Tag Archives: illness

December 2013 – Profiles in Courage

Y., is a married, 39-year-old mother of four from the center of the country. She was just diagnosed with recurrent breast cancer, this time in the form of metastases to her lungs. To make her story that much more difficult, her oldest son was just diagnosed with leukemia. Her husband, who works in a correctional institution, has exceeded his paid family leave benefits and is now on leave without pay in order to care for his wife, his son and his younger children. Though formerly solvent, this family has been pushed into financial crisis due to the impact of serious illness. The Lemonade Fund, aka, the Israel Breast Cancer Emergency Relief Fund, was created in order to help women like Y., and their families, and we awarded them a Lemonade Fund grant to tide them over during this difficult time.

The Lemonade Fund is a grass-roots organization with virtually no overhead.  More than 90% of the money donated to the Lemonade Fund goes directly to grants. We are able to do because of a conscious decision to keep things this way. Though we are an official, registered Israeli charity, we have no fancy offices, brochures, etc.,  – just direct  requests for your help. Please consider donating to the Lemonade Fund so we can continue this important work. (Donations will receive tax deductible receipts.)  Thank you.

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

TO READ MORE ABOUT THE LEMONADE FUND: https://lemonadefund.org/about/

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Do it for your genes. Live longer. Choose a cause that means something to you and get involved. Many good causes out there. One suggestion: Lemonade Fund welcomes volunteers, for tasks that can be done from home.Www.lemonadefund.org/about

3 Years! A Personal Message

Though the Lemonade Fund, www.lemonadefund.org, would never turn away donations, today I am personally asking for something other than money.

Three years ago this week, in July 2010, specifically on the Jewish day of Tisha B’Av,  I received the news that I had breast cancer. The year that followed was difficult, but I had excellent medical care, faith and support, and I am happy to say that I felt fine by the following Tisha B’Av.

As they say, when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. A serious illness is terrifying, and one can focus on little beyond survival. During that initial year I was also struck by how costly it was to be sick and I became concerned about patients who were dealing with breast cancer and poverty at the same time. Thus, exactly one year later, in August 2011, on erev Tisha B’Av, the Israel Breast Cancer Emergency Relief Fund, aka, the Lemonade Fund, was born. Since then, the Lemonade Fund has given one-time grants to many needy Israeli breast cancer patients, to help alleviate financial pressure while they are undergoing treatment.

While I am heartened that we can help these patients financially, there is another way I would like to ask for your help. Tisha B’Av, the saddest day of the Jewish calendar, begins tomorrow evening. The fractious nature of Jewish society is often blamed for the historic tragedies that befell us on this day, and we hear many calls for Jewish unity at this time of year. Great idea, but how do we implement ‘tikun olam’ (repairing the world) at a grass-roots level? How do we begin?

Personally. One to one.

At the Lemonade Fund, our focus is illness. Most of the women (though men can get breast cancer, all of our grantees to date have been women) who have received Lemonade Fund grants are desperately ill. The poor often don’t get medical help until disease is advanced. Many are young and single parents. Children are impacted.

Please take a moment on Monday night/Tuesday to have these women in mind. If it is your way, please pray for them. (You can read many of their stories on the website.) Volunteer at the Lemonade Fund; we welcome all volunteers. Or reach out to someone you may know who is ill. Call them, text them, visit them, connect with their caregivers and offer support. Pray for them.

That’s all. Thank you.

With collective acts of good, we can become closer and turn this day of destruction into a day of happiness and reconstruction. Petty hatred is incompatible with compassion. Illness knows no boundaries; enemies share hospital rooms and heal together. I have had the good fortune, thank God,  to see this date, Tisha B’Av, transformed into an anniversary of recovery, of hope. May we all merit to continue in this direction, together.

Thanks, Shari

Israel Breast Cancer Emergency Relief Fund (IBCERF)

c/o ESRA
P.O.Box 3132
Herzliya 46104, Israel
email: info@lemonadefund.org
Please like our facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/IBCERF
Consider having your next gift help the Lemonade Fund www.mgifts.org.

Not Your Usual Lemonade…Driving to the Doctor under Fire

Yesterday evening, David and I were driving to a doctor’s appointment in Rishon Letzion, a suburb of Tel Aviv. I wasn’t anxious about the appointment, nor was I nervous about venturing out of our relatively sheltered northern community. Life in the center of Israel (as opposed to the South, where rocket fire has been relentless and terrifying) has been intentionally ‘business as usual.’ Sirens have sounded in Tel Aviv a few times, and citizens take them seriously, all running to shelter, but then it’s back to work and school. Just a few minutes ago, news came in about a bus bombing in Tel Aviv; early reports are of twenty-one injured. Everyone is jittery, but Israelis are a tough lot; resistant to giving in to terror. Even after this latest event, people will quickly be back at their desks.

As we approached Rishon Letzion, I noticed people stopping their cars on the side of the road and leaving them. We didn’t realize what was happening at first but then I heard the siren, warning of an incoming Gazan rocket. Fifteen seconds to take cover. We stopped the car, got out, and crouched nearby. Time is suspended during such moments as one helplessly waits for…what? The overwhelming feeling was one of profound helplessness. Prayer, as usual, was a good option, and I imagine God is getting quite an earful lately. We soon heard a large explosion and saw the sky light up, not very far off in the distance. There was no way to know if the new Iron Dome Defense system had intercepted this incoming rocket, destroying it before landfall, or if it had hit a mark. We all got up, shakily, climbed back into our cars, and continued on our way.

