. People visited at first. They sent flowers. The florists prospered.
I tried. So hard. I called. I emailed. I texted. I showed up.
You think people are nice about it? No. Cancer is misunderstood. Everyone says the wrong thing. Which is what they do so much anyway. Then I said the wrong thing back. I could not believe the stupid things people said in an effort to be nice. Telling me about something bad that happened to them that was not cancer, etc. I wanted everyone to just be normal.
I hate when people say, Let me know if there is anything I can do. If you mean it, you just do it. You just show up. You insist. You don’t send an email. You don’t suggest a date in three weeks. People with cancer live now. We only have Today. We have six jobs, because cancer is five. What are you so busy with? What is so big in your life? I may not be seeing you in three weeks.
The nicest thing anyone could do for me is to respond to a text promptly.
For all of my life, I did not have cancer and I did not feel like my colleagues were uncommunicative. But people kind of treat me like I am sick and insignificant now.
But I am not dead.
I don’t feel that way about myself. I feel healthy and strong. I feel good. I don’t understand why people expect something to be wrong. I don’t even know that cancer is what will kill me. If you know someone with cancer, just be there in person, IRL as they say. Cancer is chaos and displacement. I am sorry to be so honest. I hate it. I like myself better when I sound some other way. I sound this way. What can I do? Forgive me. Thank you.”
Despite the fact that the Lemonade Fund mission is to help needy breast cancer patients financially, there is plenty to learn about how to help the sick more sensitively, with words and deeds. Thanks for allowing me to share this with you.
Wishing everyone a meaningful 9th of Av and many years of health.
Shari Mendes, Founder and Director of the Israel Lemonade Fund
The Lemonade Fund is Israel’s only breast cancer emergency relief fund, helping indigent Israeli breast cancer patients with one-time grants to alleviate financial stress during treatment. We have expanded and need your donations more urgently than ever before.
To donate: www.lemonadefund.org/to-donate/
To read more about what we do: www.lemonadefund.org
To watch our short film: https://lemonadefund.org/movie-what-the-lemonade-fund-does/
I., a 46 yo mother of 4 and C., a 41 yo mom of 1, both breast cancer patients in financial crisis, have just received Lemonade Fund grants thanks to the work of one very special woman, Yael Friedbauer.
Yael, a breast cancer patient herself, is currently in treatment at Meir Hospital in Kfar Saba. In March, she held an event at her Zumba Studio in Raanana, (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Zxw0_HPyCs) on the International Day of the Woman. She donated all of the proceeds from this amazing event to breast cancer patients who are being treated at Meir Hospital. Her efforts have helped patients at Meir since April, and are proof of how one person with the will can help many. Yael just had a birthday so we are dedicating July’s profile in honor of and thanks to Yael. We wish her a speedy recovery and continued good health and good works! THANK YOU, YAEL!!!!
If you’d like to celebrate an event (a birthday, bar/bat mitzvah, anniversary, etc.) by dedicating gifts to a targeted group of Lemonade Fund recipients, we would be happy to help you donate in so significant a way. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, to make arrangements. Thank you.
- A donor has come forward and offered to cover half of the costs of our expansion, NIS 25,000 ($7,000,) challenging us to match his grant, shekel for shekel, dollar for dollar, to raise the other half.
- Your donations will be matched by this donor. You can be part of this incredible initiative, helping indigent Israeli breast cancer patients in financial crisis due to illness!
- Please consider a donation of an average grant, NIS 2,100 ($590,) or for ANY AMOUNT towards our goal of NIS 25,000 ($7,000,)
Typical story. Last week the Lemonade Fund received an urgent request from a city Social Worker to pay the utility bills of a breast cancer patient who is also a victim of domestic violence. Single mother with 4 children. We did…
The Lemonade Fund is the only Breast Cancer Emergency Relief charity in Israel, and over the last year we have doubled the amount of money we are giving due to the pressing need.
To donate: https://lemonadefund.org/to-donate/
Raise a glass…this New Year the Lemonade Fund will surpass
1,000,000 shekels in grants awarded to Israeli breast cancer patients.
In a few short years, the Lemonade Fund has become THE safety net in Israel for any breast cancer patient in financial crises. The ONLY breast cancer emergency relief fund in Israel…
“A. got a grant after fleeing her abusive husband. The money carried her while she was living in a domestic abuse shelter with her 2 children, and undergoing chemotherapy.”
“E. discovered a lump while pregnant with her first child after years of infertility. She carried the baby to term knowing that she’d have to start chemotherapy immediately after the birth. With no family or extra money, E.’s grant enabled her to hire help and get through treatment.”
“M., mom of 7 children, youngest age 9, became the sole family breadwinner when her husband went blind. An office cleaner, M., was then diagnosed with advanced breast cancer, and the family had no source of income. M.’s Lemonade Fund grant helped the family stay afloat, until other social services were able to step in.”
To read more stories:
To watch our short movie:
Lemonade Fund grants alleviate financial pressure during treatment so that patients can focus on recovery. By sending support and lessening stress, we hope that Lemonade Fund grants help patients get better faster so that they can go back to living their lives…
L’CHAIM! TO LIFE!
The ESRA Lemonade Fund sends wishes to all for a happy and healthy new year. Thank you for your strong support over the years, enabling us to continue this important work.
NO more having to take 2 busses, in the heat, to chemo in Beer Sheva! L., a 66 year old divorcee from Arad, a retired cleaner, was recently diagnosed with invasive breast carcinoma. She lives on a 1300 NIS/month pension and her National Insurance Institute payments. She doesn’t have a car and has been taking public transportation, in the heat, by herself, for the last few months. Her social worker applied to the Lemonade Fund for an emergency grant for help with cost of living expenses and transportation to treatment. Grant awarded!
L. is just one of the August applicants who received emergency financial assistance from the Lemonade Fund; emergency grants were given to breast cancer patients from hospitals all over Israel. Lemonade Fund grants alleviate financial pressure so breast cancer patients can focus on recovery.
To donate to the ESRA Lemonade Fund:
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: