Larger than Life Fund
To finance treatments and medications for children with Cancer.
Why – The Need
Every year, hundreds of children require life-saving medications, treatment and innovative medical equipment which are not covered by the State’s “Medications Basket". Families of the sick children risk their economic future and their property to finance these items.
Where – The Location: All through-out the country of Israel.
Over 700 children with cancer go through active chemotherapy treatment annually.
The diagnosis period and the hospital treatments last between one to two years.
Every year, hundreds of children require medications, treatment and innovative medical equipment that are not covered by the State’s “Medications Basket, which are necessary for saving and improving their lives. Families of the sick children risk their economic future and their property to finance these items. Every week we are approached by physicians, social workers in the oncology wards and families for financial aid to cover the costs of different medication, innovative treatments, dietary supplements and complementary medical treatments, to save their child. There is an urgent need to assist all the children referred to the program.
Larger than Life Fund fills a void created between the actual needs of children sick with cancer and public funding. The Fund saves and helps as many children as possible until a proper public solution is set-up. The Fund provides supports through 3 main categories:
- Financial assistance for medicines and medical treatments that are not covered by the public health insurance, or that are only partially covered requiring the families in need to pay a fee . Note that even though the "medicine basket" is updated with new medicines and treatments every year, for budgetary and bureaucratic reasons, many medicines and treatments are not included in the insurance. For example, the fund has financed in the past innovative medicines, dental procedures after chemotherapy, unique tests, unique food supplements, the freezing of girls' ovum before chemotherapy, lifesaving experimental treatments in unique situations with various experts in Israel and around the world to children with cancer, etc.
- Medical equipment and other items that are not financed by the public health insurance and are vital to improve the patient's quality of life, such as special wheelchairs and orthopedic equipment, furniture needed to adapt a home to the needs of a cancer patient, wigs, etc.
- Humanitarian aid to families of sick children with cancer under extreme financial distress: in some circumstances the fund has helped families to purchase food and other basic items to provide for the sick child.
The Fund was founded by Larger than Life in 2008. The Fund's decision-making process is quick and can take the longest – one month.
Sponsoring the Project
Larger-than-Life is seeking a donation of $50,000 to be able to respond to 35% of the requested amounts for support.
Each year over 700 children are treated in Israel with active chemotherapy treatments. Children diagnosed with cancer and their families have to deal with diverse emotional, practical and financial challenges: anxiety, despair, confusion, shock, lack of knowledge and ability to prioritize, fatigue, loneliness, dealing with the different health authorities, organizing logistics within the family, purchasing medication and finding financial aid when the parents income is injured; as the child returns home –they have to deal with repressed emotions outbreaks and family crisis, to re-adjust to daily routines such as to attend school and social activities, to cope with the loss of attention as well as with post-traumatic symptoms and with integrating a new routine of medical check-ups into their daily schedule.
To cope with these challenges, parents of cancer stricken children founded in the year 2000 Larger than Life - a non-profit and volunteer-run organization - with a goal to improve the quality of life and wellbeing of children with cancer and their families, regardless of religion, race or gender. Its mission is to accompany the sick children and their families from diagnosis to recovery while maintaining an intimate and meaningful relationship with them; a continuous and committed support; and an accurate response to their needs.
A survey conducted among the parents revealed that Larger than Life is unique in creating a flexible, significant, continuous and intimate relationship with families, in abrupt response to needs. The motto for this unique relationship is the principle that a sick or recovering child is an equal group member the same as everybody else. The continuous relationship, even after the treatments are over, allows parents and children to volunteer and contribute to organization's activities as leaders and counselors. It is an irreplaceable contribution to the well-being of recently diagnosed sick children. Larger than Life has assisted more than 20,000 children and their families to better cope with the emotional and practical aspects of battling cancer.
Larger than Life works to realize its vision in three main areas:
1. "Joy" - providing social and mental support for the sick children as well as their families and provide them with the energy they need to win their struggle with the disease through a wide range of activities and services: 100 individual and family psychological treatments, two fulfillment of dream flights to Disney in Orlando and in Los Angeles, four mothers' support groups , two summer camps, trips, parties, empowering vacations for mothers and fathers, family recovery retreats, Purim Carnival smiling train, and more ...
2. "Health" - improving the quality of medical care by fortifying oncology services for children within hospitals by donating innovative medical equipment and funding medical and social work positions; establishing a fund to cover costs of medication or medical procedures not covered by Israel’s national health basket; establishing recreation and computer rooms in Israeli hospitals that treat children with cancer, offering through support-coordinators, individual consultation in each hospital and offering free transportation to children attending treatment in hospital according to social workers referrals. The organization opened on the September 22nd 2014 Larger than Life Kindergarten of Dreams with 2 preschool classes - one for children under the age of 3 and one for 3 to 6 years old; and recreation rooms. Larger than Life Kindergarten of Dreams is world first for children with cancer and is open daily with provision of all the medically and pedagogically suited equipment as well as with extended professional and support staff.
3. "Hope" - raising public awareness of cancer stricken children's rights to have the finest treatment and medication to save their lives and alleviate their suffering, regardless of their economic strata by: conducting each month of July a public relations campaign; upgrading and maintenance of a website and a monthly newsletter; conducting 3-5 PR campaigns to raise funds for children in need of special medications and treatments; lobbying to change social and financial policies for the benefit of children with cancer and their families; and striving to conduct an annual conference for 50 social workers involved in helping children with cancer, to construct professional infrastructures for the needs of families.
Sivan Pollak Yahel
Our Website: www.gdolim.org.il
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