The President of the State of Israel, Mr. Reuven Rivlin, and his wife Nehama, opened the Israel Cancer Association's 2014-15 Year of Activity - 'For the Patients and Against the Disease'.
This year's Chairperson of the 2014-15 "Door Knock" Fundraising Campaign is Mrs. Yehudit Yovel Recanati, Founder and Chairperson of Gandir Investments Group, entrepreneur and social activist, Founder and Chairperson of NATAL (Israel Trauma Center for Victims of Terror and War), and member of the "Yecholim Notnim" philanthropy initiative, and of the Executive Board of "Shitufim".
The Annual Event, held at the Presidential Residence, was attended by:
Mrs. Yael German, Minister of Health, Professor Eliezer Robinson, ICA Chairman, Mrs. Yehudit Yovel Recanati, Chairperson of the 'Door Knock' Fundraising Campaign, Mrs. Miri Ziv, ICA Director General, childhood patients and survivors, their families, and scores of Israel Cancer Association volunteers active in ICA branches dispersed throughout the country.
During this event, the President, Mr. Reuven Rivlin, delivered greetings and noted: "Over six decades of activity have changed the map of the fight against cancer, and the Israel Cancer Association is at the forefront of this battle, providing end-to-end solutions to lend support in the coping process. The intense efforts led by the ICA to prevent the disease, the ongoing information and assistance that it provides to patients, alongside follow-up care and accompaniment following recovery, constitute a vital support system for patients and their families.
The ICA's endeavors exemplify commitment to values such as social solidarity, great emotional fortitude, sharing a common destiny, communal cohesion and concern for one another - all qualities that are embodied by the ICA and its pursuits, and which epitomize a value-based society we would like to live in; may there be many other role models akin to the ICA in pursuing noteworthy activities in Israel".
The President further noted: "I am honored to open the Annual "Door Knock" Fundraising Campaign this evening. I sincerely hope that Israeli citizens will all open their doors and hearts and impart hope and healing to patients and their families".
Mrs. Miri Ziv, Israel Cancer Association Director General, who moderated the ceremony, underlined the long-held and close ties that all Presidents of Israel have shared with the Israel Cancer Association and its unique national-scale activities geared toward the general public: the healthy population, as well as cancer patients - children and adults, women and men.
Mrs. Miri Ziv also gave an overview of ICA's extensive activity and achievements and its contribution to the increase in cancer survival rates and the decrease in cancer mortality rates in Israel.
Prof. Eliezer Robinson, Israel Cancer Association Chairman, indicated that more and more patients survive and succeed in getting back to their normal routine.
He asserted that over the past 14 years, in spite of the fact that the number of new patients has increased by only 5%, the survival rate has increased by 13%. In other words, thanks to early detection of prevalent diseases and improved treatment and outcomes, the number of survivors has significantly increased, and Israel was recently ranked 6th in the world in terms of cancer survival rates among 85 leading countries.
Israel's Minister of Health, Mrs. Yael German, also cited the ICA's noteworthy activity in prevention, early detection, treatment and rehabilitation and wished the "Door Knock" Campaign much success.
Prof. Ronit Satchi-Fainaro, Principal Investigator of the Multidisciplinary Research Group at Tel Aviv University, who serves, among other positions, as Head of the Cancer Angiogenesis & Nanomedicine Lab, remarked that the ICA supported the lab in its initial stages and enabled research activity aimed at developing nanometric drugs for cancer treatment.
Singer Ohad Chitman moved the audience with his beautiful voice and shared his personal story with them. Ohad, who was supported by the ICA, and appeared at the Presidential Residence many years ago as a patient, has now come full circle, performing as a cancer survivor.
Dozens of child patients and survivors spoke with the President, who surprised them all when he delivered special wishes to 9-year-old Uri Hayun, on the occasion of his birthday, which the young patient celebrated the previous day.
Uri told the President that while coping with the disease, the ICA assisted him by providing him with a tutor who helped him keep up with this schoolwork, and this year, when Uri went back to school, he reintegrated without any problems. Uri also enjoyed the Family Vacation, organized by the ICA every summer, with his entire family.
Photo credit: Yossi Zamir