Lemonade Fund:

By quickly and compassionately delivering monetary grants, the Lemonade Fund can ease some of the financial burdens that accompany breast cancer so that patients can concentrate on the more important challenge of getting well.


A diagnosis of breast cancer is shocking and one can think of little other than survival. Shari Mendes was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010. During that first year she was stunned to see how expensive it was to be sick. How, she wondered, could one manage, being very poor on top of being very ill? Upon her recovery, Shari founded The Lemonade Fund (‘when life gives you lemons, make lemonade,’) an organization that awards emergency financial grants to needy Israeli breast cancer patients, so that they can focus on the important work of getting well.

How does it work?

Breast cancer brings with it many significant non-medical illness-related expenses such as:

  • Transportation to doctor appointments or extra medical care and treatments. Hospital parking.
  • Costly special clothing, wigs, prostheses.
  • Extra childcare, household help and other support
  • Lost income due to time off from work for patient of spouse/partner.

Statistics show that a catastrophic illness can catapult a solvent family into bankruptcy in as little as six months. The Lemonade Fund works with social workers and staff at local hospitals and breast centers to identify and screen applicants based on demonstrated financial need. Once an applicant has passed through the rigorous screening process, a grant is awarded immediately in order to alleviate her financial stress.

The Lemonade Fund helps breast cancer patients throughout Israel regardless of sex, (1% of breast cancer patients are male!) race or religion.

Current Fundraising target for My Israel:

Fund (2) grant applicants per month at NIS 2500 per grant, for one year.

How your donation could help:

You might even save a life! We know that the population at the lowest end of the socio-economic scale fares worst after a cancer diagnosis. Poor people get diagnosed at later stages because they worry about losing time from work, and they delay checking suspicious symptoms. We feel that if they knew that a safety net existed for them if they got sick, i.e., the Lemonade Fund, that they might get checked sooner, resulting in early stage diagnoses and far better prognoses.

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