 Within minutes the radio was reporting a direct hit on an apartment building in Rishon, casualties, unknown. We soon learned that the top three floors of an apartment building had been destroyed, however, miraculously, no one had been killed.

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People are heeding the siren alerts, and this is saving countless lives, but the internal cost of living under such stress is incalculable. Reports are of PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) in as much as 75% of the children in the south. Having experienced a ‘Tzeva Adom’ (red alert) even once, I’m not sure why the number isn’t closer to 100%. Who can live like this?

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The Lemonade Fund (www.lemonadefund.org) aka, the Israel Breast Cancer Emergency Relief Fund, is more important than ever during these difficult times. It was created to help reduce external stresses on seriously ill breast cancer patients so they can concentrate on the all important task of getting well. Because no one should have to be very sick and very poor at the same time. Grants are given during the immediate post diagnosis period to worthy applicants from all over Israel; from all races, religions and nationalities.  

Five grants were awarded this morning. Coincidentally, all of the applicants were from Tel Aviv or south. One of the applicants, M.M., 53, is a single mother, newly diagnosed with breast cancer, who hails from Netivot, a community in the near the Gaza border that has been especially hard hit by rockets. The letter from her social worker describes a woman who has been very strong even after the recent death of a daughter (who had Down’s syndrome.) She has another daughter, 18, who helps her, but M.M. has a long road ahead. She is currently receiving neoadjuvant therapy to shrink her tumor so that she can have surgery. After that she’ll need 6 weeks of daily radiation.  She is unable to work, and they are in severe economic crisis. How fortunate that the Lemonade Fund exists and is able to help her.

I remember that it was hard enough to be sick during peace time, when appointments are kept and treatments stay on schedule. It is impossible to imagine the stress on the seriously ill, in war time. Health and social services are taxed to the limit. All but emergency care is curtailed. Even if appointments are not cancelled, leaving the house and going to the doctor is dicey (as I saw last night.) Lessening the financial burdens on these patients right now is an act of incredible kindness. Please consider making a contribution to the Lemonade Fund.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

Shari

To donate:

Online:  http://www.esra.org.il/donation-form

By Telephone: Call the ESRA office and make your donation by credit card (011 972 9-950-8371).

By Check:
Tax Exempt Donations in Israel: Mail checks to ESRA, POB 3132, Herzliya 46104 (include cover letter designating IBCERF.)

Tax Exempt donations from the United States of America:
P.E.F. Endowment Funds, Inc., Room 607
317 Madison Avenue,
New York, NY 10017
Tel: 212-599-1260.

Make check out to PEF but please include a covering letter stating that your donation is earmarked for ESRA, specifying IBCERF.

Tax Exempt donation from the United Kingdom and other countries:
Please contact the ESRA office to find out the best way of making your donation to ESRA from your country.
http://www.esra.org.il/contact-esra

 

  

 

 

Hot Lemonade for October

HOT APPLE CIDER LEMONADE
1 gal. apple cider
6 oz. lemonade
6 oz. orange juice
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 tbsp. whole cloves
1 tbsp. whole allspiceCombine cider, lemonade, orange juice and brown sugar in pan. Heat over medium heat. Place spices in cheese cloth and add to cider. Serve warm.

The Lemonade Fund, http://www.lemonadefund.org, was founded as a response to devastating news.  After getting over the shock of a breast cancer diagnosis, I was fortunate to be able to concentrate on the all-consuming job of getting well.  During that initial year of treatment, I was often struck by how costly it was to be sick and wondered, how do impoverished women do this? Income is often reduced due to time off from work and yet there are a myriad of new illness-related expenses. Having a serious illness  teaches you that there are things that you can and things that you can’t control. We couldn’t necessarily cure cancer, but we could alleviate some of the financial pressure in the neediest among us. Thus was born the Lemonade Fund, an official Israeli charity that grants short term financial assistance to needy breast cancer patients (from all segments of the Israeli population, women and men, of all races and religions,) during the first year of treatment.

Now after more than a year of successfully making lemonade out of lemons,  we aim to continue this good work.  We are receiving grant requests from all over the country. One of the women who received a grant this month is a single mother of three children, who was recently  diagnosed with serious disease. One of her children is a 17 year old daughter who survived a terrorist attack and is just getting back on her feet. The mother is now unable to work and the family is having trouble making ends meet. It was  a privilege to be able to help her.

If you haven’t already, please consider making a donation to the Israel Breast Cancer Emergency Relief Fund (IBCERF) aka, the Lemonade Fund, in honor of October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

To donate:

Online:  http://www.esra.org.il/donation-form

By Telephone: Call the ESRA office and make your donation by credit card (011 972 9-950-8371).

By Check:
Tax Exempt Donations in
Israel: Mail checks to ESRA, POB 3132, Herzliya 46104 (include cover letter designating IBCERF.)
Tax Exempt donations from the United States of America:
P.E.F. Endowment Funds, Inc., Room 607
317 Madison Avenue,
New York, NY 10017
Tel: 212-599-1260.

Make check out to PEF but please include a covering letter stating that your donation is earmarked for ESRA, specifying  IBCERF.

Tax Exempt donation from the United Kingdom and other countries:
Please contact the ESRA office to find out the best way of making your donation to ESRA from your country.
http://www.esra.org.il/contact-esra